Life's Porcupines and Resiliency: Adapting to the Unexpected

Are you ready for the unexpected? Do you have the emotional intelligence and resilience to handle life's bumps and curveballs calmly?

If you love dogs, you'll appreciate our latest unexpected encounter. Last week, one of our Golden Retrievers got a little too curious on a hike and had a run-in with a porcupine. His grand adventure quickly turned into pain and discomfort for him and a big fat vet bill for us.

Our Golden Retriever has a run-in with a porcupineThis was our first experience with porcupines. It was a bit unnerving, but the vet put us right at ease. They deal with this problem all the time—in fact, they average 20 to 30 dogs every summer that have encounters with porcupines. They even have a running bet each year for the most quills in any one dog. Our dog had around 40 quills and wasn’t even in the running. The winning dog so far had 500 quills removed—he was so stubborn and mad that he kept going back to pester the same porcupine!

What I took away from this experience was that when life throws us the unexpected, it doesn’t do any good to fight against the pricks. In fact, when we resist what is, we may end up with even more trouble—like the winning dog!

Our brains are wired to avoid pain, so we have an innate ability to adapt to change. However, if we’re stubborn or have been conditioned to suffer, we sometimes ignore something that’s bothering us, or we postpone tackling a problem until it grows out of control. This porcupine incident was a great reminder for me to check to see where in my life I might be stubbornly holding out and resisting change.

Deep dive: "How to Change Habits and Create a Life You Love!"

Soon after, I came across a quote that seemed related to my reflection. In their new book Super Brain, Deepak Chopra and Rudolf E. Tanzi state the importance of adaptability in our lives, especially when faced with the unknown. Using Einstein as an prime example, they said: “You can measure a person’s adaptability by how much they are able to let go, remain flexible, and hang loose in the face of difficulty….

Resiliency and the brain

Bottom line: If you want to achieve success in any field, become like Einstein. Maximize your brain’s ability to adapt.”

Related reading: "Why Is Mindfulness Important? And 3 Simple Practices"

Ever been the target of a porcupine? How well do you adapt? Is there anything you’re resisting that keeps you going back for more quills? 

If you'd like coaching support, transforming lives is our business at Heartmanity. Learn the skills to be resilient no matter what life throws at you! Contact us and see how we might support you!

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Jennifer A. Williams / Emotional Intelligence CoachJennifer A. Williams / Emotional Intelligence Coach
Jennifer’s passion is to help people create thriving relationships first with themselves and then with each other. She teaches emotional intelligence skills and a step-by-step process that removes the obstacles to growth, loving connection, and communication. Her popular One Year Makeover and Return to Serenity programs provide a personalized approach to transformation. Her understanding of brain science strategically reshapes a person’s pain into power while restoring inner peace and well-being through a fun and remarkable learning experience. She also works with companies helping to promote organizational transformation of culture, leadership, and relationships. Jennifer is happily married to her beloved husband of 40 years and is the mother of three grown children.

Posted in Brain Fitness, Mindfulness and Perspective

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