I often see wonderful and inspiring quotes in signatures, on social media, or being shared during presentations and I often wonder how many of those quotes are actually being lived out as opposed to just being displayed.
One of my favorite quotes by Lao Tzu is “the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”.
I love it because it captures my life’s philosophy of “never settling.” It implies that no matter how big your dream or your goal is, it all starts with the first step.
I have written down so many of my dreams over the years and when I was writing them, I had no idea how I would accomplish any of them – but I kept writing them down anyway because it made me feel like I was doing SOMETHING, and in my mind doing something was better than doing nothing.
Meditation and reflection have become a natural way of living for me and as I was recently reflecting on where I am in this season of my life, I realized that I have had the pleasure (and the pain) of actively living out one of my favorite quotes and I want to share some of the amazing lessons that I have learned on that journey.
My Steps To Stability
In 2008, I re-entered the workplace after being a stay at home mom for several years and I was literally starting from scratch in EVERY area. My first priority was getting myself stabilized because I had two little ones depending on me. I was coming out of crisis mode and it took me a full year just to stop expecting another negative blow from life. This taught me how important self-care and mental health is. I had to stop and acknowledge the trauma that I had been through and then give myself time to heal.
My Steps To Inner Healing
By 2010, I had established a sense of normalcy. I can clearly remember having a good job, with all my bills paid, living in a great community and even taking the occasional vacation with my kids but sensing a deep dissatisfaction – in other words, now that I was stable, other needs started manifesting. This is where I learned that “settling” into comfort was not really living. My list of dreams was calling me and I wasn’t sure how I was going to achieve them but I knew that I wasn’t prepared to stop at just being “OK”.
In 2011, I started my spiritual journey because somehow I understood that pursuing a bigger, better job or more stuff and/or another relationship was not what I needed. I talked to God, meditated, took days off to go to silent retreats, read my bible and inspirational books – I was serious about taking whatever steps were necessary to find answers. The lesson I learned during this season was that wishing something was different doesn’t make it so. You have got to pursue answers and that means making time for self-work, which is probably the hardest work of all.
My Steps To My Dreams
In 2012 and 2013, I felt I received my answers and it was quite dramatic, involving among other things, quitting my job and driving 19 hours across the country to begin the adventure of a lifetime. It’s during this time that the seed for my coaching business was discovered and planted.
It was ONLY a dream at the time, one that I had no idea how to manifest, but today as I am actively engaging in that dream, I can see how it all started with that first step. I learned that it will cost you something to pursue that worthy goal – anything worth having will cost you. You must know that your dream or goal is worth it and be prepared to pay the cost in order to persevere.
As you consider your life today, are you living out those amazing quotes that you display? How can you take one step today toward the dream that has been planted in your heart? Remember you don’t have to know HOW, but you do have to be willing to take a step – do SOMETHING!