I had not expected to see a raccoon running back and forth across a bridge in a highly urbanized area. Traffic had come to a grinding halt and my daughter squeezed her eyes tightly shut, fearing the demise of this creature. He was in a frenzied state as the headlights of cars going in both directions had him spooked. The raccoon was trapped with nowhere to go. My hope for him was waning quickly, and when I thought his end was near, he stopped and became still for several seconds. Then, in a flash, he ran across the road, leveraged himself over the barrier, landed on the pedestrian crossing and scampered off into the nearby bushes.
I was in awe, astounded and flummoxed at what appeared to be a miracle. A raccoon that was bound to be run over by a car or drop to a certain watery death, found a third option. Instinct and clarity provided him with different information. After he reset, he scaled the barrier that once imprisoned him and found his way to safety.
It is not uncommon to find ourselves in threatening and unnerving situations. Whether we are in business or walking through personal transitions, maneuvering through the unfamiliar is par for the course. We are less likely to be squashed on the bridges of transition when we can manage to interrupt panicked behaviour, quiet ourselves to gain clearness and choose with precision our way forward. Like the raccoon, the honking of horns and intrusive headlights will destabilize you, resulting in a stressed and edgy feeling. It is in these moments you are more likely to behave like a cornered animal, where you effect your own integrity. Our lesson from the raccoon is in that instant he chose to STOP. He forced the traffic to come to a standstill – the external chaos was interrupted long enough for him to gain clarity and become oriented. Once this happened, the path of escape lit up before him and with ease he could use his natural skills to elevate himself over the barricade, out of pandemonium and into the still night.
You have the instinct and ability to traverse the treacherous terrains of business and life. Your job is to disengage from external chaos, still yourself for clarity, recognize that you have skills you can access and then with precision, follow your instinct through transitions to safe and level ground again.