It snowed, there is snow, is that all there is to it?

The folks at the weather station predicted snow.  And then it snowed. And there was snow.

Upon seeing the snow the youngest two members of the family ran to the windows.  They became smiles and excitement.  They lived into a future that gave them joyous being: schools would be shut, no school, stay home, play with friends in the snow!

Upon being alerted to the snow, I reluctantly put on my shoes, headed outside and drove my car off the drive and towards the top of the hill.  I lived into a future of risk/struggle/fear.  The risk associated with getting my car off the drive.  Last time it snowed heavily and did that I couldn’t. And when I persisted the car skid into a wall and required costly repairs.  Struggle because every time it snows heavily it is a struggle to get anywhere without considerable effort. Why fear? Because twice in the past my car skidded in the snow/ice, I lost control, felt helpless, felt fear, and the car hit something.

Upon being alerted to the snow, my wife said and did nothing.  She just got on with what she was getting on with or needed to get on with.

The next day, we had to go out.  My wife drove and I was happy for her to drive.  Later we are told that the schools have closed and have to go and pick our son up.  There is a lot of snow on the ground. And it is snowing hard.  We are not at home.  There are long queues of cars.  The sat-nav does not work, I am fretting.  My wife, she is calm. It takes us over an hour to do a fifteen minute journey.  I am uneasy, I am cursing the snow, I am fretting about not being able to get through to my son – he is not answering his mobile phone. My wife? She is calm, she is patient, she drives, she finds her way.

We get home. The children in the street are playing in the snow. They are laughing, they are clearly making it a great time for themselves, playing in the snow. Someone is rolling in the snow.  It is our daughter, the youngest member of the family.  Her face is red. Her clothes are soaking wet. And she is experiencing pure joy – out rolling in the snow.  I look at her in astonishment and head inside where I can be warm.

What shows up for me?  I am present to several distinctions, that I first came across in Landmark Education, that are in operation in each of us:

Event/Story: The event is simply that there is some 15m of snow.  And then each of us, me,  wife, son, daughter, made a different story of the snow.

It is the future that you are living into that gives you your being-in-the-world right now.  My children were living into a future of no school, playing with friends, snowball fights. And their being was joyous.  My wife was living into a future of ‘no big deal and it snow can be pretty. So her being was undisturbed, she got on with what she needed to get on with.  Me, I was living into a future of fear/risk/struggle – of losing control of the car. And so my being-in-the-present was annoyance with the snow.

What am I present to? All that happened was that it snowed.  All there was was snow, ice, slush, more snow.  Yet, none of us left it at that. All of us made it mean something. And our being-in-the-world was a function of the meaning that our human machinery gave to the snow.

Which means that my being-in-the-world, your being-in-the-world, is a function of the story that runs me, runs you.  And our freedom lies in our ability/freedom to create better stories – stories that move-touch-inspire us.  Our ability to change reality – whether it snows or not – can be limited.  Our ability invent stories, invent possibilities, is unlimited.  So, ultimately, our freedom lies in the domain of possibility and of story.

Author: Maz Iqbal

Experienced management consultant working at the intersection of strategy, customer, and technology. Combine a tendency to think strategically with a penchant for getting my hands dirty at the coalface of implementation.

7 thoughts on “It snowed, there is snow, is that all there is to it?”

  1. It seems you and I share the same fear. I was in two car accidents and one small fender bender; the first in the pouring rain, the second in really bad snow, and the third a result of an oil spill on the road. Each one involved sliding, a loss of control over things, expensive damage, and lasting physical injuries that impact me today. The result now; I don’t let Dan drive us in the rain (as he tends to drive fast and the rain is of no matter to him), I don’t drive to visit out friends in the mountains during the winter months, and we haven’t experienced any of the snow related family activities here in Colorado because of my fear of driving in the snow. Last April, I was having a weekend away with a friend in Vail. The morning I was to return, we got hit with a lot of snow. I drove white knuckled from Vail to Evergreen at 15 mph. When I got to the other side of the mountains where Boulder and its beautiful blue sky and sunshine were waiting for me, I vowed never to have to experience that again. That experience has now dictated our family outings and lack of them. I don’t like that I allow that experience to frighten me in the future, but as irrational as my fear may be, I would rather be safe than sorry. I now stock up on food and supplies when we are due for a snow storm that may potentially lock us in, so that I can stay in and admire the beautiful snowy landscape and make hot chocolate for my kids after they’ve been out rolling around in the snow. I experience it in a much better way that makes me feel comfortable. xx

    Like

  2. Hello Lora

    I thank you for sharing what is so for you when it comes to the snow. Remarkable isn’t it how our past shapes our future and gives us our being right now in the present?

    What I noticed was that whilst I was not willing to break out of the grip that the story around the snow had on me, for myself. I did break out of it when I had to take my children to school or to their clubs. Two journeys stand out for me. Both involved taking Clea to her trampoline class and later picking her up. My fear was strong. And I found the love for my daughter and setting an example to her to be even stronger. So whilst the snow was falling heavily and despite my fear I got in the car and drove. I just took my time – I drove at 20mph as opposed to 30mph. We got there safe. I got back safe. And an hour later with a lot more snow on the roads, I drove back again to pick her up. Once again I drove slow and it all worked out great.

    Why do those two incidents stick out? Because my world did not end in ‘doom and gloom’. I did drive on roads laden with snow and it all worked out fine. I just had to pay attention and drive equal to the conditions. Result, I am less fearful of driving in the snow.

    With my love
    maz

    Like

  3. So, ultimately, our freedom lies in the domain of possibility and of story.~ Now i build stories with the highest excitement & inspiration possible daily from time to time. Thanks to Maz….i now keep walking into awe, wonder & excitement…….join me …understand this distinction put out by Maz….& milk it to the hilt with the story you walk into.

    Love & Blessing for your highest good.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s