No Matter What Happens

When I was a college freshman, I went on a trip called a Wilderness Adventure. If you knew me, you would be laughing out loud right now. I was smart and creative, but I was not really a Wilderness Adventurer. My older brother, on the other hand, was smart and creative AND a Wilderness Adventurer. He was such a Wilderness Adventurer that he was already a Wilderness Adventure student leader the very next year after being a freshman participant. I on the other hand was doing it to get my PE credit out of the way for the whole year in ten horrible days. Let me tell you one of the many lessons I learned out in the woods.

My brother and I were not particularly close at the time. We weren’t upset with each other, just really busy. We kind of passed each other in the hall sometimes on the way to our classes or extracurricular activities. We usually didn’t have time to say hi. The Wilderness Adventure involved hiking and camping for ten days carrying everything we needed on our backs, climbing up and belaying down sheer rock cliffs, doing a high-elements ropes course designed especially to make college kids think they were going to plunge to their deaths, and would culminate in a solo where each student was separated, led into the woods, given three matches and a bag of gorp and left overnight to fend for themselves. The leaders wanted us students to prove to ourselves we could do this, so we were told what to do then given very little advice as to how to do it.

So it was surprising when, one day during our first-thing-in-the-morning mile-long jog, my brother circled back to me to tell me something. He had to circle way back, because he was one of the first people completing their mile and I was dead last. I saw him coming and knew something was up.

“Tara,” he said in a low voice. “No matter what happens, don’t stop running.”

“Why? What’s going to happen?” I of course said.

“Just don’t stop running, no matter what happens.”

And what happened when I finally got to that finish line that usually meant we could go make our fires and our breakfast? The Wilderness Adventure leader yelled out, “Now another mile! Go!”

And my brother was right: my initial gut reaction would have been to stop, bent over with my hands on my knees, panting, and cry “I can’t! Why? Please! I can’t do it!”

But my brother, who it turns out had been paying attention and did really know me, prepared me, in one quick sentence. I didn’t stop and freak out. I didn’t even pause. I kept running. And I ran another whole mile.

So that moment was changed from one of shock and giving up and arguing and probably being disciplined to one of being seen and being encouraged.

Sometimes even today, many years later, I’m tired and I can’t believe all that life asks of me. But I learned my lesson: No matter what happens, don’t stop running. So next time you’re exhausted and you don’t know what to do next, maybe you don’t have to exactly know. Just don’t stop running.

  • Tara Greenway

 

What can I do when my child or someone I love is struggling?

One of the hardest things in life is to witness someone that you love and or your own child struggle, perhaps with a physical illness, anxiety or navigate painful life lessons. It can become even more confusing if you yourself have struggled with the same hardship.

Most of the time we want to jump in as the hero, the fixer, but this often more times than not, only shows us how powerless we are in regards to other’s free will.

You may find your self asking “How do I guide those that I care about with love and compassionately support their unique journey with out putting my own fear and or agenda on to them.”

Watch the video below to help change the way you react to those in your life that are struggling and to become the best guide and parent you can be.

 

All You Need Is Love

Do ever feel like the highest moments in your life are fleeting? That it is impossible to hold on to them for very long and before you know it you get lost back in the daily grind?

Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could stretch those moments to last longer and longer until before you know it, each day is a high moment? Today I wanted to take a moment to remind you that at it’s very base everything is love. What keeps up disconnected from this ultimate truth and from living a full life of high moments is our beliefs that we are separate.

Tune in below and get your weekly dose of inspiration and connection.

 

The Opposite of Perfection

I am often accused of being a perfectionist. And it does feel like it an accution, as in “You’re such a pefectionist!”

Just so you know, this type of accusation is confusing to us perfectionists. Because we don’t understand why wanting everything to be perfect is a bad thing. Until one day we do understand.

One day the world comes crashing down around us in such a way that even we cannot imagine how we will prop it back up. This takes a quite a while, because we perfectionists are usually very strong and resourceful. But eventually even you, or the perfectionist you love/hate, will walk into that crashing-down place — whether it’s from the loss of a loved one, an illness, a one-two punch like losing a job and a relationship at the same time — at some point in life, crashing happens.

So what’s a perfectionist do when they find they can no longer make things perfect? How do you stop wanting things to be perfect? Should you even stop? Wouldn’t that be giving up hope? This has been a huge question in my life.
Now I am seeing: the opposite of perfection is not chaos, like I always feared. The opposite of perfection is not despair, giving up hope of a better world around you. The opposite of perfection is trust.
And that is precisely the problem: trust is secretly what we perfectionists are afraid of. We don’t much like to trust others, and trusting the Universe — mmmmm. Doesn’t sound like a great idea.

This is because of past experience, of course. When we’ve trusted others, assuming they are perfectionists like ourselves, why — typos ensue. Important work deadlines are missed. Holiday gifts are not purchased or appropriately wrapped. And don’t even get us started on when we’ve trusted the Universe! (Have you ever met our families of origin? Does it seem wise to trust the God who put together that particular group of people?)

That’s why their whole world has to crash for a perfectionist to find their way out of perfectionism. It has to be pretty bad, or we’ll just figure it out and carry on. (We save the day a lot; people like that about us.)
But when things do crash, a perfectionist has a great opportunity to learn what trust is, how and when to trust other people, which people to trust and which to keep a nice little distance from, and — most importantly — how to trust the Universe, even in light of the parents it gave you.

At its heart, perfectionism is just a state of being wherein fear is stronger than trust. If this is true for you, all you have to do is increase your trust and decrease your fear. Can remember one person you trusted that came through for you when you needed it? Most of us have many when we think about it; it’s just that we usually think about the people who let us down rather than the people who were there for us. Can you look at your life and instead of seeing all the horrible things notice the times the Universe protected you? How about just coming home every night safely, having enough food to eat, having a friend? Can you focus on the million times you did cool things instead of the dozen times you did stupid things, and trust yourself a little bit more, rather than being so incredibly hard on yourself?

Then you’re on your way. And you’re not alone. I’ve been trusting people more lately. Sometimes they have come through and it’s so gratifying and touching, like a crowd of incredible, strong, smart people have been around me this whole time, just waiting (and waiting and waiting) for me to perhaps say “Hey, I can’t do all this. Can you help me out?”

Sometimes people have not come through for me lately. Sometimes the Universe feels much less friendly than I’ve wanted it to. And I have said very loudly, “This sucks.” And then the world has continued. Not perfectly and not coming to a fiery end. The world has just continued, as it is, with its fears, love, flaws, beauty, hilarity, imperfection.

Maybe that’s it. I used to try to trust the world’s perfection, and it just didn’t freaking work. Now I’m trusting the world’s imperfection. And so far, so good.

 

By: Tara Greenway