Let It Go

nature, seasons, change

A few crisp brown leaves scutter across my second story deck. The chinook winds have stripped most trees of their leaves. A few, however, seem to refuse to release their once vibrant fall foliage.

I look at one leaf, fluttering wildly to escape as the tree holds on tenaciously. It is inevitable that the leaf will eventually be let go. This is a natural and necessary part of the life cycle.

I understand the reluctance to let go of what has contributed rich colour to my life. There comes a time, however, where holding onto the past prevents me from moving forward. I can appreciate the past and how it has shaped me into who I am today but know I can’t stay stuck there. With gratitude for lessons learned, I now need to focus on what’s ahead.

That doesn’t mean the letting go is easy. Far from it. The familiar is comfortable and feels safe. It may not be exciting or challenging but it also doesn’t involve risk and uncertainty. Unfortunately, this comfort zone prevents me from growing.

Instead of mourning the end of a season, I choose to welcome a new one. Each season has its own beauty and, as the trees are entering a period of replenishment during this time, so shall I. Without past expectations holding me back, I am free to gather knowledge and skills to help me grow.

Like the approaching winter, I have no idea what this season will bring or how long it will last. What I do know, is I will not be the same at the end of it as I am at the beginning. My life will continue to grow and change as new experiences and opportunities are presented and embraced. Let the possibilities begin!

seasons, life, change
#inspiration, nature, comfort zone, replenish, experiences, personal growth

Good Enough

#inspiration, #drawing, belief,
I took this picture at the airport in Denver

Earlier this week I made a visit to a store that carries my books and something on the wall caught my attention. There, pinned on a corkboard above the manager’s desk was a sketch. It was a small ink drawing of an old van and the detail and shading were exceptional.

I asked about this unassuming piece of art and was told a little about its history and creator. The man who gifted this to the manager did so as a token of appreciation for her kindness. His life had been one of struggle. Things are turning around but the road he travels is not an easy one.

She was impressed with his drawing and asked him to paint seasonal designs on the window of the store. He refused. She offered to provide the materials and pay him for his work. “I’m not good enough to paint pictures people will see,” he said.

“If you don’t do it, I’ll have to print designs on coloured paper, cut them out and tape them to the window,” she replied. Reassurance of his talent was futile. This man had no belief in himself or his abilities. The store ended up with coloured paper designs in their window.

As I listened to the story, I saw a universal problem. Most of us don’t believe in ourselves. No matter what we may hear to the contrary, we just don’t believe we are good enough to follow our dreams.

Until my desire to succeed became stronger than my fear of rejection I was the same. To some extent, I still am. The risk of failure is real. So is the opportunity for success. There are plenty of lessons on the road to achieving my dreams.
I will be forever grateful for the moment I decided to step out of my comfort zone and go for it! Now I know for certain, I am good enough – and so are you.

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” Henry Ford

Out of My Shell

#inspiration, potential, growthOur neighbour called my husband and me over to look at something in his garden. He had planted some sunflower seeds and one had sprouted with the shell still on it.

It seemed to me that this plant was not ready to give up the protection the shell had given. Even though there was quite a bit of new growth, the plant was not ready to fully come out of its shell.

My way of looking at this was a reflection of past (and sometimes more recent) behaviours I have struggled with.

New experiences can be very scary. In an unknown environment, I long for safety and familiarity. My protective shell looks tempting and I seriously consider making a retreat back into it.

Before I do, I think of how dark and restrictive the shell had become. Outside I see light and potential. Am I willing to risk the unknown to reach toward my goals and dreams?

Sometimes I still look for a safe place to hide. Then I remember what lies outside of this comfort zone and know I will never grow into my full potential until I am willing to break out of my shell.

“Fear is only temporary. Regret lasts forever.” – Unknown

Gotta Keep Moving

#inspiration, comfot zone, keep movingThe air was warm and the sky a clear blue when my husband and I attended an outdoor concert. A crowded venue left us no choice but to stand in order to see the musicians. We didn’t mind and soon I was swaying to the beat and singing along softly with the lyrics.

After an hour I knew I needed to go for a little walk. Standing in one spot for an extended period was starting to hurt my back. If I didn’t move soon my movements would become painful. Turning to Brian, I said, “I can’t stay in one spot any more, I have to move.”

The words were barely spoken before I saw the analogy to my life. When I enjoy where I am and what I’m doing, I want to stay there. If I stay in one spot too long I get stuck and it becomes difficult, if not painful to move.

Life is not about finding a comfortable rut and settling in. It is about exploring, adventure and reaching for my dreams. None of that is possible if I am stuck in one spot.

Moving is good for my well-being. Not just for my body but also for my mind. When I think I’ve stretched as far as I can it’s time to remember the words of Paul Brandt; “Don’t tell me the sky is the limit when there are footprints on the moon.”