During our childhood, our growth is apparent almost on a daily basis. Our parents or our caregivers make note of our weight gains, whether a new tooth is forming, and they may even mark our height in notches on a wall for all to see. Snapshots and videos also record amazing feats that we've achieved as a toddler. If you happen to be the first-born, that first step you took may have been welcomed by a family celebration, beginning your first family tradition. Most everyone I know had their very first birthday caputured on some kind of film, to be shared over and over again.
This early growth just seems to feel so good.
As we get older and grow into adulthood, however, we seem to forget how good growth really does feel -- beginning with those hormonal and frequently chaotic adolescent years. We put away the party favors, the cake and ice cream, and maybe even skip the presents. Our growth becomes less visible, less celebrated, less important. Often, we don't even pay attention to it. Some even prefer to ignore it. We don't want to get "old."
Today, I've returned from a weekend assignment that really forced me to notice areas that could use improvement in my own life. It reminded me -- and yes, we need those reminders -- that the growth continues; it's never-ending. So I challenge you today to consider areas of improvement that you could make in your own life. Focus only on you, not on your loved ones, nor your friends. It's easy to point out the flaws and mistakes made by others. It's much more difficult to look inside our own imperfections. Doing so, however, will wake those senses. It will arouse your curiosity, and it will remind you that growth is always a good thing -- even when it hurts. And there will be times that it will. Those are good times, too. They need not be fearful times. Often, they are the moments we really should be celebrating the most!
For your ride today, think about where you are in your life. As you paint or draw that still life, as you pedal past thorny bushes and up over the bridge ahead, as you take this time to yourself, think about the choices you've made in your life. When have you been the happiest? When have you felt nothing but pure joy, the kind that keeps you giggling for hours or laughing from deep down inside? Think about that, then write down your thoughts. Remind yourself of the last time you felt child-like, as if you were that little girl or boy playing on the monkey bars once again. Even if you recall the falls, think about how you got back up.
Being able to bounce back from your falls is key to continued growth.
In your "ride" today (The quote marks mean your ride is your choice, not mine. If it's a bike, that's great. But if it's something else for you, if you require something less physical -- or more physical -- that will work just as well.)...so for your "ride" today, think about your own growth.
It's not over.
Let this one be a smooth ride. No bumps today. As my therapist would often say to me during some really rough moments, "Be gentle with yourself."
I heard those same words again from a yoga instructor this past weekend. So, Johanna Mosca from Sedona Spirit, if you're reading this, thank you for a lesson I can share with my readers. Yours are celebratory words, belonging to us all.
Let's celebrate growth today.
All my best,