May 26, 2020
When I read the words above, “if you are the same as you were last year, you didn’t learn enough!”, Initially, I may think wow that is a good motivator for myself and others to press on and push myself to do greater things.
However, if I’m honest with myself and you, there’s probably been many years of my life if I were to critique all of my days, look at my income status or the progress or failure of a relationship I may ultimately feel self doubt and begin to criticize myself.
I may believe for a moment that I’m not moving forward in life. That I’m not growing in life. As I’ve gotten older and I’ve been tweaking that idea and playing with it a little differently these days. I’ve lived enough to know that sometimes we take great leaps of faith and make great strides and accomplish great things in a short period of time.
However, for the most part that has not been the case for me. Creating the life I love, seeking joy in my life, wanting to be fulfilled and have the most wonderful relationships is usually compared to the way I find myself hiking up a mountain. I make the decision to take a hike. I pack all my goods, extra water, snacks, backpack, the right shoes and socks of course. I begin my trek uphill. I actually love to hike uphill much better than flat or downhill, it seems more exciting. Not Long after I begin making my ascension usually within the first 5 to 10 minutes because I start from sitting in my car or at the bottom of the hill that first little hike always gets me. Before long I’m mumbling under my breath something along the lines of why the heck did I decide to do this? How long will this take at this rate?. I wonder if I brought enough food and water. I’m feeling really out of shape and breathing heavily and thinking to myself what have I done.
This usually compares to any change that I have encountered in my life. I start out slow and easy but real quickly the new changes become daunting. Maybe I don’t like waking up early in the mornings to do that extra work I need to do. Maybe it feels hard. Maybe I feel like staying home and not being social when I know I need good friends to keep me motivated. Or I’ve worked hard and long today and I don’t want to go for that walk or to the gym even though I know I need to. The first week or so when making changes in your life can be tough. Just like trekking up the hill when I’m hiking. Keep going. Keep going and I promise it will get easier. It’s usually after about 10 minutes of hiking up the hill that I will begin to catch my wind, actually the chemicals in my brain begins releasing endorphins I begin noticing the blue sky, the birds, the smells in the air and it releases the happy feel good chemicals in my body. Soon after I’m not even paying attention to how my body feels, and I’m all but sprinting up the hill because I am totally engaged in the moment. Looking at the birds. Smelling all of the wildflowers in nature. Or sometimes talking with a friend. And yes even though I thought I was going to die initially here I am hoofing it up a hill and talking at the same time.
Another thing that I’ve noticed in making changes for my own life is that once I get past the beginning initial shock of change I can gain momentum. The momentum comes because now I’m seeing the benefit of what I’m doing just like when I’m hiking and seeing beautiful nature all around me. In my day-to-day life I began noticing minor bonuses. Maybe something as simple as wow, when I woke up this morning I didn’t want to hit the snooze button. Actually for the first time in a while I feel like hopping out of bed and heck, I may even go for a little walk before work. Whatever the case, the more I do it the more I feel good about myself.
The more I do the things that are good for me that make me happy it makes me want to do more. it’s important that I take notice of even the slightest benefit of my action. We all need to give ourselves a little grace. Maybe when I look back over this past year I have started a business or a new career or expanded the one I have. Maybe my finances are at a place where I don’t worry about money anymore. maybe over the past year I found the love of my life and feel content and happy. I can say I have done all of these over the course of many years. however, there have been many more years that I took baby steps, small strides and if you would have asked me how my past year was I would say I barely made it through. Those particular years are the ones where I must give myself Grace.
This is a really good time for me to pull out a journal and look back. I will begin listing all of the small things that made me feel loved and all the ways that I was able to touch another life and hopefully created love for someone else. Thinking back about a few years that I would consider hard or years where I didn’t feel I was growing much, I think of those years as winter in my life. Just like we have the four seasons in nature, spring, summer, winter and fall. We notice in the winter there’s no leaves on the trees and everything seems baron.
There’s been several Times in the fall where I have planted new little baby trees. During the winter I can’t see that they’re doing anything and in fact they almost look dead to me. But at last spring time comes and I notice the little tender green leaves popping out all over the trees. In fact, when I stand beside the tree lo and behold the tree grew probably a foot. And I’m sure with all the new leaves and The new height of the tree that the roots must have grown larger and bigger and deeper into the earth. I just wasn’t able to see it with my naked eye. But I know for a fact that it was growing the whole time. This is what happens to me on those off years. When it looks as though I haven’t accomplished much. If you were to ask my friends or family they would say yeah Lori’s probably about the same as she was last year. But I know!!
I know in those times of winter that I too have allowed my roots to dig deep. I have also grown taller just like the trees. My soul has gotten richer and hopefully stronger, more loving and more kind. These are the years that make us more beautiful . These are the years that for outside appearances it may appear that we haven’t grown at all but we know on the inside we are growing more beautiful every day.! So my friend give yourself some grace. Life is not always about accomplishing more, bigger and greater things externally. But growing in our spirit into a more beautiful, warm, kind and loving human. In the quiet times of life allow yourself time to grow at deeper levels. For out of deep wells comes freshwater!
All my love, Lori
Please let us know the service you're interested in and we'll contact you with further information.