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“Don’t just go with the flow…take some dares through the rapids” – Isabel, Wonder, R.J. Palacio 
How good are you at going with the flow? Adapting to life when it throws a wrench in your plans, daring to forego some of those plans to see what happens? What about venturing through those “rapids” – the fast-paced, unknown parts of life?
As a Type A, organized planner, I can tell you that it’s not my favourite part of life. However, since moving to Barcelona a few years ago, I’ve had to go with the flow a whole lot more than planned!
Relaxing & Riding The Wave:
So, I want to use a literal example here, simply because it fits.
Just last week, there was a holiday here in Spain so I took the opportunity to have another private surf lesson. So, I was literally “riding the rapids”. (Mini-rapids, of course, but even the smallest waves feel daring when you start out).
Group lessons were proving tough as I just couldn’t seem to get the hang of catching the wave without falling flat on my face every single time. We went through the technique again, and then headed out to the waves.
My problem?
Keeping calm, the instructor told me.
That’s right – my technique is fine, but I can’t keep calm enough and the anticipation and nervousness throws me off completely.  Of course, it doesn’t help that I’m nervous and a bit worried about being sucked under the waves.  Luckily, I had a great instructor who logically and rationally explained the reasons why I shouldn’t be so nervous.  It’s all in the mind, of course.
Daring to quiet the mind
Motivational Monday 30 - Intuition Quiet Mind
Quieting the mind is not something I’m good at, as you’ll know if you’ve been reading all my posts about swimming and my challenges with the water and calming the mind to avoid irrational fear. . My swim instructor actually says I have “a million voices” talking to me as I swim, and I need to tell them to be quiet, because none of them are that positive.



When should you go with the flow?
  • In a new country  or cultural environment
  • When you want an adventure
  • When planning just isn’t getting you where you need to be
That’s my mini list of ideas. What do you think? Do we have any experts on living in the moment here?



3 Daring Ways To More Than Go With The Flow

I’m no expert on this topic either, but I definitely love an adventure.
Here are a few tips for those of us who want to dive into the “rapids”: 

1. Try Something New

I’m always surprised when people hesitate to answer this question:
When was the last time you did something new? Tried something you’d never done before?
I aim to do this annually – or at least as often as possible.
Why not, right?  One of my other favourite quotes is Hellen Keller’s idea that  “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing” (LINK).
As you know, my newest feat is trying surfing. I’d love to hear your daring adventures in the comments!


2. Face A Small Fear – Be Daring

This past year and a half, I managed to get over the water fear I didn’t know I had. Or perhaps it was really a fear of swimming in the ocean, as I originally thought. (Though my first few months of swimming lessons were much more overwhelming than I had hoped!)
The year before last year, I combined #1 and #2 by delving into the world of programming (ick!!) so my PhD project could advance. Actually, I still shiver when I think of programming scripts – but hey, I tried it, right?


3. Go Against Expectations

Non-conformity is one of my favourite themes (and has been since elementary school).  All my greatest heroes in books were non-conformists, and that was what made them great.

They had this wonderful sense of identity that came from going against expectations, or at least, going against the norm.

What have you done that surprised people lately?


Using Wonder In The Classroom

Since today’s quote is about R.J Palacio, it’s a great opportunity to talk about her novel, Wonder.  It is such a beautiful, poignant story that I’m sure many of us are familiar with.  (The movie is a great film study for classes – ESL or regular English!). 
I love talking about Auggie to my students  – and how they feel his conflict and pain happens in their classrooms today. Bullying is such a fascinating and sad topic for me – and I think we need to take every opportunity we can to address it in class.  (My upcoming TpT store will have lesson plans on this, too!)
Have you taught Wonder in class? Let me know in the comments below.

Another Definition of “Flow”
Have you seen the movie Happy, and/or used it in an English Class? That’s where I first heard of the psychological concept of flow.
Now, I don’t want to ruin next week’s post on flow, but I will say that  I like this definition a lot! It’s all about finding your passion, and something that makes you and your daily life fit together fluidly.
What have you done that’s daring or different lately? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below 🙂
Have a lovely and productive week!
P.S. Photo lovers, the photo for today’s post (and poster!) is one I took in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand back in 2007


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