lessons

Below my feet

Taken on the magical trail to Rainbow Falls in North Carolina.

Taken on the magical trail to Rainbow Falls in North Carolina.

I have always been magnetically pulled to the forest and the mountains, drawn in to their mystery, their intrigue, their strength, their magic.

I have forever been comforted by the trees, standing tall and holding out their arms, protecting me from the harsh realities of life.

As I walk down the forest paths, I hear the familiar sound of my feet hitting the ground, crunching leaves, kicking rocks and snapping twigs. It reminds me once again to be present and grounded – heart beating, lungs breathing, moving forward.

The further I get from myself, the more I need the forest to hold me up. I need it to ground me. But mostly, I need it to remind me that I am equally as overwhelmingly important and humbly insignificant as each tree, each leaf, each twig on the ground below my feet.

Lessons

golf

I love learning new things. I am admittedly a perfectionist which can get in the way sometimes. But I really believe learning new things can be life changing.

Okay...sure....maybe a single golf lesson can't change your life. But I am a firm believer that learning a new skill can give anyone a chance to approach the things they do every day just a little differently. So perfecting and practicing that frustrating golf swing could open up a new opportunity with a skill you are trying to perfect at work (hello, WordPress!). Or maybe learning a new recipe actually helps catapult those changes in your diet you have been hoping to make. Sometimes the change is directly related, and sometimes...not so much.

Whether you sign up for a golf lesson, take a cooking class or listen to a new podcast, learning something new is a great way to change the direction of our current path. It's a great way to open ourselves up to the possibilities of something new.

Hands full

A handful of shells.

A handful of shells.

There are moments that I feel like my hands and life are full. So full, that I stop to appreciate all the little nuances I have picked up along the way. All I am concerned about are the other things I still have coming my way that I have to hold precariously in the pile that I struggle to fit in my hands already. What if I drop something? What if I forget something? How will I manage it all?

But I believe if you pay attention, you quickly come to find while sorting through that excessive handful of items that there are certain things that are junk and others that are valuable and worth holding on to for a while - if for nothing more than the experience of it all. Maybe what you are holding is teaching you a lesson. Maybe it's there to show you a different way of seeing something. Whatever the reason, there are lessons in all the nuances and things - large and small.

Look closely next time your hands are full. What can you drop – a relationship or a task? What will you have room for – a new experience or some free time? There is almost always something you can let go of. And there is always something you can learn from.

The lesson of the mandala

Nature mandala by Faith Evans Sills for the Cooper School. Photo by me.

Nature mandala by Faith Evans Sills for the Cooper School. Photo by me.

Sometimes in life, we need to be reminded of things.

We need to be reminded on occasion that we are not the center of it all.

We need to be reminded that we are a piece in a whole fragile, precious balance and most of the time that is out of our power. It resides in the power of the universe.

Some days we need to know that this world and universe has bigger plans for us than this day... this hour... this minute.

And we need to remember that we are complete and whole in our imperfect selves.

Mostly, we need to remember that life is meant to be ever changing. Don't cling to hard on the things you have or the possessions you hold with such truth. Because tomorrow, they will be gone. Blown away with the wind. Taken out with the tides of life that change in every moment.

There are no accidents. Lean into the beauty and the hardships. Lean into the joy and the pain. It is all part of one big lesson that we are simply here to learn from and add to the collection of the image of our lives.
 

Silver Linings

A gorgeous Lowcountry Sunset on James Island.

A gorgeous Lowcountry Sunset on James Island.

There are days that feel so hard and overwhelming that I spend the better part of them looking for some illusive silver lining. I wait so anxiously to get to the end of it so I can just see a tranquil sunset or find some moment of joy after the drudgery is over that I forget to appreciate what the struggle is teaching me.

Today has been one of those days. I am spinning my wheels, frustrated by circumstances instead of breathing into the lesson. It doesn't mean I can't look forward to the end of it to watch the sky turn magical hues of rainbow sherbert and cotton candy. It just means that maybe in these moments of pushing against, I should try breathing into it and surrendering to the lessons.

Maybe that's where the silver lining of my day is actually hidden - inside these little life lessons I have been trying to get through so quickly.

Time to breathe. And appreciate the day.