Power of Pressure

This short month has brought with it several months’ worth of chaos and stress. Every morning, my awareness returned to my body, bitten by the furious teeth of daylight. Looking toward the dark horizon, every hour, of every day, promised a storm, “a whole new bunch of dumb”, as Wade says. “How are we going to deal with this, that, or all the rest of it?”. Emergency followed by emergency building an unbearable force, the resulting high pressure sending us rocketing, knocking us against each other, against the world, bruising our skin. My stomach hurting all the time – swollen, distended with swallowed stress. Climbing back in bed, we give each other a feeble high-five salute, “here’s to another triumphant day”. What makes our days triumphant? We made it to the nighttime, surviving long enough to get back in bed. Once again we bury our heads under our pillows, our panic-induced headaches sufficiently dulled by ibuprofen and Harney & Sons, Paris Herbal Tea (I linked that in case you need some – this isn’t a paid sponsorship, it’s just very good tea).

One night I did a bit of anxiety scrolling and noticed a little inspirational quip about a Bumblebee, supposedly embraced by NASA, to inspire the impossible in their crew. It read, “Aerodynamically a bee’s body is not made to fly; the good thing is that the bee doesn’t know”. “Physics-defying bees”, my brain grabbed it wholeheartedly, rested the thought like an ember on my solar plexus, glowing warmly – so inspiring, lulling me to sleep. Dreams of those beautiful big butted bees, tiny wings, not caring that it’s impossible to fly, little fools, they do it anyway…

Don’t Bee Fooled
Funny how brains work – how something like an idea will reach out and strike us at a certain moment. A stinging slap in the face sharply focuses you, and there, the idea sits staring you down, eye to eye, waiting for recognition of its true self. Bee physics slapped me awake at 3:00am, heavily seated on my chest, staring me down. I started thinking about Bees. I mean, ACTUALLY thinking about the bees. Bees fly ALL the time. And I don’t think whether they think they can or can’t, or whether we think they can or can’t, has very much to do with it.

I looked up the facts at 3:12am. That cute quote? It’s a myth. In fact, the science behind how bumblebees fly involves the way they move their wings and the generation of tiny hurricanes that lift them upwards. They don’t fly despite the circumstances, they fly because of the circumstances. They rise with the pressure. 

Did you catch that? Tiny. Hurricanes.

They create and harness the power of their own tiny hurricane to fly. And here’s me, in the midst of my very own hurricane, holding on for dear life in an attempt to, what, stay safe, float?  Maybe, instead, I should stretch out my arms, tuck my head, and ride the storm. 

Use the Pressure of your Tiny Hurricane. 
The word here is “hurricane” – riding the force of a hurricane means there’s going to be turbulence, you’ll see what’s dragging.  It’s time to streamline. The short chaotic month provided a great opportunity, albeit an uncomfortable one, to harness momentum. We had been floating and content to float. But floating doesn’t get us over the mountains. We had to launch into the flow of the hurricane – become present and embrace our circumstances -and our circumstances were conspiring to get us moving.  

We’re now using this experience as a gauge to discover how well we’re flying together, and set an intentional course for ourselves and our business instead of just hurtling through the air. How well are we adapting to additional information? Are we able to make adjustments mid-course? Are we making use of each other’s strengths, are we communicating and listening to each other? Are we moving forward and higher? 

Often in life we want to take the slow, steady, scenic route along even ground, to get where we’re going. But what if the destination is the equivalent of the moon, or Mars? Ask the astronauts if they find lift-off enjoyable – strapped in and powerless over rockets burning 30,000 pounds of fuel per second, as uncontrolled fire propels them into orbit. But astronauts don’t sit on a rocket for a pleasure ride, do they? They do it to harness the momentum – to achieve lift-off and get to outer space. 

Are you in the midst of a storm?  Maybe the storm isn’t conspiring to keep you down, maybe everything is converging exactly as it should, to help you fly.