The toddler looked to be about two years old. She had cute little blonde pigtails and wore a pink backpack with huge butterfly wings that fluttered as she moved. After examining leaves and twigs beside the pathway, she stood, took a couple of steps and fell flat on the ground.
After a few moments, this little one was back on her feet. There were no tears. Her expression told me falling was a frequent occurrence. Her mom looked at me and said, “That’s about the twenty-seventh time she’s fallen this morning.”
We had a brief conversation before I continued on my way. While still within earshot I heard, “Look at the way the lady lifts her feet when she walks. That’s what you need to do so you don’t stumble and fall so much.”
Since I was being used as an example, I made sure not to drag my feet!
When I am unhappy, uncertain or lack confidence, I tend to move in a way that holds me back. Both physically and mentally, I drag my feet. My steps forward become sluggish and unfocused. This can easily lead to me falling flat on my face. The more often I stumble and fall, the longer it takes to regain my momentum.
Sometimes the very act of lifting my feet and walking with purpose can change my outlook. Confident body movements translate to more positive and decisive thoughts.
With this in mind, I hope to practice confident strides forward, and decrease mental dragging of the feet (procrastination). Who knows what I may accomplish!
Diamond shaped tiles have been installed on the sidewalk on each side of the railway track. The image of a train is at the top with the words Look, Listen, Live, in large black letters beneath.
The purpose of these is clear. Barriers come across the road to stop vehicles when a train is approaching. Pedestrians, however, have no barriers on the sidewalk. I’m not sure how anyone could not be aware of an oncoming train, but it must happen, hence the warnings.
As well as a warning, the words on these tiles have come to symbolize something else for me. They point the way to a more fulfilling life.
I take the time to look around me. The faces of loved ones bring great joy. Vibrant colours of a sunrise signal the start of a fresh new day. Each season brings its own unique beauty. An artist’s canvas and written words on a page stimulate imagination. I am grateful for the gift of sight and the richness it brings to my life.
I listen to the laughter of children at play. Words of love and encouragement spoken by family and friends warm my heart. The melody of favourite music reaches deep within, bringing forth a myriad of emotions. Birdsong, a rushing river and the satisfying crunch of dry leaves under my feet remind me of everchanging possibilities. I am grateful for the gift of hearing and how it enhances my life.
It is when I take the time to look and listen that I can truly appreciate my countless blessings and live life to its fullest.
Canadian Geese have been absent from my local park for a few weeks. I thought they’d headed south for the winter but recently discovered that was not the case.
Several formations could be seen in the air near a large retention pond at the side of the highway. As I neared the pond, I was surprised to see the number of geese upon the water. There must have been hundreds of them.
It seemed that this was their practice area. I was fascinated to watch as small groups would take off, circle the area in ever widening loops, change leaders in their formation and land again. Honks of what I took to be encouragement and support, came from those on the water. It was as if they were cheering each other on.
Once again, the geese were showing me the importance of community. They were preparing to take off on an important journey and time spent practicing together would help ensure a more successful trip.
What do you do when you’re preparing for a challenging new part of your life’s journey? Do you stress and attempt to figure it out on your own? Or, do you seek advice and encouragement from those who understand and support your goal?
I have had others come alongside me when the route to my destination was unclear. Sometimes they had previously travelled this way and were willing to share what they had learned. Other times I was asked questions that helped me gain clarity. Always, their encouragement enabled me to reach new heights.
It is my desire to be part of a supportive community for others. I’m happy to encourage and pay forward what I have learned. My support in helping someone prepare for takeoff helps both of us to soar.
Gravity was nothing I thought about until the aging process made it difficult to ignore. Each day it seemed like my body parts were being drawn closer to the core of the earth.
Droopy eyelids were the first to catch my attention. From there, other areas followed suit. Some were obvious and others could be forgotten until I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Why was the person who looked back at me so much older than I felt?
Hanging upside down in an effort to reverse the condition was not going to work. I had to face the fact that old age was no longer creeping but advancing at an alarming rate.
My outlook changed when our thirteen-year-old granddaughter asked me how old I was. She thought I was fifty! My daughter said, “Dad is forty-eight, do you think he and Gran look about the same age?”
Emily looked at me, then her dad, and then me again. She surprised me when she said, “I think they look about the same.” Her dad shrugged and I gave her a huge hug!
This exchange reminded me that I am far more critical of myself than others are. My flaws are evident when my attention is on them. This is true for more than appearance.
If I do ninety-nine things right and one wrong, what do you think I focus on? You know the answer because you’ve done it too, haven’t you?
I have to make a concentrated effort to stop examining my self-described defects and to look upon myself with the same love and grace others do.
Gravity is something I have no control over. The same is not true of my attitude. I think I’ll follow the advice of Robert Louis Stevenson who said, “Make the most of the best and the least of the worst.”