When all the butterflies die: look forward to new growth

Leave a comment

 

While scrolling through Facebook recently, I stumbled upon this quote: “That feeling you get in your stomach when your heart’s broken. It’s like all the butterflies died.” I know a few things about broken hearts and dead butterflies. Hope deferred. Unmet expectations. Loss and emptiness. But during this new season, I am compelled, now more than ever, to make sense of my path. To reclaim that feeling of contentment I talk about in “Try it on for size…” To don happiness as a daily accessory. To welcome new growth. For far too long my attention has been fixated inward on my needs and wants and disappointments. And it’s time for me to look outward and focus on those around me.  To take a break from the distractions and agendas and whatever else thwarts, rather than advances, my purpose. Hopefully, in time, as I breathe and pray, I will discover what makes me tick and who I’m supposed to be.

How do you know you’re on the right path?

Advertisements

#1 way to grow in every area of your life

Leave a comment

At my last acupuncture appointment, my practitioner inquired about a trip my husband and I took up north to celebrate our wedding anniversary. I told her the getaway proved a magical way to usher in our 30th year of marriage. I also shared that, in retrospect, the majority of our married life had always seemed effortless. This insight struck my husband and me recently after we experienced a falling out and realized that, over the past several years, we’d stopped investing: in each other. In us. Bottom line: When we begin to pursue separate interests more and communicate less, we invite apathy. When we fail to faithfully plant seeds of kindness and love, we foster discontent. But when we afford effort to make together time a priority, we cultivate connection. Here’s the takeaway, friends: what we feed (invest in) grows—whether it’s our vocation, education, bank account, spiritual life, health or relationships. Or even an addiction. And what we starve dies.

Where do you invest the most effort?

Photo source: http://www.erinbettis.com.

Got faith? Your story isn’t over yet.

Leave a comment

On any given weekend over the past several months, I’ve hung my “closed” sign, packed my bags and driven up north. Each time, these getaways prove a source of inspiration and a form of self-care. Opportunities to refresh from “the grind,” to rediscover and reconnect with who I am—a faith-filled wife, mother, sister, employee, friend, writer, yogi, hiker and dreamer. And what I desire out of this one life—simple pleasures like that first sip of liquid magic in the mornings before the sun makes its ascent; autumn’s burst of vibrant color; raw, belly laughter; music and books that stir my soul; a connection between two hearts. To be a light in the world. To make a difference. Yet even if a lone tear slips from my eye when plans fail, I still choose to be grateful, knowing it’s simply part of my story. One that’s not over yet. After all, when our faith is tested, our endurance earns a chance to grow.

How’s your faith life?

Finding hope in the most unlikely places

Leave a comment

 

On a Monday morning I drove to work as is my habit, my mind preoccupied with a litany of tasks I hoped to accomplish. In addition to eight hours on the job, I needed to pick up a couple prescriptions for an infection I’m battling, get to yoga to create a little breathing space and decide what color my painter will be painting my kitchen cabinets. Plus make room to practice my Spanish. Under my breath, I whispered prayers for close family and friends struggling with illness and grief, those undergoing surgery and others wrestling with financial and spiritual drought. When I pulled into my parking spot, my mind still flitting from thought to thought, a flowering branch caught my attention. Its peachy blossoms, the only blooms noticeable in my row of stalls, encouraged me with its new growth. A simple reminder—in the midst of shadows, hardships and yes, my friends, Monday mornings—that infused my spirit with restored hope.

What is something that renews your hope?

7 truths on and off the trail

Leave a comment

As I often do while hiking, I pray. I meditate. I search my soul and ask what it longs for most. I plot my goals or a story outline. While trekking through the desert this weekend, it’s as if life made a little more sense to me on and off the trail with these truths: 1) Danger is always possible: prepare for the unexpected and proceed with caution. 2) To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under the sun. 3) Remember where you came from: embrace your roots. 4) Keep your eyes open for love: it can show up in unlikely places. 5) Obstacles [aka mountains] are inevitable: it’s our choice whether to scale or avoid them. 6) If it’s meant to be, new growth finds a way. 7) When we think we’ve made it unscathed, another obstacle looms in our path: if it’s the same one, quit going around it and tackle it head on.

Which truth(s) can you relate to everyday life?

Be a miracle worker: start with yourself first

Leave a comment

What lies before us and what lies behind us
are small matters compared to what lies within us.
And when you bring what is within out into
the world, miracles happen.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Self-improvement: this term conjures up a bevy of images. To some, it might mean a healthier lifestyle by logging in extra Zzzzs each night or increasing water intake throughout the day. For others it could look like volunteering for the soup kitchen, learning a new skill, pursuing a creative outlet or taking online classes. There is no set formula for improving oneself. And, thankfully, it’s a lifelong process. For too many years, I played the part of victim (see #4 in my post “Let go…”)—complaining because nothing changed in a particular situation. But I realize that, in order for miracles to happen, I must change myself: First, by concentrating on my personal growth. And second, by being receptive to what lies ahead.

What area(s) can you improve upon to make miracles happen?

 

Sifting through the muck to reach the prize

Leave a comment

trials-blessings

What seems to us as bitter trials
are often blessings in disguise. ~ Oscar Wilde

For the past couple of weeks I’ve wrestled with psychological and emotional baggage that’s over 30 years in the making (and not flattering), which has also triggered a nasty case of monkey mind (also not pretty—see ‘Revisiting…’). Then add in to the mix an extra dose of restlessness that stems from myriad [new] dreams I dared dream and laid the foundation for last year, which I hope to begin living out in 2017. And most of the areas I’m working on will not and cannot realize change overnight. After all, it’s impossible to rush something you hope to last forever… or at least as long as you’re breathing. Any type of growth takes time. Healing—physical, emotional, spiritual or mental—takes time, too. I just need to remind myself of this while I wade through each trial to discover my own personal blessing.

Do you count them as today’s trials or blessings?

Image courtesy of fantasista at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Older Entries