After a quick overnight stop in Crete IL, where I worked with clients-turned-friends on their home office, I landed for a long weekend in Madison WI with my friends Tracy and Tom. Gorgeous home, right on the lake, sunrises over the water, a boat ride on a beautiful sunny day and even an early morning kayak while the water was smooth as glass. Truly a magical part of my journey and a reminder of how calming I feel when I’m anywhere near water.
As I prepare to leave this morning, I notice the lake has completely changed. The wind has picked up, the water is choppy with the beginnings of whitecaps being formed. I see how the animals I enjoyed watching play so effortlessly yesterday, have completely adapted to these new, rougher conditions.
There are birds flying low and fast along the water, rocketing themselves towards their destination as quickly as possible. Chipmunks and squirrels hunker down for the day, taking a long needed break from their food gathering festivities. Neighbors secure furniture and tighten down their awnings. It’s a flurry of activity in preparation for what’s coming.
Winds of Change
My mind wanders and I start contemplating the winds of my life and how often I resist them. How I can over-complicate what’s coming, and wonder “why me?” at times. I tend to get comfortable, and then have an expectation that the goal of life is to remain in a “calm” state of mind and then when life isn’t calm, I think something’s wrong.
But what if I started to take my cues from nature? What if instead of resisting the winds, I learned to turn into them and hoist my sail? What if I looked at the rough waters of my life as the exhilarating shift I was breathlessly waiting for?
Are the rough times in my life always pleasant? Absolutely not. Sometimes they are the worst. And yet, those times are what make me stronger. They’re what makes me stretch and grow in ways I couldn’t have imagined.
This trip I’m on is the definition of choppy water for me right now. Putting life as you know it on “hold” to pursue your inner callings isn’t comfortable. It’s risky. And it’s not easily understood by others. I hate how hard this is on Mark, I can’t help but worry about my Synergy family, and although friends and family are supportive, they certainly worry about me on the daily.
However, taking my cues from nature, I need to learn to work with the elements and be ready to change direction when the winds pick up. I need to revel in those moments of calm, soak up that energy and feed my soul so that when the winds of emotions kick back up again, I am stronger and able to face anything that comes my way.
Birds of a Feather
This time on the road has also helped me understand that I’m not alone. I’m feeling solid in the company I’ve surrounded myself with. Every person I stay with, or meet along the way has been a blessing. Not only by opening up their homes, but opening up their hearts to me. Letting me into their world for even a day or two is an intimate experience for both of us and it feeds my soul in ways that are hard to express.
I take a little bit of them with me every time I head out to the next destination. That connection strengthens me. The old adage that there’s “strength in numbers” is something I’m experiencing right here and right now.
As I’m watching a storm roll in, I’m reminded of the birds flying together…creating an efficient use of their energy to get to their destination. They are adapting to the weather and yet, still moving forward instead of waiting for it to pass.
Then I spy one, lone bird way up in the sky – flapping its wings furiously, and making slow progress. It gives me pause as I realize the times in my life where I’ve tried to go it alone. When I’ve shut others out and decided to go my own way instead of receiving the love and guidance of others who would work with me to make my journey a better one.
After 2 weeks into this adventure I won’t pretend there haven’t been some choppy times. I’ve had to delve into the depths of my own insecurities and self doubt on more than one occasion. However, it’s in those very moments that I realize how important it is to receive support from others. To truly let people in. To follow their lead and start flying close to the water, under the wind, while keeping my heart open as I make my way toward my next destination…