Samurais don’t run in the rain…


japan-flagThe plane was on the tarmac and the clock ticked past departure time.  The captain then announced ‘Ladies and gentlemen apologies for the delay.  A passenger was running to get to the aircraft and tripped and hurt himself.  Ground staff are attending to him and medical help is on the way.  His luggage is also being off loaded’.  You could feel a wave of empathy through the packed aircraft, a lot of people were possibly thinking ‘That could have been me’.

While we were waiting for the plane to depart I was immediately reminded what my mentor Peter Cook often says ‘Samurais don’t run in the rain’.  Samurais in Japan operate from a deep place of calm, even when it’s raining, instead of dodging and ducking among eaves, and messing with umbrellas, they choose to calmly stride through the rain.  What a powerful image.

The rain for me is a metaphor for life, with all it’s busyness, meetings, over flowing in boxes, multiple projects, pressing deadline, demands of work and life.  In our busy, busy time poor lives it’s always raining.  Everyday we have to make the choice. Do we walk through the rain, still with a sense of purpose, achievement and urgency or do we run, living right on the edge of chaos, never knowing when that chaos might swallow us?

I know I certainly have days where I feel I am running in the rain. This is when perhaps I do my least good work and perhaps serve my clients and myself least.  But on days when I walk in the rain, I not only do my best work, I achieve more, serve my clients better and am a better person to be around, more relaxed and funny (even if I say so myself!).  What about you?  What strategies do you use to walk in the rain?  I would love to hear your thoughts.

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10 Comments
  • Leigh Coleman
    Reply

    Hi Yamini
    I am 65 years old and i have been slowly but deliberately practicing the art of what some people might call awareness. When all around me starts to scream at me to speedup I take a deep deep breath. I consciously close my mouth and take a deep slow breath in and slowly out through my nose. I allow all my senses to come alive just for a split second. More often than not , if there is a God of the universe , he wraps his arms around me and I feel a sense of love and that everything is going to be alright. A deep sense of calm comes over me. And if i need to I take a second breath. Over my lifetime that sense of awareness has slowly increased in my life especially when when chaos prevails, that is when I feel most loved.
    Warmly Leigh

    • Yamini Naidu
      Reply

      Thank you Leigh there is a whole movement around mindfulness and using our breathe to centre and calm us. Thank you for sharing how you do this and the difference it has made.
      Best wishes
      Yamini

  • Diana
    Reply

    Yamini

    Thank you. This story, the imagery, the metaphors really resonated with me. The timing is amazing… Like Jamie – I will too will try to walk through the rain calmly, mindfully and purposefully

    Diana

    • Yamini Naidu
      Reply

      Thanks Diana it’s that time of year isn’t it, when we are feeling stressed etc, the newness and freshness of the year is wearing off.
      Thanks Jamie for inspiring us all.
      Regards
      Yamini

  • Reply

    Following on the eastern theme

    An Approach to Busyness…

    The Chinese word for “busy”. There are two smaller words [called radicals] which go to make up the word. The one on the left is the radical for the “heart or mind”. To the left of it is the word for “dead”. Thus the indication is that when we are busy our heart or mind is dead…..Think about it in terms of the space you have in your mind to deal with issues when you feel busy.

    Many of us have a sense of being “in demand” at work. Frankly put, we often feel stretched from pillar to post and find it difficult to have present and genuine communication in our relationships. Whilst there is no doubt that the transactional aspect of our roles demand a lot of us, there is so much to be gained though being less ‘busy’ and more mindful.
    Considering that the attitude you hold defines the relationship that you have, it makes you wonder whether the following might be a better approach.

    “I’m not BUSY I just have a full diary.”

    Thanks for a the rich metaphor

    • Yamini Naidu
      Reply

      Mike thank you for sharing this rich insight. Imagine every time we are saying we are busy almost a badge of honour in our modern world, we are really saying we are dead of mind and heart. One of my goals this year inspired by a friend is to replace the word busy in our vocabulary with something more meaningful and looks like lots of us are on the same journey.
      Best wishes
      Yamini

  • Helen
    Reply

    Hello Yamini,

    I really enjoyed this story, and being a visual person, you created such wonderful imagery for me, firstly of the poor passenger running and falling on the hard terrazzo floor of the airport, and then of the Samurai.

    So effective is your story telling, that an instant sense of calm came over me as I imagined that Warrior walking through a beautiful Japanese street scape with the colours muted by a veil of rain I could almost hear it.

    Thank you for a wonderful image and setting me up with a mindful mindset for my busy day.

    • Yamini Naidu
      Reply

      Helen thank you so much for your comment it has made my day! I also have to remind or stop myself and ask frequently am I running or walking through the rain. Our heart went out to the passenger and we all know it could have literally been anyone of us, busy, time poor and running.
      Best wishes
      Yamini

  • Jamie
    Reply

    Thanks for the Samurais metaphor Yamini. I am going to try to adopt the calm, steady approach and see if my world still survives. I think this is a bit like taking holidays where you think the world is going to collapse while you are away. And it never does, and people barely know you were away! How can this be? I have learnt to go on holidays without getting too anxious about work as I’ve realise that I am not really that invaluable and the world still turns. Now I’ll try that approach during the day and calmly walk through the rain. Thanks again. J

    • Yamini Naidu
      Reply

      Jamie you inspired me – imagine channelling that relaxed holiday vibe everyday, and yet achieving our goals. We would all be healthier, happier and our work places, homes and cities would be calmer. No more road rage, no more anxious stressed out people…the list goes on. You might have found the cure for a lot of modern ailments!
      Thanks for your comment.
      Regards
      Yamini

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