Why I Make the Sacrifice to go Camping

This weekend was a camp out with a group of friends and people from my church. I really loved seeing my friends, and getting to know some new friends. The more I go camping, which isn’t very often, the more I realize that I am not meant to camp.

Mary and BellaFirst of all, the ground and I do not get along when it comes to sleeping. Thankfully this year my air mattress did not deflate. I still woke up sore every morning.

And I woke up so early! When you’re in a tent, it’s hard not to wake up with the sun. And the birds. And anyone else in the camp. Which would have been fine (maybe) if I had gone to bed when it got dark. But no, we stayed up sitting around the fire sharing stories. And others stayed up even after I went to bed, so I could still hear them. This year, I was tired enough to crash pretty hard when I went to bed, so that wasn’t as much of an issue.

Outhouses stink. I don’t think these had been emptied in a VERY long time. The camp site we were at was putting in actual washrooms, but they weren’t quite complete. So instead, the building taunted us from behind the construction fencing.

I don’t warm up easily, so being cold is not fun for me. It rained on and off all weekend. I lived in my sweater coat. All weekend.

I’m lucky there were other people to start the fire, and that my husband looked after the cooking. I appreciate him so much!

I know. I’m spoiled. When I was a child, my grandparents lived on a lake. We never went camping. We just went to Grandma and Grandpa’s house, and slept in real beds, cooked in a kitchen, and used the bathroom with running water whenever we needed to.

So why did I do it if it makes me miserable?

Because of the people. There were some people there that I love, and I don’t get to see them as often as I would like. Good friends from the Mainland that I admire, and mentors from the US. I was able to sit with these people and talk with them and learn from them in a way that I am not able to at larger gatherings.

And there were people there that I had never met before that I am extremely grateful we had the opportunity to meet and talk. We planted the seeds of new friendship.

Growing in my spirituality and my ministry is important to me. Extremely important. So I will make sacrifices and do things that are out of my comfort zone in order to learn and grow.

What do you love (or want) so much that you are willing to make sacrifices to achieve it?

Blessings,

Mary

 

How is cleaning house like learning to ride a bike?

And what do either of those things have to do with success?

success and comfortWell, I’ve been on a mission this week – to clear out the clutter and clean up my space. I’ve said before, I am not a great housekeeper. There are many other things I would prefer to be doing.

I’ve tidied up some of my living spaces – my bedroom, my computer desk, the bathroom – all the horizontal spaces that clutter tends to accumulate. I’ve gone through a box of papers I have been avoiding for probably a year and a half – thrown a whole lot away, and filed some of it. It feels really good!

It’s taking me quite a while. And some of the clutter seems to be migrating, or threatening to resume it’s old home. I just keep working away, a little each day, because it feels so freeing. Like all this stuff has had control of my life, weighing me down, and by getting rid of it I am taking back control.

Even in the middle of cleaning, though, I took a break to help my youngest son ride his bike. He’s seven, and he’s been afraid to ride. Actually, he’s been afraid to fall, so he has been content just to ride on the scooter. When we were visiting my sister, he had some positive peer pressure – his cousin, who is younger than him, was riding his bike, with no training wheels. My youngest spent some time on the youngest cousin’s bike, which had training wheels. And then he did something with my sister, and later my brother-in-law, that he wouldn’t do with me at home: he rode the bigger bike with them holding on to the back. He even got to where he was starting to ride on his own.

Then he fell off the scooter, and scraped up his hip. And the old fear of falling came right back. He didn’t really ride the bike the rest of the trip, and hasn’t touched his own bike here…until last night.

He was playing outside, and then I heard him ringing the bell on the handle bars. Soon he came in and put on his helmet. He said, “I’m going to try riding my bike, but on the grass, so I don’t hurt myself if I fall. Will you watch me, mom?”

Of course! He tried on the grass, and it was a little challenging. Our yard is not very even. So after some encouragement, I suggested he try on the pavement. When he saw how much easier it was on the pavement, he went out to the street. This was stretching his comfort zone quite a ways, though, and he asked for me to hold on and walk with him to keep his balance.

As soon as he was going, I let go, encouraging and cheering all the way. With only a couple of stops, and no falls, he rode all the way to the end of the street and back. And he was so proud of himself!

I was comfortable with my clutter. And then something urged me to start letting it go. My son was comfortable not riding his bike. And then he saw how comfortable his cousin was.

I was afraid that by starting to clean, I would have to keep going forever. My son was afraid of falling.

Each of us is taking baby steps, and each of us is finding success outside our comfort zone. Each of us has experienced the pride of overcoming a challenge.

Where are you hiding inside your comfort zone? Here are some steps to help move you out of your comfort zone and into success:

  • Act in spite of your fear. It’s OK to be afraid. Fear doesn’t have to stop you, though.
  • Take baby steps. Break it down into smaller chunks so it is not overwhelming.
  • Take pride in a job well done! Congratulate yourself, even for the little steps. It’s not always easy to move outside your comfort zone.

Leave a comment and let me know what you are doing to move from comfort to success!

Blessings,

Mary

Choosing Love or Choosing Fear?

The other day on Facebook, this picture caught my eye:

Fear vs. Love

Fear vs. Love

It was paired with the following quote (thank you, Erica Boersma):

“Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” ~ Les Brown

It was perfect timing for me, as I was contemplating the idea of stepping out of my comfort zone.

For some time now, I feel I have been in a bit of a holding pattern.  There are many things I would like to do, and yet I need to be able to feed my children.  So I continue working at my day job, tinkering away at several other projects on the side, and hoping that a miracle will happen, or deus ex machina will save me from my routine.

I understand that for my situation to change, *I* must change. And still, fear holds me back.  I chose to bring these three amazing children into this world, and I chose the responsibility that goes along with it.  So how can I make a choice that threatens their very survival?

In my coaching work, I encourage others to trust that the Universe will provide.  And if I were my only responsibility, I would absolutely trust. Its not just me though. Others depend on me for food and shelter. So how do I reconcile that with my trust (or in this case, the lack of trust) in the Universe?

I am definitely feeling like the figure in the drawing, walking a tightrope between who I am now, and who I want to be.  And at any moment, fear or love could tip the balance and send me plummeting down or racing forward. Or, the choice could leave me frozen in space, not willing to step forward or backward.

There are times when I think it would be easier if I were less aware.  I could go to work and watch television and not know how much more was out there to experience.  Yet, Oliver Wendell Holmes spoke true when he said,

The mind, once expanded to the dimensions of larger ideas, never returns to its original size.

So I shall wait for the fear to pass, and turn my mind to thoughts of love and abundance, and pray that change comes easily and joyfully.

Have any of you ever faced a major decision in your life that affected others, including yourself?  How did you deal with it?  I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Blessings,

Mary