“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass..”

1Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…

it’s about learning to dance in the rain…

A friend of mine likes to put quotes following the signature line on her emails.  This was the one she used last week.

Wouldn’t this be a great way to live?  Learning to take everything that comes and find and way to create joy in it?

Learning to “dance in the rain” takes a lot of mental and emotional flexibility.  It requires being willing and able to look at things from a different perspective.  To try another way.  To not get too bogged down by disappointment or change.

Through my years of working with children and adults with various learning challenges, I have noticed that many tend to start out very inflexible and rigid, particularly in the face of change or something they didn’t expect.   If the family is going to go out for burgers and decides to go for pizza instead, a meltdown may occur – even if the child likes pizza better.  It’s the unexpected that throws her.

I talk a lot about the underlying learning/processing skills that support efficient learning.  These underlying skills actually support and impact not only how we learn, but how we perceive and function in the world.  The stronger these skills are, the more balanced, calm, flexible, and “mature” we can be.

We hold on tight to our ideas and routines because they make us comfortable, but the more rigid we are, the more easily we are stressed, anxious, angered, and offended.  This sucks the joy out of life because all we can see is the storm.

My brother is one of the most balanced and successful people that I know.  Growing up, he was good at sports, an excellent student, the ASB president of his school, a caring hospital worker, a musician, and the person most likely to make my mom fall into fits of laughter.  As an adult, he is a successful ER physician and medical director of a medical clinic, dog lover, runner, and husband of 20 plus years.

How is it that one person can have a life filled with so many good things?  I have always felt it was because his is so balanced and flexible.  His underlying learning/processing skills are strong and automatic so that he can manage and problem solve his way through the tough stuff (and there have been real hardships), and figuratively “learn to dance in the rain.”

When underlying learning/processing skills are weak, students may not be able to assess a new situation quickly enough to know how to react or what to expect.  Being rigid and inflexible may be needed in order to feel safe.  But ultimately, this is an exhausting way to live for both the person and their family.

As we work with our students to develop their underlying learning/processing skills, people around them often comment that they seem so much more mature (even with our adult students).  They are calmer, more confident, and more flexible.  They seem happier and are able to navigate through school and life with greater ease.  They no longer have to operate in fight or flight all the time, and as a result can do a little more “dancing in the rain.”


Do you or someone you know struggle with learning or attention challenges? Most learning and attention challenges can be dramatically improved or completely corrected by developing the needed underlying skills.

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