A recent trip out of the country prompted a flurry of planning. What was originally a spontaneous vacation became more of a highly scheduled, specifically planned event the closer we became to the travel dates. In truth, this was a relief to me. I am not spontaneous. There is almost nothing in my life that is accomplished wihtout a plan. But my decision to take this trip was the precipice for a concerted effort to change my rigid behavior.
Yesterday I received an email from a reader asking the question.
"What do you do when you’re stuck? How do you moving ahead when you can’t stop thinking about everything that happened before - and everything that’s happening now?"
The answer is simply to keep going. Do not allow uncertainty and self-doubt control the moment. Do not allow the past to control your present. Put one foot in front of the other, walk forward and don’t look back.
When was the last time you felt bliss? Bliss that left you so full of happiness you felt as if your soul were opening to splash a rainbow of joy across the sky. As corny as that sounds, you know that feeling I’m talking about - that uncontainable happiness we all seek.
If you’ve been following this blog you know I recently rediscovered bliss. I proclaimed my happiness from mountaintops and shouted my joy at the top of my lungs. I made every effort to pick up others around me and carry them off in my joyful rapture. I stopped to savor as many moments as I could fearing it would end. And, inevitably, it did.
One of my greatest longings - that nagging thing I wanted more than anything in the world - was to be accepted. I think this is a natural desire. My search for it, perhaps not so natural… and the acceptance I craved, illusive and seemingly unattainable, occupied an obsessive corner of my mind - sometimes venturing out of that hiding place and completely overwhelming my thoughts.
For a long time it was hard for me to understand how I could accept myself and be accepted by others without being perfect - or at least making visible attempts to fix my flaws. I took every criticism personally, and sometimes even the smallest comment would send me into days of self-analysis and self-criticism.
All of this constant self-judgement started and ended with my fear of not being accepted - not finding love - and not being “good enough”.
My heart has been abandonded, abused and broken. Among the shattered pieces my insecurities and failures are exposed. I want so much to embrace the lonliness and fear - to leave the open wound bleeding and allow the uncertainty to flow. I long to nuture each shattered piece individually back to health and join it with the other pieces - returning it to something complete and more beautiful than it was before.
You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on them. You don’t let them have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.
I’ve been so lucky to be involved with many amazing organizations, blogs and sites the past few months. Women With Drive is a beautiful organization, led by the beautiful Molly Cantrell-Kraig, helping women in transition identify and overcome barriers to independence.
This is an excerpt from a post that originally appeared on the Women With Drive blog. (follow the link at the end for the full post):
I’m learning that it is possible to be Type A and still allow my focus to remain on absorbing every moment as it arrives. I understand now that who I am is not defined by what I do, but by how I participate in the present moment. My value is not in what I accomplish, but what I contribute.
I am here in this moment for a reason. That reason is to absorb, to listen, to learn, to give, and to appreciate this process. These are the moments that propel me to accomplish and grow. These are the moments that will be with me on my journey and provide a lifetime of beautiful memories.
Earlier this week I was honored to be featured as a guest on The BridgeMaker. I have connected with several amazing people in the BridgeMaker community. If you’re not familiar with the site, please check it out.
My post there focused on miracles. Here’s an excerpt - follow the link for the full article:
… “I guess we expect miracles to make grand entrances. We imagine burning bushes, parting seas, and water turning into wine. But miracles are all around us.
Sometimes we are too consumed with worry, responsibilities, and the distractions of life to notice. Miracles come wrapped in gratitude and disguised as the air we breathe. They are in the peace of this moment.”