Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Uncomfortable Places & Opening Up Spaces

Jason and I went hiking over the weekend.

The hike was at the top of a local mountain that is complete with the winding, switchback roads. It was a forty-five minute trek that I simply didn't want to make. I drove up because I get car sick and I was pouting because Jason was making me go and risk puking and then I'd have to hike around after our tense night beforehand. I was pouting and wanted him to give me a pass.

But he didn't.
He stopped in the ranger shack, paid our fees, and mapped out route for us. Then he smiled and started to hike and told me I did a good job driving up the hill when all the motorcycles racing down were making me edgy. I was too irritated to appreciate his effort in those moments of self-pity, but he's a graceful and kind guy.

Two and a half hours later, we sat on the tailgate of my car and ate pretzels with dried mango slices. We soaked in the sweet California sun (because February is behaving like July around here) and shared a pride in our accomplishment.

We ended up hiking seven and a half miles. It only took me two miles to trade in the silent treatment for some enjoyment of the nature and lots of love for the kind man who was patient enough to drag me up a mountain on a Sunday. We walked under trees and through fields and around a pond, of sorts. Up and down, slippery and solid, we hiked and then we talked.

We talked about the season we're in -a season that isn't particularly inspiring or beautiful, but that is our season nonetheless. We were honest about it feels like we're sitting in a waiting room together and hoping for our names to be called next. It's exhausting to wait some days and thrilling to see doors opened in others. I didn't know it, but we needed that space and the walking and all of nature to get outside of ourselves. We needed a new environment to grow a new connection and conversation.

The moral of this story (the dare for your month of March): just do it.

Get outside of your space -be it mental or physical or emotional. You'll make a dozen excuses (most of them having to do with the weather and your lack of time), but that's not the point. DO IT. Because you owe it to your mind and your creativity and your sanity to do the hard, differen
t, annoying, freeing thing. 

Maybe your IT is a blog series or bible journaling or reading a dozen books this year. Maybe your IT involves a mountainside (like ours) or a new website or watercolors. Maybe your IT needs a community or a quiet space or a blank check to happen. 

The best part of doing your IT is you get to define your course. 

Do it for the experience and the sake of saying it's done. Not because it's going to yield a dozen results that can be made into blog posts or Etsy listings or anything else. Do it because you need margins in which you can get honest, where check-ins can happen and you can ask "how can I show love to you best this week?" Do it so a small space can break open in your heart and soul.

And if your IT is a seven mile hike like ours, remember you deserve pizza and beer afterwards. 

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