Cat’s back today with more about old thinking that has kept her circling feelings that stand in the way of getting where she wants to go. The good news is, she’s working through it and finding herself on a sure path to success — being able to make your own choices about what you need in the moment.
Left foot. Right foot. Breathe.
I can feel the mist in the air, hitting my face as the breeze rustled the leaves on the trees surrounding me. I’m on top of a steep 20 foot drop, trying to work up the nerve to make my way down to the waterfall that is just past the line of trees that block my view. I get to the edge of the wall and completely freeze—I can’t move, I can’t think. All I can feel is fear working its way from my head to my toes.
I never made it to the waterfall that day. My feet stayed firmly planted on the rock wall, and I stayed firmly planted in a fear that, at the worst of times, feels like auto-pilot.
Stuck In My Familiar Ways
For the last few weeks, I feel like I’ve been stuck in neutral, letting myself slide from newer, healthy behaviors into my old way of doing things. It’s not the worst place to be. It’s comfortable. It’s predictable. I know it’s safe. But it’s definitely not what I want.
Here’s the thing: it’s driven by guilt and shame, by my past, but most importantly, by that same fear that kept me from doing what I really wanted. All this does is highlight something I know to be true, staying in neutral is never going to get me where I want to be.
The Only Way Out Is Through
I felt stuck when I first came to Green Mountain. Years of unhappiness and fear had led to years of hard, intense pushing, physically and emotionally, thinking that that was my way to satisfaction. All I needed to solve my problems was some old-fashioned, boot-strap-pulling effort, right?
All those years of fighting fear with pushing ever harder had left me exhausted and further away from my goals than when I had started. I knew that they only way out was through, but I needed to learn how to support and love myself along the way.
That firm foundation of self-esteem and self-respect was and is vital. That is the only way for me to calm the waves of anxiety about my past and future, and simply move forward.
Positive Change Starts From A Place Of Love
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At Green Mountain I learned what I wish I’d known a long time ago—that even my greatest efforts needed to be based in love from the start if I want to go anywhere.
I wish I could say that this has made my journey easy, but I still struggle, some days more than others. It’s easy to get pulled back into old ways.
As I fight the urge to give up or grit my teeth and push, I have to stop myself from doing either and remember how I felt at that rock wall. Only this time, I get to choose the outcome.
Turning back won’t get me there, but neither will aggressively rushing myself. I have to take one step at a time, lovingly and mindfully.
Whatever that waterfall is for you, you’ll get there. By the way, I’m going on a trip next week. I’m going to go see some pretty awesome waterfalls.