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Lost in a Thought

It was a beautiful crisp fall day in September when I was invited to facilitate a workshop for Femergy, a dynamic organization dedicated to empowering women and girls. I felt so blessed by the opportunity. We processed my 7 Elements to B.R.E.A.T.H.E., emphasizing the power of breath and awareness to support our resilience and help us thrive. The women shared notable ah, ha moments as our time together nudged us all to deepen our self care practices, to count ourselves as worthy of the time and intention self care requires.


After the session, we shared words of gratitude over lunch then headed our separate ways to explore the grounds of the Deer Creek Lodge Retreat Center. I followed my inclination to sit on a swing overlooking the lake and slowly panned the picturesque landscape. I could not help but fall more in love with the Creator as I took in the view.



After a moment reading and relaxing, I surrendered to the moment through a yoga practice on the dock. I extended my praying hands upwards before I took my warrior stance, claiming victories over the doubts and fears that crashed against my intentions. Yes, after empowering others, I often wrestle with self-doubt. I felt empowered in tree pose as I accepted the gift of the present. As I moved into meditation, my breath rested in rhythm with the breeze.


Upon opening my eyes, I was ready for a little adventure. I headed toward the woods to hike on a path I had never walked before. Alone. I have everything I need, I thought to myself as I studied the map standing at the woods' entrance; I chose a trail leading back to the parking lot. Initially, every step was a breath of fresh air. I noticed the leaves crunching beneath my feet. I double-checked my phone's signal just before snapping a selfie. I had no map in hand for this 0.8 mile hike, so I felt pretty brave. The sound of muffled voices coming from the lodge and hikers nearby was reassuring. Even as the voices faded with each step, I felt comforted.


Eventually, I came to a marker at a fork in the trail - "you are here". Which way should I go? I didn't want to take a wrong turn and get lost. I followed my gut and took a left, but the farther I went, the harder it was to hear the reassuring voices of others. Eventually, I came to another crossroads that was even more narrow and ambiguous than the first one.


Maybe I should have gone right. Maybe I should keep going left. Either way, I have to keep moving forward. There is no turning back at this point. I've come too far. My thoughts became entangled with confusion and concern.


I apprehensively traveled an unmarked path against a creek. My eyes widened as I listened for rustling leaves that weren't from my own steps. I worried that I would come face to face with a deer, a snake, or another wild animal not in the mood for company on a Saturday afternoon. The sunlight was growing dim between the branches hovering over me. I texted a friend my location. Fearful thoughts started to close in on me and my heart began to race. My breath grew shallow. I did not know where I was or where I was going. Uncertainty traced every step, overwhelming my hope for something familiar - any indication that I was near my destination. Was I lost?


Just breathe. I reminded myself. Trust the process. I refocused. I am right where I need to be, going the direction I need to go in. I reassured my heart as I took a deep breath and kept putting one foot in front of the other. I looked at the trees standing firm in their purpose. I elevated my perspective towards the sky - the same sky I just meditated beneath a moment ago. I know I chose the right path.


Within 10 minutes from being encircled by worry, I reached the end of the path. I gave thanks and felt relieved as I took the stairs leading to the parking lot. Somehow, after listening to my intuition to rest on the swing, to practice yoga on the dock, and to start on a new and brief journey, I felt utterly lost along the way. Fear clouded my confidence. It was reasonable for me to feel afraid while hiking alone on an unknown trail. But I never strayed too far from safety, and deep down I knew that. What was I so afraid of?



My little adventure through the woods mirrors my personal life in many ways. I began a new chapter of my life recently with an enthusiastic hopefulness. But as I have encountered new challenges along the way, I have questioned my decisions - how did I get here? Am I going the right way? Will anyone hear me if I cry for help?


There are moments when I have felt so lost and afraid, I've stopped in my tracks petrified of making the wrong turn. Whenever I glance back longing for the familiarity of my past, I see how far I've come. There is no going back to the way things were. I keep moving forward knowing that more clarity, more trust, and more confidence will come along the way.


Our world is a forest of uncertainty right now. Our normal routines for work, school, and socializing have been disrupted. We are on a path we have never been on. With no map to guide us, we hope that we are headed in a direction that ultimately leads to good health, safety, and justice for all.


On this journey, it can be easy to get lost in our thoughts. Fear, worry, and anxiety blur our vision and impede our ability to trust our inner-compass. There are sounds and sights all around us whispering direction. Our higher nature carries wisdom, comfort and guidance just as I experienced along my hike. God is with(in) us, encouraging us to keep going. Let's follow that divine voice that speaks in the tone of our own inner-knowing.


Even when it seems we do not know the way to go, in a moment of silence we can listen for the truth as we tune in to our breath. The truth is, we know the way.

The next time we're feeling lost, let's -

  • Stop and acknowledge how we feel. Ignoring our feelings can cause more distress down the road.

  • Take a deep breath and choose a reassuring thought: "I am where I need to be. I will find my way."

  • Meditate and pray for guidance. Asking for help activates faith and increases awareness.

  • Watch and listen for direction. Clarity may come through silence, conversation, or even nature.

  • Trust the process. Every step, detour, and turn serves a purpose. There is a lesson in every trial.

  • Just keep going. Move forward one step at a time. Longing for the past leads to a dead end.

In this new year - 2021, we may get all tangled in our thoughts about our personal path, or about the state of our world, the mistakes we've made, or fear of the unknown, but let's just keep going. Let's keep breathing. Eventually, the path will clear and we will arrive exactly where we need to be at the exact time we need to get there. After all, life truly is a journey that is worth every single breath.


 

To support and engage in amazing programs for women and girls, please visit www.femergy.org. To book a group coaching session with me for your program or organization, complete the consultation form. It is my pleasure to be of service.

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