Merry Monday Passengers…Time to “FILL UP!!!” so we can make it through the week. But first…the Mood Music:
This is a wonderful collection of thoughts that I would like to share. Join me as I fill up the train…and myself.!
Ever wake up and don’t want to get out of bed? Ever wonder lord why me? Ever fall asleep wondering how you made it through another day? Ever spend an evening alone thinking how you can be where you are today? Ever wonder why the chic down the street acts like trash but is married and you’re not? Ever think about how someone else’s child seems to be on the right path and yours acts like they have lost their mind?
Ever wonder why your finances are always messed up and you can never see light at the end of the tunnel? Ever wonder why Ms. Thang next door is so cute and fine and you have a hard time staying away from the table and keeping ten pounds off?
Ever think about why your husband seems to be the only one in your circle of friends that still hasn’t gotten himself together?
Ever wonder why the person you love doesn’t love you back?
The answer all of these questions could have me writing for days.
But, if any of these are you, the Holy Spirit sent me by today to give you some extra fuel. You wake up and keep going because God has a plan for you (Jer 29:11). You make it day by day because God ain’t through with you yet. You’re alone or single because God is doing some things in you. Don’t get it twisted!
It’s not that he “just hasn’t found you;” it’s also because if he did find you, you wouldn’t be ready! God is perfecting some things within you. Stop looking around thinking it’s the other person. Nope! It’s you! There may be something wrong with them, but before you hook up, God wants to get some things right with you!
So, stop looking around wondering why God seems to be passing out blessings, but for some reason He passed your door! God passed your door on purpose. Don’t talk about other people’s glory, because you don’t know their story!
Lord Help Me Somebody! You don’t know why the no good girl down the street is married. You don’t know how she got her man, and you don’t know what she’s going through to keep him! Remember, the bible says, the wealth of the wicked is laid up for the righteous! My brother, my sister, that’s YOU!
We are so quick to look at what God is doing in others. We have to learn to pay more attention to what God is doing in self. I know it’s hard…because the truth is; you think you have it all together. You think you’re ok! With a few adjustments, and you’ll be ahead of your game! Think again…those few adjustments are just the areas that God needs to fix before He moves you forward. Do the Godly things “in spite of” that disobedient child, and/or dishonorable husband, and watch them watch you as God fixes the situation. You are the change agent! As they see the change in you, they’ll be inspired to move! Fuel is what you need. Yes, you need fuel to be what God has you to be. Well, did you stop by the fuel station? The church? That’s where your main source of fuel comes from. If not, be not dismayed, God is so awesome, that He sent fuel right to your front door in the form of an email. He’s awesome like that! He knew just what you’d need, when you need it! Now that you have it, what are you going to do with it?
Don’t be stingy; God is getting ready to work. Give this fuel in the form of action to yourself, then your children, husband, coworkers, whoever may need it! Pass it on! God gave it to you, so that you might give it to others. Go ahead, don’t be afraid…remember, if He did it for you, He’ll do it for us ALL!
This is your fuel for the week. Don’t keep it to yourself, send someone to the the LifeTrain!
Welcome back to another week on the Train, the LifeTrain. This week may I suggest the following for us…this week and beyond, “CARPE DIEM!”
As you board the train this week I hand you a white business card with simple blak lettering. It reads:
Don’t wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great!~Orison Swett Marden
One of the reasons I started to blog eight years ago was to hold myself accountable. As the days go by, I want to spread the word to continue to
raise my personal accountability level.
This concept has enabled me to take chances that I never could have imagined. This experience has benefited me greatly. I initiated contact with strangers who are now my closest friends.
I have done things that brought smiles to people having a boring, routine day. I have been able to introduce myself to others in a more confident way. I even got the opportunity to start a ministry: www.PRAYING4YOU.org.
If you need a little help putting yourself out there and becoming more assertive, you may find these reminders helpful:
1. Not trying guarantees you won’t get what you want.
Part of the reason why people hesitate to make an initial move in any situation is their fear of rejection.
If you’re in a big group of people and want to share your idea, you face the fear of rejection. If you want to share your feelings with someone you care about, you face the fear of rejection. If you want to ask for a promotion in a job, you face the fear of rejection.
MERRY MONDAY! Don’t forget this, this week….
However, if you do not act, you’ll never know if they would’ve accepted your offer. Not being assertive and letting the moment slip away gives you a 100% chance of not getting what you want.
2. People aren’t looking to hurt you.
Many of the negative outcomes we imagine are, in fact, imaginary. The majority of people are going to be polite once you say hi to them or initiate conversation. Many times people will do what they can to fulfill your request.
From what I’ve experienced, people feel terrible if they have to reject you—but sometimes it is a good thing when they do. You wouldn’t want a potential date to accept your invitation unless the person was interested, right?
3. We don’t need other people’s approval.
The girl you tried to talk to tells you to get lost. The group laughs at your idea. These are risks worth taking to seize possibilities.
4. Strangers around the situation aren’t paying attention.
Sometimes when we hold back, it’s because we feel self conscious with people watching. But think about it—do strangers really care about what you’re doing? Most of the time, they’re not even paying attention. If they are, so what? Does it really matter?
I started conversing with someone on the bus today and so many people turned their heads towards me that I thought I woke everyone up. I decided to tune them out because their thoughts didn’t affect the outcome of my conversation.
Even if they had some sort of judgment, they were entitled to that. It didn’t affect me.
5. The three-second rule can work wonders.
Ideally, it is good to talk to someone within three seconds of seeing them so that anxiety can’t form in your mind. Once more time elapses, it becomes more difficult. Save yourself the trouble and act as soon as the instinct arises.
6. Accept mistakes and don’t be too hard on yourself.
All Aboard! This week….The LifeTrain!
I’m pretty sure I have said things that were a bit awkward or with the wrong tone of voice. Making mistakes is a part of learning how to become assertive.
At some point, everyone has said something that felt like the wrong thing. No matter how badly you messed up, feel positive about yourself because you took a chance.
7. Realize your negative thoughts aren’t facts.
Nothing holds us back like negative self talk. Find your own personal way to overcome the negative idea.
It may help to mentally isolate the negative emotion and realize it’s separate from you. What works for me is to imagine a metaphorical mirror that reflects everything I suspect people are thinking about me. I then put a cover over the mirror to avoid that trap. Our actions and words stem from our mindset.
When I have a hard time being assertive, I remember that moment when I didn’t share my feelings and a girl I loved slipped away. Now I ask myself: Would I would rather risk rejection, or have to wonder, “What if?”
ALL ABOARD!!! Kick it (Your musical accompaniment)
Fellow passengers, as I said in part I (scroll down the train, the West Wing Part I), whether you are interested in politics or not, is one of the best shows of all time in my opinion. You may not care which party wins the election, but The West Wing is about more than that. It’s about how you navigate through the world, where there is politics involved in nearly everything. The writing is exceptional, and the cast is perfect. It appeals to both the mind and the heart.
I learned so much from the West Wing series…it fed my mind…and my heart.
To look at it from a higher level, it’s about how to have ideals, how to dream big, and then how work to make them happen in the real world which is inevitably full of constraints.
There were numerous lessons to be learned, but here I want to share with you the five main lessons that jumped out at me:
There is always enough time to live your purpose.
Bartlett and his staff manage to make decisions about a nation, attend parties, play chess, do press briefings, write speeches, read memos and God knows what. That’s fictional. But the same thing applies to Presidents and Prime Ministers all around the world. Leaders like Gandhi and Mandela who made a difference. CEOs of ground-breaking companies who get stuff done. Yes, they all have staff, but any manager with half-decent skills will tell you that motivating and managing people is a job in itself.
All of these people have the same time as you do. So how is that some of these guys manage to run a country in 24 hours, but some people don’t have time for that book they always wanted to write?
Everyone needs a support system
No one has all the skills. Your weakness is someone else’s specialty. Get the right people in the right roles, and let them get on with it. Don’t just create a team of people who agree with you. Create a team of people who believe in your purpose. Those are the guys you want on your side. They will challenge you, they will disagree with you, they might even yell at you….but the results will be better because of it.
Be Authentically Passionate
Authenticity gives credibility to passionate expression. When you speak about something that you wholeheartedly believe in, it shows up through fire in your eyes and enthusiasm in your voice.
Everyone has to compromise
Know when to accept defeat gracefully. The price of authenticity is that everyone has the same right, and as people are not the same, opinions differ. Your opinion will not always win. Your cause is not the only just cause.
Don’t be with people who block you
They don’t have to help you, but they shouldn’t hinder you. If you are driven to do something, then you shouldn’t have to give that up because someone wants you home at 5 pm. If that fire within you isn’t used towards your purpose, it will consume you.
Before I give the parting call of ALL ABOARD! Let me leave you with a clip that almost made me…you’d have to know the full story…
Hey Passengers I typically give you a business card as you board but, today I am giving you a Post card that reads:
This guy’s walkin’ down a street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep he can’t get out. A doctor passes by and the guy shouts up, “Hey you! Can you help me out?” The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole, and moves on. Then a priest comes along and the guy shouts up, “Father, I’m down in this hole; can you help me out?” The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on. Then a friend walks by. “Hey, Joe, it’s me. Can ya help me out?” And the friend jumps in the hole. Our guy says, “Are ya stupid? Now we’re both down here.” The friend says, “Yeah, but I’ve been down here before and I know the way out.
Taken from the West Wing, the topic of this week’s series on life and leadership. Kick it! (Today’s song for the post)
I didn’t intend to get sucked into West Wing but, I did. In fact, I was always one of those people who said, “how do these people have time to watch a TV series?” Then it happened…
The Bible, The West Wing and “Who Moved My Cheese”…must sees!
I was visiting close friends in Atlanta and they shared with me that they had started watching the award-winning West Wing TV drama that ran from 1999 – 2006. I came home and decided to watch ONE episode. Well, I ended up paying for and downloading all the series, yes, all the years, And I’ve binged watched them several times gleaning new information from them each and every time, each and every episode. You might say I’m hooked, actually … addicted.
But do you know what caught me totally by surprise? It turns out there are really powerful Biblical as well as leadership lessons in each episode. They are not just leadership lessons, but life and biblical as well. The way President Bartlett leads, the staff interactions, the battles they fight with their constituents, the way they treat each other and other people. Now maybe, this is a gross rationalization for continuing to watch the show. But, at least I am now investing this leisure time with a different eye.
Like all of us here riding the LifeTrain, I encounter many challenges. I have been exposed to the greatest of military and civilian leadership…and unfortunately the worst. But, in each case I have been able to either deal with or appreciate this leadership more having studied the lessons in this series. As a matter of fact if I were to own my own company again (and I ‘m serious) you would not manage in my organization without viewing this series and reading the book “Who Moved My cheese”.
So, I hope you will profit from just a few simple lessons I have been reminded of on leading well.
Leadership Lessons from the West Wing
Be decisive. Seek the facts, (pray), make decisions.
Move quicker. There is much to do.
Build your team with people you know and believe in.
Truly care about each individual on your team.
Have high expectations.
Treat your “enemies” with respect and dignity.
I have a ton of West Wing stuff to share…Hope you’ll come back for more…Till then
Well passengers today, as promised we are stopping the train at the Lawoffice station. Today we continue with our recurring offer of Legal tips (Legally Speaking with Attorney Ewing Carter III). I am going to spare you our on-going debate as to who is the superior athlete at the beginning of each of these interviews and get right to it. But first…
Here we are at the legal station, let’s pick EC III’s brain. And remember feel free to comment and or send in some questions. Hey, free is free! But, on the real, if you have friends and relatives in the North Carolina, Piedmont Triad, tell them the LifeTrain conductor HIGHLY recommends this guy! Like he says…”He takes it personal!” (www.ecarterlaw.com ). He’s not much of an athlete but, in a court of Law, you definitely want this guy between you and the Judge.
EC III: HELLO!!! I can hear you! I can whip you in anything from jacks to hop scotch to the hoop! Chuckie: Whatever dude! Listen, with all the hype about football injuries, concussions and such, before we get started today I have a question. If my godson, EC IV was back in high school or even at Hampton Univ., where he’s a student
now, and he told you that he wanted to play football, would you allow him to play? I asked this question here on the “Train,” and you know how crazy I was when we played in high school……yep!……. and how much you admired me…. (grinning)….oops, I’m getting off track…What are your thoughts on this issue before we begin this week’s topic on “Legally Speaking.”
EC III: I would let him play in high school, if that’s what he wanted. I began playing when I was nine (9) years old. Football helped finance my undergraduate degree and I was able to meet some very good friends, so the experience was good for me. But I think that starting to play tackle football in college for the first time, is ill-advised, and I would be against it.
Chuckie: Ok, cool. I was pondering over if there was a CPD III would I let him play. More on that in another day’s post. Now, here’s the deal for today. I pumped you in terms of your one ability that I can vouch for, the law and being a Lawyer. And I was thinking how I prepare to speak with my Doctor, accountant and even my minister. I prepare with notes and even images showing my doctor “where it hurts”. Now there is a question in here somewhere. How important is it for the passengers to understand the importance of coming totally clean to one’s attorney? EC III: Well Mr. Conductor, a good conversation piece. As an attorney I’m actually glad you brought this up; in a way I get to purge.
EC III: We have all heard a portion of this phrase recited by a Clerk of Court to a testifying witness about to take the stand: “Please place your left hand on the Bible and raise your right hand — Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God? And this is your solemn promise or affirmation? Answer: “I do.” Chuckie: Right, ok…
EC III: Well for the sake of understanding let’s create a scenario: You have a looming legal problem that you’ve procrastinated about for some time. You’ve finally called a lawyer and scheduled and office consultation to discuss the matter and you’re feeling apprehensive, distrustful, and somewhat embarrassed by the problem. You were hoping that the problem would just go away or resolve itself over time — but it hasn’t. Now, you’re about to meet this lawyer who you’ve heard about, but don’t know. Your thoughts are — how much is this going to cost? Do I have to appear in court and testify? How long does this entire process take? What is the likely outcome? Do I have the right lawyer?
EC III: These are all normal thoughts and concerns, now let’s use them to your advantage during your first meeting with your prospective attorney.
Rule #1: Begin by telling your lawyer everything about your case from the beginning to the end. Well, you may wonder: Why do I have to tell this person everything? Some of this stuff is personal and none of his business, and should not have anything to do with my case. ….If those are your thoughts, you may be mistaken.
While you’re sitting across from the lawyer evaluating whether you want to hire them, they are deciding whether they want you as a client. I can say from my own personal experience, that an important element in
determining whether I choose to represent someone or not is: that person’s ability to be forthcoming and honest about their problem. As human beings, none of us are mind readers. If you don’t tell your lawyer, doctor, accountant, or any professional, everything about your case, regardless of how bad you think it is…. you are setting yourself up for disappointment. I’ve heard a lot of “stuff” in legal cases over the years. However, It’s somewhat amazing how a good legal remedy can be fashioned around a bad set of facts. For this to happen, the lawyer must be made aware of everything that has happened and should not have to guess what happened, or waste time persuading the client “to tell it all.” It is frustrating and embarrassing to be working with someone and to get “blind-sided” by a crucial fact that now hurts your case, because your legal counsel wasn’t put on notice and had time to prepare for it. So remember, your answer to the question: Do you solemnly swear to tell your lawyer the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God, concerning the facts of your case? “I do.”
Tell Your Lawyer the truth! The whole truth! Nothing but the truth!
Chuckie: Well, once again, good stuff Mr. Law guy! The whistle is blowing so…All Aboard! EC III: Must you be so loud?
Oh passengers before we pull out, in case you were wondering, I am to this day the superior athlete! And since I control the content of the LifeTrain, there will be no rebuttal!!! LOL!
And that’s the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth!
A while back, I wrote a blog post about giving people the benefit of the doubt, and suggested, as I often do, that people rarely intend to be hurtful.
Someone wrote in the comments that I’ve obviously never encountered a sociopath. This got me thinking about the many times I’ve heard women refer to men they’ve dated as sociopaths and narcissists. It occurred to me that many of those men likely treated them horribly, but may not have had mental disorders. There are sociopaths out there, but more often than not when people hurt us, it’s not because of psychiatric diagnoses. It’s because they’re hauling around pain from their pasts and crashing it into everyone they meet.
Thank you for riding with me…All Aboard!
When someone knowingly manipulates or uses others, or deliberately tries to control or intimidate them and they aren’t mentally ill, it’s rarely a happy, well-adjusted person who simply decided to be heartless and cruel. In understanding this, we can be compassionate—but that doesn’t mean we need to willingly accept mistreatment. The question then becomes: how do we know when to give someone the benefit of the doubt, and when to withhold it?
Last week a reader shared an insightful Oprah quote that read, “When people show you who they are, believe them.” While I don’t believe any one action defines who someone is, I think there’s something to this. Actions speak louder than words. And repeated actions are what shape our character and reputation. If someone says they want to spend time together but repeatedly fails to show up, they are communicating that they aren’t willing to follow through on their promises. If someone says they’re trustworthy but repeatedly lies, they are communicating that their word can’t be trusted. If someone says they want to change but repeatedly fails to make an effort, they are communicating that they aren’t willing to do things differently.
Acknowledging this isn’t forming judgments. It’s recognizing the facts so that we can make a wise choice based on how things are—not how we want them to be. We may recognize we’re being mistreated and choose to set and enforce a boundary. We all deserve second chances, and sometimes a third or fourth. But other times we need to open our eyes so that we know when enough is enough.
It’s never our fault when someone else hurts us, but it’s within our power to stop allowing it.
Hey Passengers, All Aboard and Merry Monday! Let’s start this week out with a smile and a smooth stride down the tracks here on the LifeTrain. For those of us who may have to travel through a storm or two this week remember, there is peace in the midst of the storms!
Kick it (today’s song for this post):
Peace is not just the absence of a storm, but rest in the middle of the storm. Many of us could use that kind of peace right now, and it is the kind of peace that you can have right now if you’re resting where you ought to be.
Peace be still this week…
As our headlines have become dominated with new dangers and so many hearts have been struggling with new anxieties and fears, we’re ready for the incredible peace offered in Psalm 46. It is good news for troubled times and should be our word for every day! “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” The more troubled things are, the more present God makes Himself. The psalmist then says, “Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” Everything’s collapsing, even things that have always been there for us. Have no fear because “God is our refuge and strength.”
I know each Monday we espouse about the virtues of making Monday’s Merry. I know that the below is for someone today (and perhaps tomorrow). So, please check out the story below, consider passing it on or letting someone you know who might need this, have them come here, to the Train.
And oh yeah, as per LiFeTrain protocol, Monday’s are never blue…they are Merry…so “Merry Monday”.
Three trees were discussing their hopes and dreams when the first tree said, ‘Someday I hope to be a treasure chest. I could be filled with gold, silver and precious gems. I could be decorated with intricate carving and everyone would seethe beauty.’ Then the second tree said, ‘Someday I will be a mighty ship. I will take kings and queens across the waters and sail to the corners of the world. Everyone will feel safe in me because of the strength of my hull.’
Finally the third tree said, ‘I want to grow to be the tallest and straightest tree in the forest. People will see me on top of the hill and look up to my branches, and think of the heavens and God and how close to them I am reaching. I will be the greatest tree of all time and people will always remember me.’
After a few years of praying that their dreams would come true, a group of woodsmen came upon the trees.
When one came to the first tree he said, ‘This looks like a strong tree, I think I should be able to sell the wood to a carpenter,’ and he began cutting it down.
The tree was happy, because he knew that the carpenter would make him into a treasure chest. At the second tree the woodsman said, ‘This looks like a strong tree, I should be able to sell it to the shipyard.’ The second tree was happy because he knew he was on his way to becoming a mighty ship.
When the woodsmen came upon the third tree, the tree was frightened because he knew that if they cut him down his dreams would not come true. One of the woodsmen said, ‘I don’t need anything special from my tree, so I’ll take this one’, and he cut it down.
When the first tree arrived at the carpenters, he was made into a feed box for animals. He was then placed in a barn and filled with hay. This was not at all what he had prayed for. The second tree was cut and made into a small fishing boat. His dreams of being a mighty ship and carrying kings had come to an end.
The third tree was cut into large pieces and left alone in the dark. The years went by, and the trees forgot about their dreams. Then one day, a man and woman came to the barn. She gave birth and they placed the baby in the hay in thefeed box that was made from the first tree. The man wished that he could have made a crib for the baby, but this manger would have to do. The tree could feel the importance of this event and knew that it had held the greatest treasure of all time.
In the midst of any storm this week, remember….Peace be still…
Years later, a group of men got in the fishing boat made from the second tree. One of them was tired and went to sleep. While they were out on the water, a great storm arose and the tree didn’t think it was strong enough to keep the men safe. The men woke the sleeping man, and He stood and said ‘Peace’ and the storm stopped. At this time, the tree knew that it had carried the King of Kings in its boat.
Finally, someone came and got the third tree. It was carried through the streets as the people mocked the man who was carrying it. When they came to a stop, the man was nailed to the tree and raised in the air to die at the top of a hill. When Sunday came, the tree came to realize that it was strong enough to stand at the top of the hill and be as close to God as was possible, because Jesus had been crucified on it.
The moral of this story is that when things don’t seem to be going your way, always know that God has a plan for you. If you place your trust in Him, He will give you great gifts.
Each of the trees got what they wanted, just not in the way they had imagined. We don’t always know what God’s plans are for us. We just know that His ways are not our ways, but His ways are always best.
Welcome aboard once again, glad we are starting the week out together.
KICK IT! (The music for today’s post, like wine with your meal):
The # one LifeTrain rule: NEVER GIVE UP!!!
As I started my week off this morning shaving my bald dome I marveled with disappointment in myself. Like most Homo-sapiens I sometimes lament over past mistakes and bad decisions. But, I reminded myself that like EVERY one else, I am “perfectly Imperfect”.
It’s during these times that I tap into what is rather cathartic for me, turn on music and WRITE (about what’s troubling me). So I headed to the keyboard. All the while something was whispering to my spirit, my soul, psyche and mind about
bad decisions made and what ifs. What if at the fork in the road I should’ve gone left instead of right? Why could I have made such a stupid decision? Why am I not perfect, why am I not a Vulcan, devoid of emotions. Why am I so, so human (LOL)? Fortunately I stay buried in research (and the Bible) so that at just such times of doubt I can refer to logic, faith and Christ.
I quickly reminded myself that I cannot undo the past. I also decided to share my thoughts so that when this type of thing hits you, maybe even this week you can employ some of my
But I realize, God made us Human and there are no such things as Vulcans…
tools. For example, as much as possible I will always try to obtain counsel. In difficult decisions it’s wise to get spiritual and practical counsel from the godly leaders in your life. A pastor,
elder, parent, or simply a mature believer can often contribute important insight, answer questions, remove doubts and confirm inclinations. Make sure to choose individuals who will
offer sound biblical advice and not just say what you want to hear. Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.~ Proverb 15:22
Remember, and this a “BIG” one for me…Sometimes your heart and feelings can trick and mislead you. And, sometimes you can be too heady, intellectual and become stuck in paralysis of analysis. Don’t just “brainstorm.” A more holistic
approach is to engage your brain, heart and spirit. This week, be prayerful asking God to speak to your heart and mind.
QUOTE: “Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around.”
This week, join me in being creative and willing to think outside the box of comfort, tradition and people pleasing. AND! …and may we always remember we can’t afford to blame or expect everyone to understand and co-sign our decisions.
Another BIG one for me is to forever keep in mind is to NOT be in denial or fantasize. We all must consider the alternatives, risks and consequences.
As you hop off the train I will hand each and every one of you an index card. It reads:
How will our decisions this week (and going forward) impact our relationships, health, income, integrity, time, values, opportunities, career, character, education, travel, peace of mind, etc?
I suggest KAIZEN. That is a Japanese word for gradual and continuous improvement.
…1/10 of 1% continuous improvement.
One more thing if I may…There may come a time this week when you might need to remember…”When the world comes tumbling down …Please, just…
“MAKE THE BEST OF WHAT’S STILL AROUND…”
I Hope you’ll continue to ride along with me in this thing called Life…here on the LifeTrain…
ALL ABOARD!!! So glad you decided to hop aboard and ride the Train with me today!
KICK IT!!! The Mood, (The music for today’s post)
Summer is turning gently, slowly, gracefully around to reveal Fall’s first crisp breeze and first brightly colored leaf. It’s a perfect time of year to revamp on the inside, to literally turn over a new leaf and reveal a fresh and improved version of ourselves. I think we can learn a lot about change from observing good old Mother Nature:
We can witness how those luscious, sweet, balmy summer nights slowly transition into something crisper, softer, cooler. It’s quite a breathtaking process. The shift takes place so gradually—just a tiny, little bit each day, building steadily towards the season’s change. Nothing is ever forced.
Fall does not walk in and scream to summer, “Get out!” and we should not do this with ourselves either. A seemingly slight change that isn’t twisted or forced can transform us more deeply than we know.
As I’ve (very frustratingly) realized, the more I push for results, the less I see them.
It can feel like a cruel trick, right? But, as we watch the seasons shift, it’s a good reminder to revel in the beauty of our inner process. We are all always transitioning, in one way or another. Although I often want immediate change, I’ve (also very frustratingly) realized, this is rarely how it goes.
All Aboard!!! The LifeTrain!!!
It can be so difficult to sit back and have faith, but that is exactly what we need to learn to do, above all else. Look to nature, and see how she beautifully trusts that summer will turn to Fall. This process is not questioned; rather, it’s supported and allowed to unfold exactly as it needs. We need to mirror this more passive, supportive attitude within ourselves.
On the inside, we are often changing seasons, too.
Personally, I’m trying to transition from the harsh and unforgiving season of “ Intense Anxiety” into the more calm and collected season of “Balance and Confidence.”
There are so many steps on the way. Each of them is equally important, even though sometimes the whole process can be difficult to accept. Some days, it feels like I haven’t changed at all. My mind races, and my anxiety surrounds me like a heavy black cloud, following me relentlessly wherever I go. But, there are also days where the anxiety is only there in the background, as though it’s been dialed down to a “low” setting.
On the hard days, it’s hard to remember that the good days exist.
At times, I feel incredibly discouraged and disappointed, and it seems useless to continue to work on myself. Instead of wallowing in my self-pity (with a double cheese, pepperoni pizza and Netflix), I try to make it a practice to look to nature:
It strikes me deeply how despite anything, she is sturdy and unquestioning in herself. She is so darn confident in her process. Sometimes, this makes me feel worse, envious even. But, sometimes, it inspires me to pause for a moment and be more confident and unquestioning in my own process.
It inspires me to embrace my frustration, to scream and cry if I feel the need. Who’s to say that this, too, is not part of the journey down the tracks on the LifeTrain? Maybe it’s actually quite a beautiful and key part.
It’s all about the balance…All Aboard!
As I’m slowing and moving from anxiety to balance, it feels very much like shifting from the hot, intense sun of Summer to the fresh breeze of Fall. I’m just beginning my change, and thankfully nature is there to remind me that this is perfectly okay.
All of these steps, these feelings, and these difficulties are a part of the transition: the beautiful, at times maddening transition on the journey down these tracks to becoming ourselves.
Whatever inner season we are moving towards, let’s try to embrace the exquisiteness of the process. And, as the leaves start to change, it reminds us that we can, too.