“The only difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is the way you use them” ~unknown
I love the descriptive quote by Florence Shovel Shim and have really taken it to heart, “my poise is built upon a rock”. But I didn’t always feel that way.
I used to refer to that “period of time” in my life where everything felt hard, sharp and unstable as “hitting rock bottom”. It was the part of my life that felt covered in black clouds, creating a perfect storm of crappy stuff happening all around me. Or so I thought at the time. You may be familiar with periods like that, either in the past or maybe even right now. Those times where you say, “stop it now, I can’t take one more thing”. You know what I am talking about.
So if I were to mention that crappy feeling in the same sentence as “it’s all good’, you’ll probably respond with a nice loud WTF or hit the delete button on my blog! But hear me out a minute. Because what if? What if it really was all good? What if your experience was your divine catalyst to change for the better? (I could even find the gratitude in the the fact that rock bottom is much better than a bottomless pit. And having something slam into you like that is usually the turning point to UP as there is no where else to go- hence the all good).
SLAMMING into things does not feel good. Trust me, I know that.
Slamming into my rock bottom place felt extremely “f”-ed up at the time.
HOLY CRAP! It really did.
Only now can I see how awesome it really was, because only from there could I be here. And here is perfectly diving. That rocky bottom was the exact jolt I needed to help me see better.
Uh yeahhhhh… Ouch and crap, and it sucked and all that, but those rocks turned out to be a support system and a foundation that held me and pushed me firmly up. A landing place that gave me the space to change for the better.
You might call it an awakening, a return to consciousness, an opportunity to see things differently. It was all those things and it was my wake up call.
In my book, Sleeping Naked After 40, I call these kinds of things a “SMACK” (defined in the book as a shift, a jolt, a two by four or sledge hammer used for adjusting your attitude). Divine gifts. Universal lessons. Transformations. Huge gifts.
Ha, sometimes without the beautiful wrapping paper and purple bows that you expect a gift to be wrapped in, it can be confusing at first. But when you change your lenses and begin to see it as the divine gift that it is, THAT IS WHAT I CALL ROCKIN’ AWESOMENESS.
I’ve embraced this new idea of thinking about these times in life and prefer to call it “building a rock solid foundation”. Instead of slamming, I consciously notice what is going on around me.
This quote by Deng Ming-Dao puts this nicely in perspective. “We may be floating on Tao, but there is nothing wrong with steering. If Tao is like a river, it is certainly good to know where the rocks are.”
Awareness. That’s all it’s about. We don’t know what we don’t know until we know it. It’s not that life is not going to present experiences that may seem hard, unstable or rocky, but when you are aware that they are lessons and experiences, you don’t have to slam. You can float through and around your rocks, like water does. You can notice things and your rocks on the bottom become your stepping stones to see. We get to choose what we think about things. We can change anything by changing the way we think.
I choose to think differently about challenging periods in life as blessed lessons. I choose to see my whole life as a learning experience.
So me and rocks, we have a thing. We have a relationship. They support me. They ground me. They hold me firm. My poise is build upon a rock.
Here are some rocks that I have used to write words. Words that mean something to me. I have them scattered around my house. These rocks remind me… of how strong I am and how supported I am.
Whether you scatter them around your home like I do or step on them, hold them, rub them, carry them, cherish them or throw them in the lake, you get to decide that.
Go create some good stuff.
Find a beautiful smooth rock. Rub it clean and make it shine. With a gold or silver sharpie pen, write your word on your rock. What would you write? Where would you put it? What does it mean to you?
Marking rocks with words is fun! There is incredible power in the rockin’ word. (and that’s for another blog on the power of the word, stay tuned) I sometime even use rocks to grace my table. Try this fun idea for entertaining yourself and guests.
While we are talking about fun, you may want to meet the other ROCK in my life. He will be sure to make you smile. Rock has a lot to say about stuff. You may want to listen in.
Have I mentioned how rockin’ awesome I think you are.
YOU ARE ROCKIN’ AWESOME! Take that compliment and start building your foundation.