7 truths on and off the trail

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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?

What’s ‘in’ this season: new outlook, new you

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This past weekend, I joined another hiker for a six-mile trek through new-to-me desert terrain. As the two of us navigated the dusty trails, we discovered common interests and beliefs despite the decade that separates our birthdays. Recently, my friend quit her job because it interfered with her hikes, her yoga. Her sanity. Although she resides in a different season of her life than me—where her plans lean toward retirement—the outlook she embraces is one I strive for daily. My friend lives and breathes the old adage that there are seven days in a week and Someday isn’t one of them; that we need to do what we can [enjoy] now, so we can do it for years to come. I knew I couldn’t move the mountains ahead of me, but I could kick aside the bad habits and negative chatter that clutters my path and replace them with stepping stones—small, manageable changes—toward success. Regardless of the season.

What does your makeover look like?

 

A rebirth of sorts: happiness at last

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Re-birth
As the year draws to a close, and as I grasp tightly (kicking and screaming) the vestiges of my forties for a few days longer, I reflect on that for which I’m grateful: Those friends who have come and gone from my life—the ones who bless me daily, and those who served the sole purpose of teaching me (sometimes painful) lessons; the second chances I’ve been gifted, a new path to traverse—a clean slate, if you will. I’m energized by the possibilities, my heart lighter than ever. And as I step into this new season, I can honestly say I’ve discovered what I’ve been searching for all this time. The funny thing is it’s been right under my nose all along. Because when I finally stopped focusing on me—my needs, my expectations, my self—I understood for the first time what it means to be happy. So happy rebirthday to me… a fresh beginning to sparkle where I’m planted.

Where could you use a rebirth?

Image courtesy of Nongkran_ch at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

A fabulous life now, not Someday

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Seven days not Someday
It’s been a while since I’ve touched my blog, my muse relegated to the back seat, my nose, instead, buried between the pages of this book or that. My mental and physical well-being atop the list of priorities. Along with volunteering. Traveling. Holiday planning. Preparing a birthday bash to usher in a new season and, with that, envisioning the life I desire on the other side of fifty. Beyond fabulous, of course. Someday, I hope, writing will be my core vocation, although maybe not enough to relinquish the other stuff I fill my days with Today: like yoga and music ministry, time with family and friends. Plus the million and one tasks that keep the household running smoother than if I neglected to do my fair share; and work, because I enjoy a steady paycheck, the camaraderie of office life, a sense of purpose as part of a team. Perhaps my life is already fabulous. And Someday is already here.

Is Today the Someday you’ve always hoped for?

A soul-weary, dried-up muse

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Soul-weary_dried up muse

 

[Image credit: digitalart]

My muse is dried up and I feel soul weary. I want to write, I need to write … I have to write. But I don’t know what to write. So what is the remedy? Do I force myself to stare at a blank computer screen/piece of paper until inspiration strikes? Do I chalk off my dreams as silly whims? Do I give myself a break and identify that what I’m going through is a season and all seasons eventually change? Each of us processes setbacks differently. Reading, for me, is a perfect escape from reality. I think I’m going to read until I can’t read anymore—or until my muse is unstopped and I can fill up that one void only writing can satisfy. And just like anything else I’m going through—whether an emotional, mental or physical challenge—I need to remember to be gentle with myself. It could be that my soul is simply preparing for a much-needed breakthrough.

How do you recover from setbacks?

A brand new ending

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A new ending

[Image credit: njaj]

No one can go back and make a brand new start,
however anyone can start from now
and make a brand new ending.

This quote was written on a girlfriend’s Facebook wall, a sentiment that fits the season I’m currently in—one of new beginnings. It gives me hope that I can make the choice to start—making a change or whatever it is—at any time. I need this reassurance as I learn how to be a mom all over again to my daughter. After a falling out a couple of months ago, I think we both realize we cannot go back as if nothing happened to cause the discord between us. But we can strive to meet halfway and get to know each other as the individuals we are Today. Although there is no script, I believe that with open hearts, we’ll find our way to something better than we could possibly imagine.

Have you ever made a brand new ending by starting over … Today?

Beauty for ashes

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[Image credit: Danilo Rizzuti]

Just when the caterpillar thought the world
was over, it became a butterfly. ~ Proverb

My daughter knows how much I love butterflies.  Not necessarily the winged insect (although I think they are beautiful, delicate creatures), but rather what they mean to me in the bigger scheme of things: fortitude and new life.  This proverb is scrawled on the side of a mug I received for Mother’s Day, one of several hand-picked gifts for the special occasion.  It sits on my desk at work now, and each time I glance at it, I’m reminded that this new season of my life is actually filled with layers, not unlike a cocoon.  Currently, my health issues are one such layer.  But instead of getting stuck in this season, I realize that whatever is going on with my body is simply a necessary part of the growth process in order to thrive with wings intact — just like all of the other challenges life throws our way.  Sometimes it’s just growing pains, and other times it’s the real deal.  But the world is not over.  And as the lyrics of one popular song promise: I’m counting on beauty for ashes.

Are you a butterfly living in all its glory, or a caterpillar endeavoring to transform itself?