"Love life. Engage in it. Give it all you've got. Love it with a passion because life truly does give back, many times over, what you put into it."
— Maya Angelou
— Maya Angelou
One of my favorite things about writing this blog is the opportunity I have to reflect on my life from a more objective, thoughtful place. I don't know about you but, sometimes, when I'm in the middle of a 'situation' (aka opportunity for growth), I am unable to see the positive aspects of it. When the 'situation' is particularly uncomfortable, the only thing I am usually able to focus on is the discomfort. However, I have learned that the typical outcome of these periods of discomfort is a growth spurt that propels me into a better place, with the perspective that only comes from having been through the experience. Sometimes I don't even realize that I've gotten to that new place until I think about where I've been.
This year has been full of new experiences. I have made uncharacteristically 'bold' changes in my work life and have learned to take more risks. I am learning to listen to my heart more, because some decisions cannot be made based on logic alone. I am also learning to trust my 'gut', because I have found that instinct is often a darn good resource that is not used nearly enough. In the past, when confronted with a big (and sometimes not so big) decision, I would analyze and re-analyze my options, going round and round in my head until I was mentally drained. I thought this was the rational way to go about these things but really, I was compulsively obsessing and fearful of making a mistake. My obsession was blocking the inner guidance that I could have been utilizing, had I been able to see it.
That's one of the things I have learned: we each have an internal "GPS" that can guide us through some of life's more precarious situations. Too often it's hidden behind a lifetime of clutter: all those "should've, could've, would've"s and "what-if"s that keep us stuck. Sometimes it's hidden so deeply that something as innocuous as choosing from a menu can seem overwhelming! There are many ways to access this guidance but the key component, for me at least, is the ability to listen for the answer. Asking for guidance, through prayer or meditation or whatever method works best for you is only half of the equation...what good is asking the question if you are unable to hear the answer? That's the part that I've been working on this year, although I didn't realize it at first. Sometimes guidance is clever like that...it just sneaks up on you. Sometimes the key to unlocking it is just being willing to listen.