To lift my spirits after a tough couple weeks, Steve and I spent much of the weekend playing outdoors. The temperatures cooperated by moving into the upper 30 and 40 degree range. It was amazing to walk from the indoors to the outdoors without a sudden gasp of air and a desperate grabbing for my hood to shield my face from the breath-stopping cold.
Saturday's field trip included a walk with the dogs at Woodland trails. I think we were the only walkers out there, probably because the melting snow meant that we were frequently sinking and tripping as we walked. The dogs couldn't figure out what our problem was.
Sunday's field trip included going skiing at the Sand Dunes State Forest. We hadn't gone there for a couple years and the grooming practices had changed quite a bit from the wide, well-groomed trail I remembered to the narrow, combination ski and walking trail that we found.
It was a test of my skiing skills, trying to avoid the piles of dog poop. Now, my dogs may be lacking in manners in a lot of areas but at least they are polite enough to move off the trail into the deeper snow before relieving themselves. Plus we carry baggies.
Still, the pine trees made for a secluded, towering mountain of greenery that made this swishing whooshing noise when the wind came through. Being surrounded by so many towering trees made me think of fairy tales, which are so often grounded in being lost in the woods.
I did some thinking about commitment over the weekend. You may laugh, but the thing I read that truly got through to me was the forecast for March on the PowerPath.com website. Sometimes the message we need to hear comes in unexpected ways.
A sample of what I read in the March forecast is that:
"This is a month of putting yourself 100% behind your choices and decisions. It is about setting new rules, weeding out what doesn’t work, being disciplined about what it takes to manifest your intentions, and doing your work…. It will be critical to anchor your commitments in your heart and to be clear from that perspective about what you are willing to get behind and what you are not willing to put any more energy into... When you have commitment, there is no back door, there is no turning back and there is no ambivalence… Until you are committed there is always a chance to change your mind."
And then this:
"It will also be crucial to stay out of depression, lethargy and denial this month... it is the time to commit to what you really want, from your heart, not your mind. So what are you waiting for? The mind is the trap that will try and sabotage your actions. Listen instead to what your heart says you should be committed to."
I thought I had truly committed myself to a couple things I'd selected to work on this year. But I realized I am getting distracted by problems in an area of my life that is a necessity but not one of the things I want to focus my energy on.
That distraction was causing all sorts of excuses for why I was too tired or down to do the work that I need to do. And that I need to do daily -- not just hit and miss, scrunched in between bad moments.
It isn't that I’m not already familiar with the ideas that were in the March forecast, but I was forgetting. Forgetting is that bad kind of being lost in the woods you read about in so many fairy tales.
Hearing a message you need to hear can force you to look around and see the woods as they really are -- a place of beauty and strength.