By Gretchen McIntire
Last month I promised myself that I would focus on what it means to be a better version of myself. I want to be a better person, a better family member, and a better American.
This last month has tested me thoroughly. I haven’t slept well. I won’t touch politics here because I think that’s divisive but I will say that I think that our country is tired. I’ve spent a lot of time on nature walks, singing hymns, and praying.
“My goal was to find a grounded place of peace within myself that’s detached from all news headlines. I wanted to find my center again.”
What I discovered in the quiet place of prayer was that I have some work to do with patience. I have always struggled with patience but it never felt personal because I never saw my behaviors so clearly as I was being impatient with myself and with America to find some calm again. I also discovered is that my faith has become more front and center than any other priority in my life. I love that because for a while I think I had spent so much time judging myself that I avoided my faith.
But during my walks and talks with the creator of all things I realized some really amazing and good things. I realized that part of transformation isn’t about controlling the transformation. A butterfly doesn’t anxiously paint its colors on its wings as they grow. I realized that transformation is about letting go and letting transformation happen and that my impatience had become my own roadblock. I was in too much of a hurry to fly. Now I know better.
“This year of transformation will continue on into next year and so forth because I am always striving to be the best version of myself. But this year I see potential for tremendous change.”
But charts won’t make that happen and wearing brand name yoga clothes won’t make that happen. A lot of my problems have been in just simply being.
My focus is now on the realization that transformation is painful and it’s slow. Trying to speed it up won’t do anything except complicate things. “Be still” has become a mantra based on one of my favorite scriptures. But no matter what your faith is based in, I’m realizing that no matter how slowly our transformations are, there is always hope. If it is faith in ourselves, a God, pure goodness or the universe—hope is always there. But hope is only evident for me when I quiet my spirit and slow down. Here’s to the slowest month to come and I typed that with a big smile on my face. Spring will come when it’s ready and it will be beautiful.
What ways can you slow down? What goals are you possibly rushing that don’t need to be rushed?