My one and only planned vacation for this year was a recent trip to North Carolina. I've visited this particular spot on this mountain numerous times throughout my life and yet I saw things very different this visit. My perspective on my life has drastically changed over the past 6 months, allowing me to see things from a different lens, a different perspective. Here are three things that I learned from my stay with Mother Nature, turned into mini lessons for life.
Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. - Lao Tzu
I first read this quote on a tea bag tag one night and of course, I thought how genius the idea was and made a little note of the quote. But it wasn't until I was having a mini meltdown at the cabin that this actually started to mean something to me. Even though this was my only planned vacation for the year, I decided to put some silly and grand expectations in my head about using the time there to create content for my business. I really badly wanted to take advantage of the setting and to crank out a bunch of work so that I could use it to build the dream I have in my head, FASTER!!! My expectations were not being met and then all it took was one other hitch in my day to just leave me in tears. Don't worry, the tears were counter attacked with a shower and a meditation session, and those tears are the reason for this lesson. They made me stop and take a further look at what the root of the meltdown really was.
Life is not about getting somewhere fast. When you move fast you tend to miss things. You miss important tasks, you miss errors in your work, you miss all of the good that is happening around you, you miss the view. You also miss the lessons. Each experience is a chance to learn something new, making you that much stronger to take on your goal. I am learning that no amount of speed will ever be better than really working to prepare yourself, showing up to do the work, and learning from your mistakes. This is how life works.
All of the calm is in the quiet. - Me
I had lots of quiet time on this trip. Hammock hangs, challenging hikes, meditation and long drives provided lots of space for thoughts. The quiet is when you really get to connect to what is it you want out of your life. Its when you hear your thoughts and if your willing, maybe even hear some guidance in the stillness. THIS IS SCARY. Some of my thoughts are beyond scary, as in, "I'd rather not think about you right now, maybe ever." But the best way to move through those thoughts and let them free is by sitting with them. The more you take quality quiet time the more space you give yourself to work through stuff, its the time in which your best ideas will emerge. If you use mediation as a regular source of your quiet time you will also get better at creating more calm on the spot, as this is the practice of not reacting to the noise - both the inside and the outside noise. Find the quiet regularly, even if just for a few moments each day.
After all you're just as tall as the mountains that you climb. - Thomas Wynn and the Believers
The analogy of a goal being like climbing a mountain is of course a popular one. Well, when you actually start climbing mountains, I guess there's a chance that this could start to really take shape. You set a goal and you are stoked. You are at the bottom of the mountain with all of your gear and you are off, but first a selfie :) The first few steps are exciting and the setting is crazy cool, but then you realize just how many steps its going to take to get to the top. The enthusiasm starts to fade and your focus turns from the trees and the sights to putting one foot in front of the other and just breathing. Now, it will depend on your mountain and it will depend on your attitude just how long that miserable stretch will last. If all you focus on is the pain you feel and the distance left to climb you will suffer more. But if you notice fatigue yet focus on what's happening in the moment, you will find spots for loving rest and breaks. If you simply continue to place one foot in front of the other, and maybe even ask for help along the way, your focus will be on what's thriving in the moment, providing yourself with the motivation to keep going.
Once you reach the top, make sure to take in the view and be grateful for the climb. Then understand that the work is not over. It is now time to do the ever so tedious task of walking down the mountain, to then start searching for the next mountain to climb. Every time you attempt to climb you are growing into a stronger, taller version of yourself with handfuls of wisdom from your climb.
I am going to leave you with this gem of a song by one of my favorite bands Thomas Wynn and the Believers. And FYI they are locals and they are amazing.