The man had reached this point on the road many times before. This time he decided to make camp and ponder his options, instead of taking the obvious path and to keep on going. Thinking back he had taken all possible roads that lead from this cross road. And with time the path he choose brought him back to the same place. So he decided to sit still and listen. Listening to what the wind had to say and hear it whisper his name. Feeling the earth underneath his feet, feeling grounded and nurtured. Seeing where the sun was directing, casting its shadows when it was standing at its highest point in the sky. At night talking with the moon and wondering what star to follow. He understood he had not always been listening to the signs the universe had been showing him on the way in his life.
He had seen the mountain in front of him before. All the times he passed here, it seemed like an impenetrable fortress. He never gave it much attention, as what would be the use of climbing this mountain. Now he started to wonder, what if his path would lead him over this mountain? And that he could take alternative routes, but it would bring him back to this same place every time again. But it seemed there was no path up this mountain. He felt in a deadlock.
The next morning he decided he was going to find his way. Before he started on his new journey, he looked up at the sky and asked the universe to lead him, as he had no idea where to start. A soft breeze gently touched his cheek as an affirmation that the universe was hearing his call. He understood he was embarking on a journey where he didn´t know where it would take him. He was confident the road was going to show him the way. Suddenly a robin flew down from a bush just in front of his feet. As it was saying, follow me. He picked up his pack and started following this little bird. Behind a big rock he stumbled upon a small and winding path going up, disappearing behind some trees. He felt blessed and smiled. And for the first time it was as if he could hear a woman´s voice tenderly calling his name, carried by the wind. Telling him that she knew he was on his way now and that she was waiting for him.
We all have our own mountain(s) to climb in our life. Have faith that the road ahead is there even if you can´t see all the time.
Who do you see when you look into the mirror in the morning? Do you see someone you like, do you smile at this person and are you are happy being in his or her company? Or are you not aware of the person looking back at you? Are you, as usual, in a hurry to get to work, to get the children to school or the many other things that keeps you busy and that defines your life?
If we don’t acknowledge and accept the person we are, we will let others define ourselves. I saw a video of Lizzy Velasquez, speaking at TEDxAustin about ‘How do YOU define yourself’. She has a medical syndrome that doesn’t allow her to gain weight or create muscle, one of three people with this syndrome in the world. In an internet video she was defined as "The World’s Ugliest Woman". People responded: “Please do the world a favour, put a gun to your head and kill yourself.”
Like Lizzy, we don’t control the circumstances when, where and how we are born. It is a given. And also we don’t control how other people deal with things they can’t control, don’t understand or are afraid of. We can’t control how people respond and react. There is only one thing we have control over, and that is our own response, our own attitude, our own behaviour and the way we communicate.
When you realize you are the only person in the world who defines who you are and who chooses the path you are walking at the very present, that is the moment you can take ownership in your life, being able to live your life with full passion and turn your dreams into a destination. Have a look at the video how Lizzy defines her life.
Now, tomorrow morning when you meet yourself again in the mirror, take an extra minute and have a good look at yourself. Smile at yourself and tell yourself how nice it is to meet you again this morning. And feel inside what you give yourself and what you will be going to give other people you meet today. And accept every smile returned with gratitude.
2014. A new year to begin. Why is it so difficult to hold on to our resolutions and wishes for the new year? What is holding you back to make the changes in your life you would like to make? Do you feel trapped inside outdated habits and beliefs, keeping you from developing and moving forward?
It all starts with embracing your past. When you don't accept who you are and where you come from, you will always find a reason why you are not reaching or achieving something. Also you will think of this before you have even started, calculating the outcome.
Being able to embrace your past you can see the long and winding road you came, understanding the person you are, your values, strength and weakness. You understand what brought you here and you can look with an open mind into the future.
Mapping your dreams gives you a sense of direction, a destination and a spot at the horizon to aim for. What are you dreaming of? Are you able to dream big? Let go of any restricting habit or belief. Then you will be able to live in the present, take ownership, show gratitude and learn from your mistakes.
Look back for just one more time and embrace all that has happened. Look ahead, map your dreams and focus on your destination. Live like today is going to be your last day and then go to sleep with a grateful smile. You can also be the director of your life!