giving ourselves recognition

February 10, 2022

Today I want to share with you an excerpt from my forthcoming book, Doorways to Transformation: Everyday Wisdom for the Creative Soul (coming this spring!).

In light of how we so often begin each year with resolutions, ways to improve, and goals we’ve yet to meet, in this excerpt I encourage us to celebrate where we are today and give ourselves recognition for how far we’ve come...

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“If we never stop to recognize our progress, we will be forever
tethered to an unrelenting treadmill of dissatisfaction. It is only
in feeling proud of who we are today that we experience lasting
contentment in our soul.” —Journal entry, January 28, 2019

One of the downsides of living in a Mexican colonial town is the wildly uneven cobblestone streets that make walking (or any other form of exercise) extremely challenging. I’ve gained an entirely new appreciation for flat concrete as a result. In Los Angeles, my exercise route for years was a paved bike path along the ocean. Toward the end of my time in California, I started trekking up into the hills that surround the city. In many ways, my switch to hiking the hillside was symbolically parallel to my upcoming relocation to Mexico—I was ready for new terrain and new vistas to explore.

Now, most days, even though I have traded wooded hills for rocky streets, I still feel like I am hiking. This morning, as I navigate the cobblestones, continually looking down to avoid misstepping or twisting my ankle, I marvel at how adept I have become at traversing such uneven terrain. It almost feels like I have mastered some sort of extreme sport!

Any time we are plunged into a different setting, no matter how foreign, we have no choice but to learn new skills. And we end up becoming accomplished at all kinds of things, possibly even surprising ourselves with the types of proficiencies we acquire. In the midst of our learning, there is tremendous value in pausing once in a while to appreciate just how far we’ve come. No matter how big or small our achievements, taking time to acknowledge how much we’ve grown and how well we’ve adapted to new challenges is essential to our soul’s well-being.

Today, instead of looking for your next growth curve or mountain to climb, try celebrating instead. Affirm yourself for having grasped something unfamiliar. For adapting. For overcoming the latest wrench thrown into your path. Take time to stop and recognize your own evolution in the midst of life’s journey.

While becoming all we are meant to be, it behooves us to pause and feel satisfied with who and where we are at this moment in time. In validating how much we have overcome, grown, and learned, we gain a fresh appreciation for all that we embody.

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Reflections:

How much do you appreciate who you are in the present? How can you recognize and celebrate how far you’ve come?

What are five ways you have grown over the past several months or years that make you especially proud?

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