A couple weekends ago I did an unusual thing for me; I spent some time in the woods. I’m a city girl through and through, but lately I’ve been feeling a pull to the woods. A desire has grown in me to want to spend time among the trees, the foliage, and whatever else I might find out there.
It’s such a strange thing for me to want to be out in nature ON PURPOSE! But I’m learning to listen to my soul’s longing and I responded by visiting a local wooded area. It was 2,500 acres of pure bliss and absolute peace. I made a point, as I walked, to be intentionally present with what I was experiencing.
As I practiced presence, the trees started whispering a few secrets to me . As I watched and touched them, they passed on some rather important life lessons to me. I thought I would share four of them with you today.
Growth happens long before there’s useful evidence
I passed multiple trees whose leaves could only be seen at the very top. They were tall, beautiful trees whose leaves provided shade from the hot May sun.
As I gazed up at these trees the first of these life lessons were passed on to me and I understood that growth is always happening. There may not be anything noteworthy to see on the outside but life is teeming on the inside waiting for the right moment to burst forth.
The same is true for your life. You may be struggling in an area of your life. Maybe you’ve started a new job or picked up some new responsibilities. Maybe you’re early in your leadership journey (whatever that looks like for you) and though you keep working at it, you feel like you’re not getting anywhere.
Allow my tree friend to serve as a reminder that you ARE growing. Growth happens long before there is anything outer that can serve as proof of your growth. Hold onto that truth.
Take a loss with you
I stayed by this tree for a long time. I could almost feel the ache from losing that part of it and yet it still continued to grow. It grew past the loss, keeping it close by even as it moved on.
Loss is hard and sometimes you experience a loss so great it feels like a part of you dies. But it doesn’t have to stop your growth; you can keep that loss and its lessons with you as you grow. It does not have to stunt you unless you let it.
There may always be an ache and it may always feel a little raw to talk about it. That’s okay. The fact that it feels tender doesn’t mean it has to hold you back. It only means that you are keeping it close even as you move forward in your life.
Let a loss leave its mark
Then there are times when something ends and it is best to leave it behind. But the memory of it still stands as a testament to what once was in your life.
Some things can’t go with you as you grow. Some things have to be left behind and that might include some relationships in your life. This is not a bad thing; actually it is a good thing.
Releasing those things creates space for something new and magical to grow elsewhere in your life. Holding onto something that has died will only hinder your forward motion. Sometimes it is best to move on while allowing a marker to remain of what once was an important part of your life.
It’s okay to lay it down
But then there are the times when something dies and it is best to lay it down completely. No going back, no marking it, just letting it go completely because its purpose in your life has been served.
This is not easy especially when it used to be a very big part in your life. It might take a long time for you to believe it is really gone. You may come back to it over and over again trying to breathe new life into it.
Eventually, you realize there is no going back and you have a choice to make. You can stay and longingly wish things were as they used to be. Or you can choose to keep going knowing that moving on doesn’t negate the value of that thing in your life; it simply means it is no longer needed.
I loved my time in the woods. If you are someone who likes to spend time in nature, what life lessons have you learned from being out there? I’d love to hear. Let me know in the comments below or head over to Facebook and share there.
Here’s to you rising, like the trees, into your greatness
From my heart to yours,
P.S: If you’re trying to navigate a change in your life and you’re feeling stuck, I would love to talk with you about what it would take to get you moving forward again. Click here to schedule a complimentary Greatness Activation call. It’s my gift to you!