Sunday, October 23, 2016

Climb the Mountain

Today, for the first time in years... I climbed the trail I've climbed many times before. 
Today for the first time... I climbed alone. 

I went through a myriad of emotions and self conversations while I climbed.

"Do I really want to do this?"
Imagine how you'll feel when you are done.

How many times do we face a challenge, a decision, a choice and want to take the easy road? How many times have I been overcoming something... Fill in blank: ___________
turning the other cheek
etc etc etc

and in those circumstances I had to ask this question "How will I feel after this decision?" "Will I be stronger, prouder, feel better? if I choose xyz?" It was the only way I climbed out of an eating disorder that lasted 16 years.
White knuckled I often had to ask "Will I be more or less proud of myself if I make this choice?" and one day at a time, one meal at a time, one pill at a time I climbed.

My legs burned today as I climbed and I found myself not even half way up the trail and angry. Angry at myself. Angry because 2 years ago I could reach the top of this same trail without even being winded. I put my head down and began to make each step focused... and then I began to relax. I realized I wasn't enjoying the hike. I also reflected there are times when we simply get to put our heads down and do the work as well.
Times when, as a single mom I get to put my head down and work, climb, get it done... but in this moment as the awareness dawned on me during the climb- I hiked slower, took each step more consciously and partook of the beautiful fall day around me. The view heightening- becoming more and more majestic.

I also, recommitted to myself to BE better. To give more attention to my health and stamina. Instead of being angry at myself at the depreciation of my strength- to learn and use this opportunity as a wake up call to get back into shape again- to recommit to being the best I can be and to make my health a priority- knowing that as I do; I can and will enjoy this hike again, more fully; un-distracted by fatigue and strain. 

I climbed. 

I remembered the study I read that scientists have learned that Oxygen at it's basic level is actually LIGHT.
As we exercise or meditate or BREATHE... we literally fill our cells with LIGHT.
I remembered this and remembered the way I used to carry a small notepad and pen with me when I jogged regularly. It seemed I would have epiphany after epiphany as I ran. In fact, for this reason I chose not to listen to music as I ran- I discovered it inhibited the "flow" of inspiration.
I breathed deeply, intending my lungs, my heart, my body to fill with Oxygen-aka LIGHT.

I soon noticed my resistance to resting.

You see, I have been accused of being competitive from time to time... and as I ponder it- I would say I'm driven.
I don't care about BESTING others.. I care about BESTING MYSELF. As there are other speakers, drummers, painters, salespeople etc. I AM competitive- but it's not about THEM... it's about their inspiration causing me to look at myself and ask "Have I done what I know I'm capable of? Have I pushed myself beyond where I thought I was capable?"

And..... I allowed myself to rest.
I recognized that I had this illusion in place in my head that IF I rested I was weak. After all- 2 years ago I could have easily jogged this trail.
But- I allowed myself to rest and I didn't judge myself for it.
I gave myself permission to be still, drink water, breathe. 

Ultimately, I reached the top.
There was no referee there with a stop watch counting my time- the only thing at the top waiting for me was the View.

I know that we each have a mountain to climb.
I know that we all have challenges.
I know that we all have the opportunity to choose to climb to grow to become more fully our divinity...or to turn around, to sit down, to accept less than the top.
I know we are all doing it different.

There are people we choose to climb with or to climb solo- but in the end we all face our own individual mountain.
We each take the steps, we each have the choice how we climb. 
To push beyond the valley, to grow, to overcome, to rise. 


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

David and Goliath

My son, 8 year old Tate is afraid of Chickens.

This poses a problem because one of Tate's chores is to feed our chickens and gather their eggs.

So..... 8 year old Tate walks trepidatiously towards the coop, mustering his courage, sometimes with his plastic army gear breastplate (from an army costume last year) in the mornings.

Watching him... he carefully scoops the meal for the chickens who, by this time, are squawking. With the nimbleness of a ninja he opens the coop door while the chickens rush at him, he plops the meal in and rapidly shuts the door. The food is enough distraction that he can then creep to the back of the coop and through the trap door collect the eggs.
My Son is a Hero.
Day after day he faces his fears ... and overcomes.

I remember the first time he shared with me he was afraid of the chickens; it was humorous to me and while my eyes were full of laughter I hid it from him. I realized that the chickens were to him what the size of Labrador is to me, and they have beaks and claws.

I'm proud of him.

Today on the Jesus Rock radio station... a song about David and Goliath played. (I'm secretly a Jesus Rock junkie) ;)
It opened the opportunity to have a conversation about David and Goliath with my older 13 year old son as I drove him to school.

I explained the story to him the way I see it.

David was a harp player who herded sheep. He was the little guy.

Day after day he watched the flock, and as he watched them, he practiced perfecting his sling shot aim. Day after day, raccoon after raccoon, dog after dog, he aimed, he shot and he protected the small flock. Once... a Lion encroached upon the sheep... and he mastered it.

Ultimately, David faced Goliath. We all know the story. Only, on this day, it wasn't a small woolly band of sheep he guarded but a kingdom; families, men, women, and children.  Refusing any armor, he bested Goliath. With sure shot and faith he killed the giant.

I love the "little guy" analogy and that through God all things are possible, that's the way I was taught the story in church as a child.  As an adult, the part of the story I like best is that David practiced day after day.

He couldn't have guessed while he shepherded the small helpless herd that he would someday stand on the precipice of saving a nation, but he practiced and perfected his craft.
He loaded his sling shot and aimed and threw... again and again and again.

His story teaches me to be my best, do my best, shot after shot, day after day. Goliath fell because of hundreds of hours of faith and small challenges and adversaries that David had faced before.

We are like David. Often our day to day triumphs seem small and often we overcome challenges that seem like they don't matter, our responsibilities are fragile sheep.  As we stay steadfast, as we continuously choose integrity, health, service, love; when the Giant comes, we are ready.
Our aim is perfect. Our faith is sure.
And YES, God stands with us- but we hold the sling shot. We must take aim. We must throw.

Stay steadfast. We never know the Goliath in our future path...but we CAN know that the small and simple shots we take today, the small and seemingly insignificant triumphs, matter. They create our character and our iron core of a Warrior, a Truth Teller, a Hero. The Champion, the Victor.

And... so I see Tate. Facing his giant day after day. Overcoming. And I am proud. My Hero.