Posts tagged ‘growth’

January 1, 2016

A new year’s wish: make mistakes

Happy New Year! Let’s set a path for the new year with this perfect quote from British author Neil Gaiman:

I hope that this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.

So . . . make new mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.

Best wishes for 2016. ❤

 

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December 6, 2015

She’s imperfect, but she tries

I love these lyrics from the song “Used to be Mine” by Sara Bareilles. Beautiful and touching. Sounds like so many women I know, myself included.

She’s imperfect, but she tries.
She is good, but she lies.
She is hard on herself;
She is broken and won’t ask for help.
She is messy, but she’s kind.
She is lonely, most of the time.
She is all of this mixed up
And baked in a beautiful pie.
She is gone but she used to be mine.

January 13, 2015

Adversity is an ally that helps you grow

I just finished reading Robyn Davidson’s excellent book Tracks, a bitingly candid account of Davidson’s mostly solo camel trek across 1,700 miles of Australian desert.

Davidson’s inner landscape understandably shifts considerably during her arduous journey. At one point, she falls into a deep depression and arrives at an observation that I think holds value for how we handle moments of despondency in our own lives:

In the past, my bouts of gloom and despair had led, like widdershins [water-worn gulleys] to the same place. And it seemed that at that place was a signpost saying, “Here it is,” here is the thing you must push through, leap free of, before you can learn any more. It was as if the self brought me constantly to this place — took every opportunity to show it to me. It was as if there was a button there which I could push if I only had the courage. If I could only just remember. Ah, but we always forget. Or are too lazy. Or too frightened. Or too certain we have all the time in the world. And so back up the ravines to the comfortable places . . . where we don’t have to think too much. Where life is, after all, just “getting by” and where we survive, half asleep.

What I take from Davidson’s words is this: life’s low moments often point us directly to the issues, challenges or shifts that really matter — the ones that we must, at some point, overcome or address in order to grow as people. To ignore these “signposts” and hightail it back behind the safety barriers does us no good in the long run. We grow through discomfort, not ease, and we must tackle discomfort head on in order to realize our full potential as human beings.

In this way, adversity becomes our ally — a partner and collaborator in the exercise of stretching our lives and our selves to new heights. We’d never get to the point of having to choose “leap or retreat” (“grow or stagnate”) if not for adversity constantly forcing us down the road upon which that choice lies.

The next time you are confronted with a “signpost” in your life, what will you do? Will you muster the courage to stride past it into the unknown, knowing that the true value of your life ultimately lies in this direction? Or will you quail, turn tail and scramble back to safety, mumbling excuses all the way? The direction is clear, but the choice is yours to make.

December 3, 2014

Let go of the pen in your hand

Thought for the day, courtesy of writer Mary Beth Danielson:

If growing up is the process of creating ideas and dreams about what life should be, then maturity is letting go again.

Life doesn’t follow any set script. Loose your grip on the pen in your hand — the pen that’s trying to write a storyline for the days and years ahead of you. Let that pen fall to the ground. Let it stay there. Free yourself from the bounds of any set destination. Allow life to come to you as it will.

Sometimes the act of letting go is actually the act of welcoming in.

November 12, 2014

It’s the heaviness in life that launches flight

I like this passage from the book The Road is How by Canadian naturalist Trevor Herriot:

Is there a way to love, I wonder, without ever scaring one another? Without the descent off rooftops and into old age, without knowing the fear in one another’s eyes? Somehow in this life, it is the heaviness that lets a bird launch into flight, and the uncertainty ahead that makes us walk new pathways.

In other words, take the fear with the love, the heaviness with the lightness, the uncertainty with the sureness, and be grateful. For without these former elements, we would never know the grace of the latter.

November 10, 2014

Find love by knocking down the walls around it

Thought of the moment, courtesy of Rumi:

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all barriers within yourself that you have built against it.

September 18, 2014

Destination (un)known

Thought for the day, courtesy of explorer Christopher Columbus:

You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.

Sometimes you just gotta jump on the boat and go.

August 30, 2014

Credo for a life well lived

At the end of her memoir The Second Journey, author Joan Anderson shares a list of personal guidelines that she wrote to remind herself how to remain grounded, present and open to continual growth in today’s over-busy, over-achieving society. Consider the list a permission slip of sorts: YOU have the right to these things, too!

Embrace change — knowing that life is always being reconfigured.
Befriend the person you are striving to become.
Welcome new paths. Enjoy the detours.
Strive to go deeper rather than just forward.
Know that most unnecessary demands come from the unfinished parts of self.
Beware of speed. It is often one’s undoing.
Wholehearted is the way. Half-hearted will kill you.
Harness your evolvement.
Let go of what is outlived to make room for the unlived.

If I have learned nothing else, it is that the journey [of life, of self] will always be unfinished.

August 26, 2014

Be patient, my dear, for the light will shine again

Thought for the moment, courtesy of Joan Anderson’s memoir The Second Journey:

Nothing worthwhile can be hurried — not the seasons, not birth or death, the coming of day, the moving into night; not a composition, a thought, a work of art, the form of a story. Patience is what makes each experience meaningful. Finding the time to be patient is what makes a life well lived.

Sometimes life hands you some real “lemons” of a moment. All you can do during these trying times is trust that the cycle of your experience will eventually swing back up into the positive again. Patience is key, but so is gentleness . . . gentleness with yourself, and with others, and with your heart, and with the hearts of others.

Life is ultimately circular in motion. What goes up must come down, but what goes down must come up again. Be patient; you will rise to the light again.

July 2, 2014

Unfurl, unrushed

Thought for the month, source unknown:

We grow one petal at a time.

Through thick and thin, good and bad, joy and sorrow, we grow slowly, delicately, one petal at a time.

With each new petal we unfurl, we become more beautiful.