Happy Monday, or whatever Monday you choose. This weekend I attended a Title I Parent Seminar about Cultivating a Rich Future. There were metaphors about treating success like a garden. You had to use tools to prepare the soil to receive the seeds. You had to dig down and remove the rocks and the weeds and the obstacles that would not allow the seeds to take root. There were many stories shared and got deep down into my feelings. I am a very pragmatic person and do not understand how humans deal with feelings. Emotions are not logical or practical, yet they prevent us from becoming monsters. When you can feel empathy and compassion for others, you can begin to understand and appreciate where they are coming from and honor their experience. You have to love yourself to be able to love and care for others. There were break out sessions about self-love and self-care. In a world that expects us to be productive twenty-four seven, this can be a challenge. I refuse to be ashamed of admitting that I shed many tears this weekend. I shed tears of joy for the beauty of children expressing themselves through the arts. I shed tears for the stories of children and people thrown away and marginalized. I shed tears for the sheer wonder of the human experience. I put off feelings for as long as possible. This past weekend was a time dig down and process my feelings. When is the last time you dug deep? When is the last time you allowed yourself to be still and just be? I discovered that I want to pursue more and I want to figure out how to remove the rocks and weeds in my life to get there.
But, and there is always a but - I am frightened about my potential. Perhaps it would be more honest to say that I am frightened about NOT meeting my potential. Do you feel as if you are running out of time and you have great things to accomplish? Ask yourself why you want to achieve them? Who will you bring with you? Speaker after speaker in this event shared their stories about people setting expectations for them: parents expecting them to get an education; people not expecting them to amount to anything; people speaking affirmations about their potential. They rose to the challenge and because of their success, their family members strived to achieve more in their own lives. Are you ready to transform your thoughts and transform your life and the lives of others around you? Nothing we do happens in a vacuum. What if I accept mediocrity and leave that legacy to my children? It is not where you start, it is that you get started.
Working through feelings can clear away the mental clutter and allow you to review your life objectively. When you pull your head out of the sand and address your fears and concerns, you give yourself the freedom to view the mountains as molehills. You have clarity about the situation and can become your own advocate and tactician. Soar above the turbulent weather and storms of life and gain perspective. Where do you need to go? What are the obstacles? If we hearken back to our road trip analogy from a few weeks ago, the scenic route has inspired a destination. It is time to plot and chart your course. Everything you learned in the past and where you are in the present will help you to determine your future. What are you going to plant in your field?
What's next? If you transform your thoughts, you will start to see the change manifest in your life. Last week I was about to play the world's smallest violin about accomplishing nothing. I checked myself. Was that true? No, it was not. I had achieved a large portion of my to-do list. The other tasks were not running away and did not have to be done right now. When I celebrated that success, I opened myself to the thought of my continued success. I scheduled my time to make myself successful. I accomplished more on my to-do list. Yesterday I crossed off an essential item. Looking back on it, it really was not that much work. My thoughts built it up into a mountain. Once I got started, I discovered it was a molehill. As my wise friend, Lisa Brooks told me, I am already at my full potential, I need only to own my power and manifest the reality of my life. Are you ready to transform your potential energy into kinetic energy? Is your soil prepared for planting?