November 12, 2021
Yeah, me too.
For many, the pandemic has created a bit of a standstill on multiple levels. I find myself etched in the in-between, aching to push myself back into ‘normalcy,’ all the while coming to grips with how abnormal ‘normal’ actually is. In addition, since the death of my dad in March 2020, I’ve found myself vacillating between trying to do and honoring the need to be still. To be quite honest, it’s been frustrating as hell.
I’ve worked hard to center myself, tuning in more consistently to my physical well-being. Further, I’ve taken steps to rest and anchor myself by practicing meditation and engaging in other self-soothing activities. I’ve also worked through hundreds of pages in my journals, with themes of frustration, uncertainty, and waiting frequently rising to the surface.
Bottom line … I’ve done all I can think of to shift the needle.
Just the other day as I sat at my computer, tears streaming down my face, I remembered one of the last conversations I had with my dad. At the time, I didn’t realize just how prophetic it would be. Nevertheless, given my dad’s failing health, I sensed an urgency in his voice and readily listened to his sage advice. He gently offered, “Mekel, on the heels of risk are some of life’s greatest adventures.”
His input ultimately led to my decision to quit a full-time job in the middle of a pandemic in order to pursue a solo entrepreneurial journey. Crazy, right? With a not-so-complete financial portfolio in tow, I ventured out in faith. I followed the signs pointing me in the next best direction. I took a huge risk. My dad’s words filled up my tank on the days when emotionally, I felt as if I were running on fumes. Finally, throughout the past nearly two years, I think of my dad on days when I’m feeling discouraged, overwhelmed, and uncertain.
What resonates most about my dad’s words is the importance of trusting what’s already within you. Each of us takes risks to the extent that we feel capable and courageous.
Throughout my childhood, my dad reminded me of my goodness, my capacity, and my strength. He often proudly shared the story of my plunging down an entire flight of stairs head first as a three year-old. His favorite part of the story was my crashing down at the bottom, climbing the stairs, and attempting the adventure all over again. Little did I know this and other stories would propel me into adulthood, from undergrad to graduate school to graduate school again and into my career. Many hard falls. Many steps to climb. Much trial and error.
I cling to the veracity of my dad’s word’s when I feel most uncertain in other life situations.
Most recently, the waves of uncertainty have ebbed and flowed at a faster tempo. And I’m silly enough to believe it’s happening in order to help me dig deeper, trust more fiercely, and believe in myself more fervently.
Friend, I’m convinced that present challenges push us towards the direction of inward reflection. And when we reflect, we often discover jewels that have been present inside of us all along.
While you may not have had a cheerleader whispering pearls of wisdom in your ear, you can take a moment to look back over your life. Pinpoint the moments during which you thought you wouldn’t make it. Reflect on the days you felt overwhelmed and confused. From there, you can flash forward to the present moment and embrace an irrefutable truth: you’re still standing.
You’re still standing. And that’s enough to remind you that the valleys of yesterday and even today aren’t deep enough for you to fall into without hope.
To reflect on my dad’s words: “On the heels of risk are some of life’s greatest adventures.” (Yes, you can borrow them as needed).
Today, my friend, consider what small risk you might take. And as you do, you’ll discover those inner resources. You’ll be reminded of your capacity. You’ll rediscover that strength never left you.
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
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