Friends, this post comes from my heart so much!
I have climbed some freaking big mountains in my 30 some odd years.
I have slipped and fell backwards on some slopes.
I have literally crawled and clawed my way forward, barely hanging on at certain points.
I have had to stop for rest and conditioning for long periods of time more often than I ever thought as I stood at the bottom looking up.
When I stood at the bottom of my marriage relationship, I saw a beautiful summit I wanted to reach! I period of time when we'd have special getaways to beaches and mountain tops and big smiles and late nights followed by slowly waking up to my favorite person.
I felt extremely excited to be joined in Holy Matrimony with my fiance. I just KNEW that whatever "hard time" people talked about and cautioned us about would not matter.
As I stood at the bottom of the motherhood mountain, I just knew that I'd be able to conquer it! I knew that I would be able to learn anything I didn't already know. I felt confident in my abilities.
When I decided to face the mountain of personal health, including weight loss, I was scared. I literally had butterflies in my belly the day I looked at myself in the mirror and declared that I would tackle this thing once and for all.
As I took my first steps into entreprenuership and creating a business online, I had little to none confidence. I was SO narrow minded coming from a caged spaced of living that I went on total FAITH at the start. I literally began every day with the quote "build your wings on the way down!" in my head. I was willing to fail multiple times, to learn how to climb this mountain.
This is just a handful of the mountains I have figuratively climbed.
But the process of climbing them .... has been strikingly similar and I've learned some NEW perspectives and mental processes that have made things easier and have allowed me to progress through some pretty deep ravines.
As I've journaled through my life, literally, in a journal that sits by my bed, I have noticed patterns. Such is the timeless principle of journaling or tracking anything. You start to see patterns of behavior, patterns of wins and losses, patterns of thinking, patterns of abundance, patterns of loss.
Here are the two principles that I want to offer you today:
1) Choosing to climb a mountain, or making a choice to change something in your life, is YOUR CHOICE. You CHOOSE to fight cancer. You CHOOSE to put yourself in position to have sex and conceive a baby. You CHOOSE to say YES. You choose which obstacles you will obliterate, and which ones you will keep trying to go around or under or over. You CHOOSE to move forward or stand still and watch others move past you.
You CHOOSE to move FORWARD. It is YOUR choice to find support, invest in the right gear or nutrition, find the right clothes, build a shelter, get a coach, find a therapist, learn skills, etc. YOUR responsibility. NO one else's. You cannot put your choice to change, into someone else's hands and hope they'll carry you. You will gain nothing from that except a friend who will be sad that you thought you could use them that way.
When you've chosen to move forward on the mountain, and you need to stop and rest---- you made that choice for a reason. Do you know what it is? Do you know WHY you stopped? What was it? Was it a stupid cat call from a group or person that doesn't REALLY care about your goals? Was it pain? Physical or mental? Did you forget to REST when you needed it and now feel burned out? Did you forget your nutrition and self care so that you could keep going, even if its one step a day? Are you filling your mind with positive or negative thought processes/phrases?
2) When you must stop----- please realize that you didn't climb all the way back down to the bottom. Every STEP mattered. EVERY step was a step. Every step was doing something you had not done before, therefore, you did change something, somehow, somewhere. And I used that word, "when" in that first sentence intentionally. We will ALL have to stop on some of our climbs. We will have to look at the map again. We will have to rest. We will have to reassess our abilities, then reach out to a friend who has done what we are trying to do or a coach that can guide you and ask for assistance to move forward into the unknown. You didn't go all the way back down just because you stopped. When I hear the phrases like "I need to start again... I've lost everything I had... I have to start over..." in my profession as a health coach and weight loss mentor, I am SAD that this person has not learned this principle, this truth really. That every effort WAS a step. EVERY effort mattered. EVERY SINGLE thing they did for their goal was a step and it was STILL valid and it still was on the map. They learned SOMETHING from the very start. Even if that something was that they hate spinach or can't do push ups or they have strong emotions surrounding their husband's eating habits. Whatever it was that they encountered that was NEW----- isn't BAD. It's just NEW. We ALL have our primeval instincts to stay safe, so when something new pops up, we take the time to look at it and decide if it's a threat or not. If our minds aren't trained to see new things as a positive, as the very thing we WANTED to be in our lives, we will naturally be afraid and want to stop or shut it out. But heres the irony-----> SOMETHING NEW was what we HOPED to have happen by starting on the trail! We wanted our lives to be DIFFERENT. We were uncomfortable, living in what we thought was our comfort zone. And when we step out of it, all of a sudden the old life doesn't seem so uncomfortable. So we retract. We go back to old habits. We feel good for a day or two, we stay on the trail with old buddies who ALSO DIDN"T MOVE FORWARD, and called us back, and it feels SAFE. But inevitably---- inevitably, we desire something more. It is ingrained in our programming to PROGRESS. When we aren't progressing, we feel depresses, anxious, and unworthy. When we are in a state of growth, when things are hard and our breath is heavy and we hear the messages coming down the line from the top that the fatigue and the effort is WORTH IT, we feel a sense of exhilaration! We feel purposeful! We want to help everyone around us get to the top too.
But here is a twist in this mountain visualization that has helped me a LOT the past few years as I had to take a literal rest, a full on STOP to SO many goals I was en route to.
The mountain? Isn't really a vertical thing.
The mountain is FLAT.
We are ALL capable of getting to anywhere we want to be.
The playing field, is LEVELED my friends.
No ONE has anything you can't utilize also. NO ONE has something you cannot also acquire.
The internet and world wide shipping has made this SO much more possible than it was 20 years ago. Everyone has the same access to books, teaching, lectures, news, nutrition, science, evidence, studies, tools, processes, etc. If you want ANYTHING, you can get it. It is YOUR CHOICE whether you go after it or not.
So now when you think of that inevitable REST---- and "wondering" what it looks like at the top and wondering if the journey will be worth it.... just look ahead. The future is THERE. YOU are there. Bring that version of yourself closer and look at yourself! Take note of what your own powerful self has accomplished. Take note of what YOU now know. What skills have you learned? Where did you learn it? From who? What clothes are you wearing? WHY? What attitude to you have? Do you smile more? WHY? Who is in their life? WHY?
Write the answer to all of these things down!
When I was on bedrest and given a 83% chance of survival and a 60% chance for my unborn baby, I didn't know if I was going to live or die or if she was going to live or die. This idea of looking ahead was HARD for me. In fact I stopped looking ahead for several months. My brain actually developed some trauma patterns that STILL to this day sometimes have me not able to look ahead further than a few weeks. Thats where this skill, this perspective has saved me! This idea that the mountain is actually flat- that I can actually SEE where I want to go and I am ALREADY crossing so many finish lines (milestones) helps me to cope through these PTSD patterns.
So the next time you feel like you have stopped.... that you aren't sure you can shoulder the responsibility of your own inspired choice, remember that you take it ONE step at a time, and that even when you rest, you haven't gone back to ZERO, you are simply resting where you are. The knowledge and skills you learned up to that point are STILL WITH YOU. And then-----> when you have questions, take some advice from your future self! Who did they ask to mentor them? Who helped them through the same obstacle course that you are looking to conquer? What attitude did YOU adopt that made it possible? Who did you let go of? Who did you grow relationship with? What belief systems no longer exist in your future self? What belief systems are NEW and how did they get there?
Seems a little strange.
But it WORKS.
Remove the abstraction of your infinite POWER. Remove the shadow on your mind of unbelief that that future person exists! Because they DO. Once you believe that, YOU will be able to CREATE them.
When I conquered my mountain of motherhood..... it wasn't some amazing moment when my child never talked back and always kept her room clean. It was a moment when I knew from my future self, that I did my BEST and Grace consumed the rest. The moment that my future self said, "You are the BEST mom for these kids. You know what they need BEST, and they love you for taking care of them in that way." I have been at peace about how I mother and how my kids are turning out.
When I conquered a few of the struggles in my marriage, it was my future self letting me know words and behaviors I'd regret and what I wouldn't. It was my future self reminding me of the infinite POWER that two people who want amazing things bring to the world when they are ONE in purpose and love. It was that visual of my husband and I creating MORE light and goodness together, than we ever could create alone, that motivated and still motivates me to cheer him on in his talents and appreciate his uniqueness that brings color to our family and remember to LOVE him from a stance of gratitude. He CHOOSES me daily. He CHOOSES my faults and my flaws. I know that these things will and do continue to assist us as we progress in life as a powerful couple.
It is the SAME for my weight loss struggle, my business endeavors, and anythings else I pursue.
When I have a perspective of ABUNDANCE- that the goals CAN happen, that the coaches and mentors will appear when I need them and SEEK them out, that the money is there waiting, that I have all the answers inside me, and so on-------- all of a sudden I am filled with HOPE and light and motivation to do all the things!
When I was caged, and believed in scarcity, everything was scary. Everything was risky. Everything came with a price. It was be against the world.
Now, it's me WITH the amazing world. It's ME and the amazing BLESSING it is to live each day and to just scoop up all the goodness that there is and to APPRECIATE the feelings I get to have being here. The feeling of a velvet rose petal. The smell of carnival corn dogs. The rush of air as I zipline over the jungles. The enveloping embrace of my 6' 5" 200 lb husband. The little arms of my children (some not so little) giving me morning hugs. The opportunity to type this out and have it simply hanging on the bulletin board of the universe as soon as I hit the virtual "publish" button for anyone to see. GAH! SO SO SO much goodness and possibilities my friends!
It all comes.
But it all comes ONE STEP at a time.
Everything is seen and gained one step at a time.
Line upon line.
You'll get there. I PROMISE. But you gotta keep choosing to take the responsibility for your journey, and remember that every step matters. And when you aren't sure what to do? Ask your future self. They've figured out a few things. Borrow their confidence until you grow into it. Find that friend or coach that has been where you want to go, and be COACHABLE, take their advice and TRY it out. Your future self did. ;)
I'd love to know your thoughts on this, and if you've ever taken advice from your future self to help you conquer a choice you've made.