Headwinds: Check the Assumptions

I jog in the beach community where we live and have discovered another one of life’s great mysteries.  The funny part is, I feel as if I’m beginning to understand this one.

The town’s road system lends itself to this sort of understanding.  A grid made up of square blocks allows me to follow my nose, turn right or left without too much planning and ultimately arrive back home without getting lost.  It’s even easier because the blocks are either named alphabetically or numerically.

Not long ago I noticed that no matter which way I run I always seem to face a steady head wind.  I’m not sure why or how that happens nor do I care.  But I do think there’s a subtle link to the culture in which we live.

At birth we enter a world in which people tell us what to do.  First our parents who are closely followed by friends, teachers, media… the whole fabric of our environment seems to be made up for energy that we can label “headwinds.”  They tell us how to be, what to wear, how get along, what it takes to be successful, and more.  There’s no lack of rules and expectations.

Before long we can easily find ourselves caught up in the ‘this is how it’s SUPPOSED to BE headwind.’  We measure ourselves against others’ headwinds along with our own sense of what successful life-family-house-car look like.  There are lots of things that we do for those reasons and, while well intended, they may just be the force that plops us into dead-end jobs because “they pay the bills.”

Okanogan Indians believe that the wind is ‘the only real thing there is’ and suggest that, in its presence, it is wise to stand still and let it help your life to catch up with you.  Can we learn to hear the traces of long-held wishes and desires in the voices of the wind?

As I grow older I find myself challenging more of those headwind assumptions.  I want to find a way to listen to them while making room to hear the ones that come from other directions.  If I learn to listen closely enough, unique winds may nudge me toward new, more me authentic experiences.  I’m fairly certain that it’s a wind that pushing me toward more passion and authenticity rather than just hastening my last days.  How about you?


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