Quit forcing the issue: a study in contrasts



During a solo hike on the Sonoran trails last month, I sought—as a matter of course—divine guidance pertaining to my vocation, my relationships and my spiritual, physical and emotional health. Oftentimes, it requires miles of silence, a veritable test in patience, for me to gain any type of clarity. That afternoon proved no different and, while I navigated the ins and outs of a new-to-me trail system, I sensed clear instruction: Quit forcing the issue. Although not quite the message I’d expected or hoped for, I understood the directive. For a planner like me, however, to sit back and go with the flow also illustrates a study in contrasts—not unlike the vibrant desert blooms fixed against a backdrop of rugged terrain. Yet, the moment I quit forcing the issue created space: to either freak out, or to growth within. To wallow in the challenges, or to celebrate the victories. Most important, it allowed the magic to unfurl.

What issue do you need to quit forcing?

#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.

Defining our identity


[Image credit: Salvatore Vuono]

How do you respond when someone asks the question what do you do?  Many people automatically list their vocation or occupation.  Is this how you define yourself?  Perhaps you’re a parent first, or maybe you’re a student while working full time selling coffee.  With the many hats we wear, it’s hard to whittle down the descriptors that provide a complete picture of who we are.  But sometimes we only have a few minutes or limited words in which we must convey our identity to a potential employer, new friend or prospective date.  In the past month, I’ve been asked several times what I “do.”  My answer has consistently been that I’m a publishing assistant and a writer.  Although I’m so much more, these seven words define my love of language and, I hope, a bent toward creativity and an open mind.  Perhaps I give off the vibe of struggling artist, as well.  Either way, I’m becoming what I believe.

In a few words, how do you define yourself?