As I was driving home from town today I was watching the snow melt and the water run in the ditches. It was sparkling in the sunshine and flowing along. In some places it was gently flowing, other places, it lay in pools almost resting and yet others it was aggressively rushing by. It seems to find its own path, carving its way. If something or someone blocks its way, it just finds another way. The water follows the natural path, using gravity to help it finds its direction. It doesn't fight the system.
Watching the water made me think about my own life. Some days I flow along smoothly, everything is going well and I am realizing my visions and dreams. Other days I rest; take time to catch my breath, before moving again. And then there are the days when something gets me stuck. The waters back up and I get frustrated. I push forward head down and yet my way seems blocked. Someone, something or maybe it is myself is getting in the way.
What I was reminded of today is that there is always a path. I just can’t always see it. And unlike the water, I get caught up in my thoughts, worries and fears that sometimes prevent me from relaxing and flowing the way I need to. If there was a way for me to rise above and see things from a bigger point of view, I might see possible easier paths in front of me. And yet there is a way. In coaching we call it perspectives. To be able to see things from different views allows us to see ways to get unstuck and begin flowing again.
I have many ways of seeing things from different perspectives. Yes, my coach is wonderful at helping me to see that. I also use my journaling to see things from different angles. I am dabbling in dream interpretation and meditation to open myself to other ideas. And of course, I love the conversations with my family and friends who share their ideas and reflect back what they see in me. And before long, I am finding new directions and my river starts sparkling along again, like a little brook flowing in the sunshine…my Silver River!
I am at the airport getting ready to board my first of three different planes home from San Jose. I have to get connections in Los Angeles and Edmonton, with several hours layover at each location. In Los Angeles I will have to switch terminals twice, going on a shuttle and then a bus in between. I have a long 12-hour day ahead of me for sure! I’ve just come out of the bathroom frustrated with myself. No, I didn’t wet myself. Once again I am realizing I have too much shit! When you can’t get in and out of a bathroom stall without getting stuck you know you have too much baggage.
Each trip I vow to be different and yet it never is. My luggage was full of stuff I never used. I had to open my suitcase at check-in to take out some heavier items and putting them in my carry on revealing my sexy bras for all to see! My carry-ons are another story. They are overflowing and heavy. I end up with sore arms and shoulders as I lug them through airport terminals. Crazy!
As I sit hear and reflect, waiting for my flight to be called, I realize how this is reflective of many areas in my life. Often as I go through day-to-day journeys, I lug around excess baggage with me. I carry big bags of judgment, fear, blame, and insecurities abound. Never knowing from one minute to the next, what I might need, I pack a variety of clothes, on a real journey and it seems in life, I am prepared to unpack whatever emotion I think fits the occasion as well.
When I step into some of my parenting journeys, I bring the bags that are packed with the way I was raised as a child and my fears of not measuring up to my parent’s expectations. I bring all the judgments of myself and with that, my own expectations that I need to be perfect. I’ve taught parenting skills for years to other parents; I’ve mentored employees to do the same. I should know how to do it “right”. And then I cram into the bag the doubts about things I probably have done wrong over the years to have created this parenting dilemma (I knew I should have limited T.V. watching!) This baggage is heavy and at time has holes in it with stuff falling out.
As I am journeying down my path of entrepreneurship, I bring a few extra bags full of second guesses, insecurities, opinions of others, fears and doubts. I have worry that sits in a back pack on my shoulder and weighs me down some days. Will I get more clients, do people find value in my training, am I really a good speaker? It stifles my ability to be creative and energized.
Other times on my trips, I pack the light stuff; the self-confidence, self-assurance and self-love. I pack forgiveness not only others, but for myself. I pack authenticity, which is this airy light practice of being real in everything I do. I cram my bag full of consciousness and mindfulness, allowing me to be open and present. I throw on an extra jacket of gratitude and a hat full of joy. And in all of the extra little pockets and slots, I jam my bags full of love! This kind of stuff is interchangeable no matter what the weather or the destination. It is reusable and never gets dirty. And most importantly, it doesn’t feel heavy and doesn’t weigh me down.
When I leave the heavy baggage behind, I stand up straighter and taller, I have more energy and enthusiasm and I enter into each step of the journey with a smile on my face. And I am excited about what adventure is in store for me. The lesson for me is to be more conscious of what I pack with me every day and make an effort to pack a little lighter! It will make life much more enjoyable.
I lead a full life full of love, adventure and growth. Check out my latest thoughts here.
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