Erin Lanahan Method

Signature method to get fit from the inside out!

Our Teachers Are Everywhere: This Is What A Fence Taught Me March 6, 2011

Yesterday morning, which was a Friday morning, I woke up and began my usual routine. However, as I sat down to post my morning Facebook post, in an effort to connect with all of you, I realized that I just really had nothing to say. That moved me into contemplation mode, from which my status for the day emerged. “Sometimes, the best thing to say…is nothing at all.”

Then, I proceeded to twitter and shared my mantra for the day, which was “Today, I will listen.”

As the day unfolded, conversation after conversation, song after song, interaction after interaction, thought after thought…I remained committed to allowing the listening to happen. This was not always easy, as there were many moments I experienced that I wanted to blurt something out, or respond to you on Facebook, etc. But when I noticed those urges, I repeated my mantra…”Today, I will listen.”

I began to really hear you, to hear my heart beat, and to hear lyrics of songs I never knew existed, because I had decided so long ago I didn’t like that song.

The outcome?

Every conversation, every drum roll in my heart, and every lyric in songs I supposedly didn’t like, had a message for me. I learned, when I am silent, there is beauty everywhere, and from the beautiful silence do our greatest teachers emerge.

I went on a long run yesterday morning and, as per usual, was contemplating my daily thoughts, ideas, and feelings. I felt so connected to nature and so deeply inspired by the feelings I was experiencing as I contemplated listening, that I could not have felt any more free, happy, and more alive.

Right at that very moment…I ran smack into a fence.

This is what a fence taught me:

At first, I was a bit shaken up, and startled. My I-pod earphones had gotten caught on the fence, and as I continued to be in motion after I hit the fence, they got ripped out of my ears! I came to a stop, looked back, and my headphones were dangling on the fence, and my left pinky finger was bleeding.

“What the Heck??” I said to the Universe. “Thanks a lot! Here I am, trying to be all connected to you, and you let me run into a fence? You’ve got to be kidding me. Screw You!”

As you can see, I clearly, initially took this “run in” very personally. I felt angry, bitter, and under attack, until…I remembered my mantra. “Today, I will listen.”

Instead of feeling bad…I chose to open my mind, open my heart, and to open my body and ears to let listening happen.

This is what I heard…

“Are you still willing to put yourself out there, and follow your dreams, even if it means you may get roughed up a little along the way? Are you willing to stay committed to your mission and your mantra, even if things don’t look the way you think they should? Are you willing to keep an open heart, mind, and spirit, even if love shuts the door on you? Are you willing to turn to me and listen for the next indicated action, every single moment of the day? Can you accept that everything that happens in your life, is part of a greater plan that you will never be able to figure out? Can you let go of needing to understand everything, and just consider, that maybe what is currently appearing as though it’s “in” the way, IS the WAY?”

After I heard all of those questions within myself, I began to realize how many times in my life I’d had a “run in” with someone or something, and let it deter me. I began to understand that I was being shown the willingness I must be prepared to have, to stay on my path, and follow my heart, no matter what.

I heard that the only way one can change anything, is to first accept the way things are right now. These lessons had me at “Are You Willing?”

My answer?…


So there you have it. I am inspired, yet again, by the profound teachers and lessons, that emerge from the willingness to let listening happen.

Has this reminded you of anything in your life? Have you ever tried to just listen for one whole day, fighting any urges that come up for you around the need to speak, when it really isn’t necessary? Do you speak just to speak, or do you wait until you have something to say before you interrupt the listening? What people, songs, animals, trees, are you missing out on? What are your teachers trying to teach you or show you that maybe you aren’t giving yourself the chance to learn and see?

I encourage you to listen. Listen for your heart beat, listen for the message someone is really carrying, beneath the actual words they are speaking.

Listen to the trees, and never take for granted, the wisdom of a fence.

Here is how I applied my lesson on acceptance, that was the direct result of my encounter with the fence. I traveled to UCLA today, to film the best butt and leg workout EVER…but something else happened instead! Take a look:

Please leave your questions and comments here for me! I love hearing from you:-)

Love, Love, Love,



4 Responses to “Our Teachers Are Everywhere: This Is What A Fence Taught Me”

  1. Annie Says:

    oh yes!! teachers are everywhere.. i could say so many things, but most of all your experience reminds me when at New Year’s Day i lost one of my contact lenses… i said to myself “oh great, how great starts the new year…..! this definitely cannot be happening!.. what a crap!”..
    oh i should tell that one of my resolutions was to see anything as for the very first time , to feel everything as for the first time and experience anything as for the very first time every new day.. well you get the idea :o)… so at that point after i blamed myself for being careless and not paying attention to what is happening NOW again(because if i had been paying attention to the NOW trying to put my contacts on i wouldn’t have lost it) i chose to see this experience as a teacher, as something wanting to come across to me, that i ve been missing.. and this lost contact was like saying “Annie, you ve been used to seeing everything only with half your sight.. like seeing everything only from the one eye and the other covered.. and that”s not your real vision.. everything is not clear , it is blurred…. let’s change that, shall we?? you may think you are seeing everything you see, but maybe most of the times you are actually looking which is different from seeing =actually paying attention.. in the end this seeing relates to how much you pay attention to your life.. are you willing to be commited to actually see yourself and the world, and experience yourself and the world with new vision?? ” and as i was hearing all this within , i decided to get outside so that i can say it outloud and it started raining and was saying yes yes yes and thank you , thank you thank you, as you did with the fence 😀

    SO many thanks for sharing this inspiring fence story and your radiant thoughts and attitude… you are GREAT IN EVERY WAY!
    [Very much looking forward to the best butt and leg workout, as I LOVE running ]

    WIth so much Love and Gratitude

    • Erin Lanahan Says:

      Hi Annie! As per usual, I love what you have to add to what I have written. I love your posts…they really are full of beauty and insight, just like you! Thank you;)

  2. jan Says:

    Hi! I do not have anything to share or add because I am in Listening mode myself. Glad you remain sensitive and open. Believing in you, Jan.

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