I woke up this morning thinking about Grammy Bickford, my husband’s grandmother. Grammy was a tough old bird, with a whole lot of sass, and a deep well of love. She was on my mind this morning as I was thinking of how hard this winter has been for many people…broken furnaces, car problems, emotional/mental exhaustion and brrr freakin’ cold. I thought of Grammy like I do often in the winter, I thought of her stories of growing up in a logging camp, of snow blowing through the cracks in the walls and of walking to school with plastic bags around your socks to keep your feet dry. I hear her voice telling stories of eating lard sandwiches and sharing a bed with her siblings for warmth. She did not tell these stories with sorrow and pain. She told them with laughter and a sense of victory, for she had overcome such battles.
When the world seems dark and filled with obstacles I think back on my ancestors and I am thankful for the coziness of my life. Like Grammy Bickford, my own grandparents lived in a similar way. I suppose it is why she instantly became kindred to my heart, she reminded me of my own grandmother, who was also a woman of great strength and love. My life has always been one woven with the threads of my ancestors. Their stories became my stories over time, and I found that by remembering their hardships and victories, I felt less alone when things were tough. I knew that like them, I had within me the ability to find happiness and joy even when the world around me was challenging and filled with hardship. I was more than my single vibration, I was part of a symphony.
I believe this year is going to be a powerful one of change and opportunity, but like all things, we must experience the good with the bad. There will be hurdles to overcome and fucked up moments to navigate. It is our mindset that truly determines our happiness in life. Like Grammy Bickford and my grandmother, Grammy Brown, I choose to approach my obstacles with a bit of humor and an understanding that this too shall pass, that the moment I am in is simply a part of that which I am becoming.
In all of the grand stories of adventure, there are always hardships to endure, and obstacles to overcome. Bilbo didn’t mosy off into the enchanted forest to frolick with singing elves. He was not delivered on flying unicorn or magical chariot to the doors of dragon treasure. He was not welcomed in by the dragon, given a pipe and welcomed to warm his feet by the fire. He persevered, he endured; he laughed, he cried, he was dirty and hungry and yet what a fuckin story he had to tell in the end. Life is about change, and change is never a straight shot to happy-ville. It is a learning experience. My husband likes to say “God does not care about your comfort, God cares about your character”. I believe this to be true, for many of the most amazing people on this planet have become so while experiencing hardship. Jesus, Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Joan of Arc, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela…there is a whole lot of struggle in those stories. There is also a whole lot of beauty, kindness, and love.
I invite you to step into this year with the heart of an adventurer, viewing obstacles as an opportunity to become more. When things do not go according to plan, look around and see what the universe is presenting to you. What pieces of beauty and humor lie on your path while you are navigating the difficulties. Who presents themselves to you as allies, what ancestors come forward in your mind and heart to share in your journey. Remember, we can think thousands of thoughts at any given moment, what makes you think of them? Perhaps it is because they are thinking of you.
Our story is woven together with the stories of those who came before us, and those who come after us. Together our blood sings the story of our people. The stories would be a hell of a lot more boring if everything always went according to plan, and we did nothing but sit around under a cabana with our feet in the sand drinking mimosas. We need challenges to show us what we are capable of. We need hurdles on the road so we can learn to problem solve, we need wild paths through the wilderness of life so we can learn to navigate the unknown. We need magic and mystery, and we need companions so that the road seems less daunting. Remember this when times are tough, look into the future and imagine with a grin, how you will tell the story of your adventures to those who follow.
We are co-creators of reality…how will you create your story?