If you live in the DC area you’ll know a gloriously beautiful spring came into being only to be slammed into the ground by some bitter cold weather we’ve been having lately.
I took a walk in the woods this week on a cold and windy day. As I was walking, desperately trying to keep warm in the cold and wind without quite enough of the correct clothing on, I noticed all the leaves beginning to peep out on the branches around me. I noticed life showing up on the brambles. I noticed my personal favorite, the little yellow flowers nestled in a bright green bed that blankets the forest floor in the beginning of spring.
But it was still cold and windy…in all honesty, it wasn’t the most pleasurable of walks in the woods.
As I walked, I was thinking about how life sometimes gives us unmet expectations. Sometimes in those unmet expectations it’s really hard to see the good, it’s really hard to notice the beauty when we’re expecting something different then we end up having. I was thinking about how sometimes we fail to notice the beauty in those unmet expectations, and we fall victim to dwelling on the negative without ever seeing the positives in our life.
Unmet expectations are hard…we have our mind built around one thing, and when something completely different happens, it can throw us for a loop. And yet, there’s still beauty, there’s still good in that space of unmet expectations.
My friends, I hope this week you can see the beauty and the good, even if life doesn’t look exactly as you expected it to look.
I hope you have an amazing week, my friends.
My Mask First
I’ve been thinking about backpacking trips when my kids were little…and specifically about crossing streams with littles, packs, and the threat of wet and miserable afternoons if an accidental slip were to occur. I was remembering times where I would cross a creek, get my footing and stability on a couple of rocks, and then help my kiddos across so that we didn’t go tumbling into the water.
Last weekend I flew to California to visit my sister and my brand new (adorable) niece. It was a short but wonderful and nourishing time of connection where I got to see and squeeze so many of my people.
On the second leg of my flight out to California I was seated right in front of several families with small children. As I settled into my seat to get ready to go, I heard the flight attendant walk around to each family individually, look at the responsible adults in each family, and say “remember, in case of emergency, put your mask on first before helping your children with their masks.”
Put your mask on first.
We’ve all heard that before, right? Put your mask on first, take care of yourself first…you can’t take care of those around you if you do not first take care of yourself.
We’ve all heard it, and yet, how hard is it to live it? We all know that we should prioritize our own self-care, but when it comes down to it, there is a vast difference between knowing what we should do, and being able to live out that knowledge.
My dear friends, I hope this week each of us can give ourselves the permission to take care of ourselves a little more. As I needed to get that firm footing in order to help my littles across the stream without falling in, I hope we’re willing to give ourselves a little more time and care, so we have the bandwidth to be there for those in our lives who might need us.
I hope you have an amazing week, my friends.
The Space Between
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. -Viktor E. Frankl
I was trying to cross the stream the other day to get to a rock I wanted to sit on for a bit. I was able to get to said rock without too much trouble, but it wasn’t without thought…I had to pause, get my bearings and my footing, and continue on to the rock so I did not slip into the water. As I sat there I thought about a situation that recently happened in my life.
A few days ago I was about to make a bad decision. I’m sure you can relate, I almost sent a text I would have later regretted. While the text would have been understandable and perhaps even justified, it simultaneously would not have had benefit in my life and in the situation, but instead would have served to build walls around an already complicated set of circumstances.
Right as I was about to send the text, my dear friend called me…and that call pulled me out of the moment and gave me the space I needed to reevaluate what I was doing. That call interrupted me enough and allowed me to remind myself of what was of most benefit in this particular time.
I was talking to another friend about what happened and how I was feeling about it the following day, and she led me to the beautiful quote above. “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
My friends, we aren’t always going to be rescued by the well-timed call from a friend prior to our response, and there will certainly be times when we make decisions that build walls instead of bridges…but perhaps this week, just as I had to pause to cross that water to get to the rock, we can pause a little more in our own lives….we can find a little more space between stimulus and response, and we can stand in our power to choose our own response and cultivate our growth and our freedom.
I hope you have an amazing week my friends.
The Full Picture
So, last week I talked about anchoring back…about my amble through the woods and coming back to the sound of the water to anchor back into the time and space I was in.
As I sat there, listening to the sound of the flowing water and anchoring myself back to the present moment a few weeks ago, I got my phone out and took the picture I posted last week. I got really close to the water to take the picture….because when you got a little further out from that particular picture, you could see some pretty nasty scuzz in the water.
I was thinking about that picture as I walked back to my car that afternoon…about the ways we find grounding and peace even when our surroundings might have a little nasty scuzz in addition to that beauty. The reality is, our life has both, right? There’s a chance we might never have a picture that is simply beautiful without any extra heartache. But, my friends, even with that extra scuzz in the water, that beauty was still there shining through.
So perhaps this week we acknowledge the scuzz, but in that acknowledgement we simultaneously turn our focus a little more on to the beauty.
I hope you have a beautiful week, my friends.
I have this stone I keep in my jacket pocket. It’s smooth, and fits nicely in my hand…I think my niece gave it to me one time and told me to keep it…and, well, you have to obey the adorable 5 year olds in your life, especially if they’re your sister’s adorable 5 year olds who you can give back at the end of the day. Sometimes if I’m a bit distractible it’ll help me ground back into the present as I hold onto it.
I was ambling through the woods the other day. As I walked I was noticing how my mind was all over the place. Thoughts ping-ponging their way through my head. There was a bit of an inability to be present, and a distinct lack of desire to try to be present. As I walked, I noticed my distractibility, but I didn’t try to fix it. I listened to my messages on my phone, I continued to ping-pong in my thoughts. I was in the woods…but I wasn’t really there.
Toward the end of my time, I did try to come back, to find some grounding, and to be present in the space I was in. I stepped toward the water, found a cozy spot, and just listened to the flowing of the water as I breathed deeply.
Sometimes we just need a bit of an anchor, a tangible something to allow ourselves to be a little more present, a little more grounded in our day…maybe that’s a stone in our pocket, maybe that’s the sound of running water, maybe it’s something completely different…water was that source of grounding for me that day. It brought me right back to where I was, and allowed me to be fully present in that time and space for just a moment.
My dear friends, there isn’t anything wrong with finding our anchor when our mind inevitably wanders and ping-pongs. I hope this week, when your mind wanders and you feel you need it to come back, you can give yourself a little more permission to find that tangible grounding.
Have an amazing week my friends.
Hi, I'm Krista!
Krista Mason is a yoga and fitness instructor based in Washington DC. She owns an online studio and loves it!