Author: Tom Witt
I appreciate many things my mom tried to put in my path. When I was a young know-it-all adolescent she would sign us up for another retreat. Our local church in Scottsdale invited authors and travelers from all over the world to stay in the desert for a long weekend to tell their stories. It was something just the two of us shared.
Over one particular weekend in rolled M. Scott Peck, author of many books, his seminal work being The Road Less Traveled, a book I have since recommended to many friends. Peck’s prominence comes not so much from bringing new knowledge and wisdom to the reader, but more the courage to write about the kinds of things they have been thinking and feeling all along, but were afraid to talk about.
Peck begins Traveled with this statement:
“Life is difficult.
This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult-once we truly understand and accept it-then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”
An interesting idea. At its core, I believe, is the notion that we are responsible. More than we realize or often want to be. So when I have find myself in a challenging spot, a cul de sac of toil which I may feel is bestowed upon me via unfair circumstance, it helps me to remember that I have a choice. I have the choice to become just another sniveling clod complaining that the world and its inhabitants are under-achieving my expectations for how they should fix my problems, or I can become a force of nature grabbing this challenge by the horns and wringing every new strength and lesson it has to offer.
A sniveling clod or a force of nature. Quite a choice. Life’s challenges happen many times a year. I would like to report I always respond by becoming a force, but many times I have sat down filling another diaper complaining and wishing someone would come change it for me. Eventually I get up and get going, but with the right attitude I could make it easier.
In these cul de sacs, how one proceeds through and out has many options. Does it require an internal change? External? A change in my sandbox or playmates? Is this cul de sac of my own making? From my mind? My body? My spirit? Where and what needs to change?
One path that has consistently worked for me is to straighten out my body first. If I straighten out my body, providing it with proper sleep, water, food, exercise, not too much not too little, and keep my head down grinding for a couple months, my mind and spirit straighten out as well. My mind’s chatter becomes quiet and I can think more clearly and effectively. Where my spirit may have been filled with doubt and judgement is now filled with confidence and enthusiasm. And I have much more energy every day.
As we enter another spring, we have a choice, a responsibility to renew and refresh ourselves. Let’s keep our heads down for a couple months grinding, getting the sleep, the water, 5-6 small meals a day balanced with good plant-based proteins and carbs, and give our body the right amount of exercise.
And if you get hit with anxious chatter saying you can take a day off, commit and rededicate the effort to your mother or whomever that person is in your past that sacrificed for you.
To your grind….
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