Thursday, September 6, 2012

Lessons of a Lifetime, Learning from Ourselves, and Receiving Others

Just a bit before 7 a.m

Seems like the kid dust has barely settled.
and yet it is almost time to stir them up again.

But I'm determined to make today a good day.
Sitting down for Breakfast and looking inside little eyes/souls.

So, in the minutes before my
"Good Morning Sunshines!"
I so desperately had hoped to do some writing that actually comes out flowing.

But...  Again, as is true with the last few days, every time I come here to write, I stumble over my words, things get stuck, and too much comes out of this head of mine.  Good stuff.  Fine stuff.  But LOTs of "stuff" in this head.  Seems like it has been that way for several months now.  My universe is shifting indeed.  Change is everywhere.  My eyes have been opened to new things.  And Running is on hold.  Until further notice.  I suppose this could have something to do with the writing/words not flowing....not having running in life changes lots of things.  But, you know, even then, good things come from it.  It's like I'm forced to slow down and put that energy into other things.  Just another season in life, right?

Yesterday, I woke up feeling like a huge carpet of possibility was stretched out before me.  So many possible changes coming up.  And a heart full of hope to go with it.  Excitement really.  A readiness like I haven't felt too many times before.  And with these feelings comes lots to process.  This can be emotional, as I've seen with myself over the last few months.  I can feel myself being stretched in ways that I didn't expect and certainly didn't go looking for.  I've been led to do some work within myself that I didn't know was even there to be done.  Good work.  Hard work even....the kind of work that involves the heart and soul.  And I can feel myself growing by the second.  Pretty cool feeling.  I'm grateful that Life waited for a time when I had some pretty special people in my world to be a part of it all.  People that have so fully and unconditionally wrapped themselves around me with love, appreciation and acceptance in a way that has left me feeling SAFE, challenged even, to unfold and take off another layer of Me.  Thankful for them.  Gifts in the highest sense.

As I tried to put things into words yesterday, I finally put it away and decided to wait.  Maybe just trying to write is processing enough. Even if what comes out is only a mountain for words all jumbled together.  At least it has led to some personal reflections that have been GOLD to me.

As part of my reflection, I am aware that the changes taking place in my heart/world are bigger than usual but changes are always taking place in our lives. Things we don't even notice.  Progress.  Growth.  Challenges.  Lessons.  New opportunity.  I've done SO much of my personal work (emotional, mental, spiritual) through my writing on this blog over the last two years.  It's been a piece of me and I've taught myself through my own words. This has been priceless to me.  I've written what I needed to know.  Even when what I needed to know wasn't going to be until days, weeks, months or years down the road.  Life is cool like that.

So, before I end this ramble and get my kids moving here, I'll end by including an excerpt from the piece I wrote for Sparrow Magazine about the Boston Marathon this year.  I do believe that this experience was so much more than a was one of the most powerful moments of my life.  One of the hardest for sure.  And it taught me lessons of a lifetime.  It was the beginning of a new chapter in my life...and I see that now.  LOTS has unfolded since April.  LOTS.  And Boston was only the beginning...but a necessary part to what is next.  It was comforting to me to go back and read the life lessons that I wrote about then....not knowing THEN that they would be lessons for me NOW and probably many times through the years.  Glad to reread my own insights:

They are life lessons worth remembering:
  • We are stronger than we think we are. When I get to those moments in life where I doubt there is anything left to give, there is always more.
  • We are not alone in life. Faith, friendship, and support of others around us will help us get through the difficult times. Friendship is one of of life’s richest blessings. There is great beauty and value in the support of a community.
  • Being REAL is a gift to ourselves and to those around us. When we share our heartbreaks and struggles and allow ourselves to admit that we feel broken, we reveal the human sides of ourself that so many can relate to. We open the doors to be loved.
  • We can always change and set new goals. Letting go of goals and changing expectations can lead to new possibilities. When one door closes, there are more to be opened.
  • Hardships make us stronger. Life doesn’t always go as planned but each new opportunity allows for growth. Every time we are tested with challenges, we rise stronger than before.
  • It’s okay to slow down. It’s okay to stop and be still. We don’t always have to be rushing from one goal to the next. We don’t always have to be climbing and soaring. Rather, there  will be those times in life where we just need to pick ourselves up and wrap ourselves in gentleness, acceptance, and the reassurance that it is okay to just “be”.
  • There are things we can control and things we can’t. What we can control is how we choose to react to the cards that are dealt.
The process of training for a marathon is so much more than just getting in shape so that we can make the distance of 26.2 miles. Training for a marathon doesn’t just start and stop. It changes us. We cross the finish line stronger, more determined and with a greater appreciation of what we are truly capable of. We test limits. We discover the depth of possibility in ourselves and in the life we have before us. Our goals aren’t always reached. And the doors we want opened the most, are sometimes closed and locked tightly. But in the end, there are always lessons to be learned and new doors to be opened that surprise us. I will forever be changed by what I learned in the Boston Marathon 2012. And I am only stronger for it.

I hope my spirit is always open to change.  It really is a beautiful thing to be at a point in my life where I can truly and fully, vulnerability, possibilities, relationships and lessons that were meant just for me.  And Then use them to grow.  Grateful for the possibilities that will always be stretched out before us if we are open to receiving them.   


Follow Runninghood on Facebook or Twitter


  1. Oh I love it Amanda. You are so right. You are where you need to be right now, and the running has stopped because right now there are other things you need to focus on - I really believe that. You are so conscious, so aware, so grateful - I always gain from reading you. Please keep sharing your stuff - however messy and disorganised - because I love reading it.

  2. Sometimes your rambling posts speak to me the loudest :)

  3. You made me cry this morning and spiritually I needed to read this. Beautifully written. I have actually printed the part about the marathon and training. Words of wisdom I will carry with me. What a blessing you are.

  4. I think that's the beauty of life, you never know what's around the corner and even if life throws something dark, there is a reason behind this and I know we come out stronger in a way we really may not be able to quite yet identify; but in time will. Goals which were once important suddenly become less so so that we can focus on something new, different -- and exciting. This is okay...we are better people by moving forward and using the past to shape our future - and make it grand!

  5. Hey you! I will be back for a better comment later but just wanted to quickly say I thought this was excellent. GREAT writing! "Maybe just trying to write is processing enough" I've felt that so many times. I've written full jumbled emails that I've never sent but felt like I was able to process my thoughts by attempting to write out my feelings. I also have mountains of blog posts that I've written and found closure through writing but then never published. YES, such valuable personal reflection to be found in this way! Your words flowed beautifully this morning.

    I am so amazed by the person that you are. So intentional, not willing to settle for anything less than you deserve in life. I learn constantly from you in so many quiet ways... Love you.

  6. You are a great writer... I don't think I could ever express myself that way. Beautiful.

    I may have been out of it for a while- apparently I live in my own running bubble sometimes so please forgive me if I missed something but when you say running is on hold what exactly do you mean? Are you still running but not racing? Are you taking a break all together?

    My favorite part of the article for Sparrow is that last paragraph. You put into words how I feel after a marathon. It's hard to describe that feeling to anyone who hasn't gone through that process.

  7. I am in the midst of an international adoption. Being called to something i have never imagined Jesus would call me too. I don't know what is around the corner and my running has come to a screeching halt.

    I so needed to read this today.

  8. Thanks for this post. I really enjoyed it.

  9. I'm having a pretty crap day today - full of questions and anxiety. So I'm going to hold on to your first dot point 'We are stronger than we think we are. When I get to those moments in life where I doubt there is anything left to give, there is always more.'
    I hope the running comes back soon.

  10. I too have struggled lately with writing, so I have just put it aside and wait for it to call. Work has encroached into my other parts and boy is it noisy! I love what I do, but need to put it back in its place so I can be balanced again.

    I get it.

  11. It was good for me to re-read your Boston reflections, there is so much life learning wrapped up in there. God presents us with challenges and Boston presented some for me- even without the horrific weather. I sure wish I had you there with me in 2010- my experience was a lot different, but left me with some good lessons as well. It was a lonely trip for me.
    " It really is a beautiful thing to be at a point in my life where I can truly and fully, vulnerability, possibilities, relationships and lessons that were meant just for me. " You are in a wonderful spot right now if this is where you are. For me, it takes being broken to really feel that way. And even then,I am not sure I am able to trust anyone enough to really get where you are at. But i am happy for you to be there- fearless.
    Happy for you my friend, for your spirit and your courage and your willingness to receive love and take chances.
    And I will chime in with the others..I thought this was a good write from you too. :)

  12. I get so excited to read your rambles. Again, so inspiring and you are so not the only one thinking-- just brave enough to share it. Your excerpt on the marathoning is what I needed. In my training now, I frequently question why I do this. You answered perfectly for me why I am doing this: to try something, to test myself, to be determined and driven to succeed. :)

  13. "...huge carpet of possibility was stretched out before me...". Love that visual! That was the first time I had read your article on the Boston marathon in Sparrow magazine. What great lessons you shared.

    I am thinking so much these days, too, but haven't found a way to put it all into words. I lost myself a little over the summer and am now on a path back to finding myself once again. And reinventing myself at the same time, too.

    What a journey life is! Thanks for sharing all your thoughts. xo

  14. You are dead on with so many things. Running a marathon has taught me so much about myself and what I'm capable of. I've taken a hiatus the past few months from goals and blogging. Like you said, sometimes you need to just be, and that's ok.