Into every life, a little rain must fall. Whether you prefer Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem or Ella Fitzgerald's song, the saying has been around for decades when lamenting life's ups and downs. As cliche as the expression may be, its perspective is valuable, in business as well as our personal lives, in order to not lose hope during tough times.
Most would agree that it would be unreasonable to expect sunshine and rainbows all the days of our lives, but somehow we still need these reminders when the going gets tough. Especially so when it seems there is no light at the end of the tunnel, such as when a business fails, or as we've seen with recent natural disasters like the flooding in Louisiana or the wildfires in California, or across the pond, the devastating earthquakes in central Italy.
Despite the practical knowledge that unforeseen things can happen to any of us at any given time, we are typically never emotionally prepared to accept major setbacks. In these times it is imperative to "find your steady," a phrase I heard in a yoga class last week. Our teacher was referencing the importance of building a strong foundation, in a literal sense - cueing us to plant our feet firmly on our mats and "find the steady" before advancing to the next level of the balance pose.
It struck me in that moment that so many times in life things we think are firm and steady, indeed are not. Whether it's a job, a relationship, or worst case scenario, our health - anything we currently take for granted as "permanent" can certainly change without notice. If our foundation isn't firmly rooted, we could easily be upended in those moments.
Much that we take for granted as "will always be there" - family members, our homes, even as some have experienced recently in my home state, the very ground on which we stand - can suddenly disappear. Having an internal foundation to lean on is more important than ever when those tangibles dissolve. That foundation can be many things, for some it's faith, others may take comfort in music or the arts, or for some of us, a yoga practice. Yes, when life gets chaotic and everything seems unfamiliar, I know I can look to my mat for sanctuary and comfort, and ultimately the clarity to move forward.
Whatever it is, each of us needs to have a "steady" - something we can count on and return to in moments of turmoil. Best to find your steady before you need it, as I have definitely learned in yoga, it's hard to plant your foot firmly on the mat when it's flailing in the air.
Find your steady, and remember even when the rain does fall - because it definitely will - that the less frequently quoted part of the Longfellow poem states, "behind the clouds is the sun still shining."