Stress management advice can come from surprising sources. A tiny spider ambled up my nightstand, moved across into a crease and then stumbled, or so it seemed, onto the drawer’s edge. Undeterred, it straggled to the side and started vertically once more. The sequence “climb, side shimmy, plop” continued for three rounds, after which, movement stopped altogether. Now, what could a spider possibly have to consider? Was this what stress and defeat in the animal kingdom looked like?

The answer dawned. Resting, staying still, following a natural rhythm: this is what survival looks like. Too much continuous motion might draw the attention of undesirables, like for example, hungry birds.

Once it resumed its wobbly jig, I wondered at the spider’s lack of fluidity when another realization came. In tracking back over just-laid web no doubt there were plenty of sticky spots. What looked like bumbling missteps was just the process of attaching new web to old.

After one more “drop-stop” the spider stood immobile as a soldier, then slipped deep into a nearby crevice, toe-tips peeping out.

What would Spidey say about stress management, work and accomplishment, if she could talk?

1) Don’t get discouraged, even if it seems you are moving in circles. Something much larger and necessary can develop which is difficult to see from your limited perspective

2) Take time to plop down and rest. Make a ritual of relaxation at predetermined points.

3) Stumbling can be stressful but its okay. At least you are moving.

4) Travelling along a freshly-forged path might mean things are still in a bit of a mess. Look upon it as an opportunity to stabilize your course with what you’ve learned previously. You have flexibility.

5) Sit back, relax, and wait for payoff to arrive!

To a more peaceful day,

Dayle Paz