We are finishing out the final days of 2013, which makes it a perfect time for reflecting on the past and present to open ourselves for personal and professional growth in the coming year. For each one of us, every day is marked with choices that make up the overall stories of our lives. There are small choices that shape our days and months, and then, there are significant choices that shape our years. These entire choices culminate into stories that make up the chapters in our book of life. If you are at a place in life where there seems to be a bishop or knight attempting to block your progress, then take the time for self-reflection to realign mentally and spiritually. It is within these reflecting moments that you will be able to find the answers to what is blocking your growth personally or professionally.
Be Patient-The Answers Will Come
One of the first times I tried to sit and reflect was at the age of seven years old. My parents would send myself and three sisters to a church camp in the summer for a week. The year was 1978 when there were lots of trees, no air or road traffic, simply you and nature. They told us to spread out and select a spot that would invite moments alone to think and write. We were told to sit there for 20 minutes. What!? The week was filled with daily activities, but each morning we had to sit for reflection time. I spent the 20 minutes observing nature and people.
On the last day, a cricket came out from behind the brick wall and began chirping. I listened to the little cricket singing its heart out and felt a sense of peace. As I listened to the little cricket chirping, I placed pencil to paper and within those moments sparked a passion for writing. I wrote about how much fun it was to come to the camp and meet all the teachers and kids. I wrote about the hike to the falls, the making of leather bracelets, the singing in the chapel, the competition races, and the love found in my family and faith. At the end of the writing is a small drawing of the cricket and myself. Each year my sisters and I returned to the camp, I added a new chapter every year to the reflection journal that now rest within a keepsake box.
Nature provides an incredible place to step away from your daily rhythms in order to listen for the answers to the challenges you are facing in your personal and professional life. You have a co-worker, boss, client, etc. blocking your progress, step out into nature for some quiet reflection time to figure out the steps to take for growth in each of these relationships. Or, to find out if it is time for you to step away from those relationships and open a new chapter with new relationships in your book of life.
When Opportunity Knocks-Open the Freaking Door!!
Have you ever studied the power of the subconscious mind? One of the things that blocks us from personal and professional growth are these tapes that play from our childhood over and over again keeping us from moving forward in life. When I was 8 years old, my childhood best friend died of a rare disease known as rye syndrome. People in the 70’s did not speak of emotions and I can remember feeling extremely guilty for still being alive. But, during this time period, you tucked stuff into the subconscious and marched on in life. Years later, at the age of 28, I was sitting in my boss’s office being offered a promotion to oversee the business centers administrative team members. Without hesitation, I turned the offer down. Why?! Because these deep-seeded subconscious thoughts lie dormant until something triggers the tapes to play and cause us to react before we even know what we are doing.
My subconscious screamed out, “how dare you, she is dead, you do not deserve a promotion!” Opportunity knocked at the door and I slammed the door shut. Needless to say, I went back to my faith with a significant amount of reflection time in order to ensure this would never happen again. Those young years at a church camp had served me well with teaching the importance of personal reflection in order to stay on the right path and make the right choices in life. A few months later opportunity knocked again, I bolted from my seat screaming absolutely YES! Underneath the subconscious, I told myself, “She would never want you to stop living, if anything; she would want you to cease every opportunity and live for both of you.” That is exactly what I do every day of my life and encourage you to do the same in every situation that will bring growth into your life.
All of us have these tapes in our subconscious that cause us to react to life challenges negatively and positively. If you are not moving forward in your career or personal life, pull out a piece of paper and start writing. It takes time for answers to come to the surface in your writings. But, they will come to the surface and provide the answers to lead you on the right path.
Personal and Professional Growth: Change the Soil and Add Water
Whatever your profession in life, whatever your situation in life, whatever your struggles in life, wherever you are in life, change the soil and simply add water. What I mean by this is if you are being blocked by a bishop or knight; change your attitude, position, outlook, strategy, etc. and align with your personal faith, humble yourself to receive enlightenment, be agreeable, or do anything different than you are currently doing in order to move you back on the right path to fulfill the chapters of your book of life.
Dear Santa, Please bring the answers to whoever is reading this that is currently on the wrong path, on the right path and needing answers to stay on the path, or simply needing someone to send Karma their way to bring growth in their personal or professional lives. Bring them new soil and fresh water to grow a new seedling in the next chapter in their book of life.