It is all about the journey….

Archive for April, 2014

Healing My Limitations

healingAt one point in my life I was a runner. I loved the freedom I felt as I found a steady rhythm that match my music and soul. Not only did I find strength in my body, but I found strength in my mind as I would let go.

One day I experienced a pain like no other pain I had felt. It seemed like there was a knife cutting through the side of my knee. No matter how much I worked at it, I could not run through this pain. 

I spent many years trying different types of shoes, thinking there was a magical pair that would heal my knee. I worked at stretching, interval running, strengthening and so forth. There never was a long term solution, so I simply ‘accepted’ the fact that I was not to run anymore.

My heart has wanted to run so many times, especially now that we live in an area where it is safe to run. Not only is it safe, it is incredibly beautiful.

I have been pondering this knee pain and the limitation I felt it had put in my life. I decided last week that I would return to running, one way or another, I would run again.

It is amazing how Heavenly Father orchestrates our lives. When we have a desire in our hearts, it seems as though life aligns to realize it.

I am now one belt away from earning my black belt in karate. This is has been a journey in and of itself. One of the requirements is running. When I heard this my heart dropped and my body went into ‘you can’t because of your knee’ mode. I felt it so profoundly in every part of me. I felt the power the limitation had over me.

With a background in Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine, I ran through all of the scenarios in my mind of this chronic knee pain. I couldn’t find a solution that would work for me. I hate that more than anything, because I feel so trapped.

Today I decided I would get on the treadmill, no matter what. I am not going to let this win. My husband started to challenge my thoughts of being limited by ‘knee pain’. He wouldn’t let me make any excuses or allow anything that resembled limited thinking. He knows just the right buttons to push to get me thinking and moving forward (I will say that as I stepped on the treadmill I had a growl in my head).

As I began to run, I focused my thoughts on healing and strength. I found a gait that was so comfortable, a pace that was perfect and a rhythm that spoke to my soul. I could feel fearful knee pain thoughts creeping in. I decided not to allow them access to my mind, body and soul. As I fought them off, I felt myself relax and enjoy the little journey I was on.

That short little run was one of the most healing experiences I have had. My self-imposed limitations had affected my body to such a degree that I was not able to do something that I truly love. Healing that limitation and turning it into a freedom was so powerful to my mind, body and soul.

Our minds are a gift from Heavenly Father. There is so much power that lies within them…power to become incredible or nothing at all. It is all in how we choose to exercise this power. Today I chose to let it heal me.

I Can Take A Hit

SparringOne of the most incredible journeys I have ever embarked on started 3 years ago right before Mother’s Day. My family had been doing karate and I decided it was time I needed to join them. Stepping on the mat for the very first time was nothing short of intimidating. It was one of the most scary steps I have ever taken…and it was one of the best steps I have ever taken.

One of the disciplines we study in karate is sparring. I will be honest, it has not been my most favorite aspect. Yet, I have learned so much from this. A couple of weeks ago it was sparring training night. After suiting up in the foot pads, hand pads and headgear (definitely one of my finer looks I may say), I was ready to go.

I made a decision that night that I would just go for it. I let go of the dislike and trepidation that I feel when I am all padded up. As the night would have it I sparred against some younglings and finally against my 6’6″ husband and our instructor, who both are pretty incredible at sparring. Regardless to say, I took some pretty good hits (I would like to say I dealt some pretty good hits too).

Now, we don’t spar to kill each other. It is a discipline of control, speed, power and strategy. I did come away with some pretty trophies, but not the kind you put on a shelf. These trophies were black and blue… honestly my favorite kind.

The best trophy I received, however, came as a quiet thought that entered into my heart and mind.

KarateI can take a hit.

This knowledge is powerful. It tells me that I am strong, that I am capable, that I don’t quit. It tells me that when I make a decision to fight, I will have the strength and power to overcome whatever blow is dealt.

It is so true in my life off of the mat too. We have been in a perpetual ‘sparring match’ for quite sometime. There have been days when I feel like I have been hit in the face, kicked in the head, blitzed, knocked down and pulled up for more. I haven’t quit. I have simply adjusted my padding and assumed the sparring stance.

It is through little decisions, made on a daily basis, that has given me the power and strength I need to take a hit. Little decisions of prayer, communing with Heavenly Father, spending time with my family, searching His words and seeing the blessings…every little and last one of them.

Life is not easy. There will never be a time in my life when there is not something out there ready to strike. The best thing I can do is pad up and be ready.

Pushing Barriers

The climbFor as long as I can remember I have been deathly afraid of heights and falling. There is a special sensation that grips the back of my legs when I feel like I am up too high or too close to a ledge…and don’t even ask me to look up.

This can get a little ridiculous at times. When we first hiked up the road to spend time in my mountain, I looked back and this feeling gripped my legs, heart and lungs. I was standing on a solid road, not even close to a drop off. I didn’t let it stop me that day, however I had to push through it. I have never regretted that. My mountain hold so many treasures for me…the waterfall, paths that lead somewhere and nowhere at the same time, peace, inspiration, and rocks to climb. 

barriersI have often thought about this barrier in my life and how it can prevent me from discovering amazing places and experiences. I realized that if I had allowed it to control me that day, I would have never found the incredible emotions that spread through me as I spend time in a place I love.

How often do the barriers that I feel in my life prevent me from experiencing, living and feeling?

If I see a barrier for what it truly is, then I am more likely to conquer it. So what is a barrier? My answer to this came from a discussion I had with my incredible husband. We were talking about how often we limit ourselves and why we do this. How many influences in our lives, when allowed, will hold us back.

I have found that a barrier is anything that is placed upon our hearts, spirits and minds that prevent us from moving forward and becoming who we are meant to be. At the core of it all is the adversary who wants nothing more than to bind us completely. He does it all so quietly and little by little until we accept the hold he has on us as ‘safety’ or ‘reality’.

the viewToday I decided to break from my traditional workout and accept an invitation from my husband to climb to a huge rock that sits high in my mountain. We hiked straight up over a thousand feet, climbing over rocks, and creating a path for ourselves…the entire time I kept my eyes on the ground (mostly because I didn’t want to roll the ankles). When we reached our destination I looked back on where we had come from. In spite of that sensation gripping my legs, the view was BREATHTAKING! I had pushed through my barrier and found something far more beautiful! I also found that my fear is a perception…not reality.

We found a rock that was bigger than we imagined. We found the power that onlyconquering comes through conquering. We found inspiration. We found life!

Life is meant to be lived. It is only through living that we find ourselves…who we were before we came and who we are meant to become. Barriers are meant to be pushed, stretched and broken. Doing this gives us the strength to do it again and again.

Pushing BackOnce again, I found Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ on the other side of the barrier….showing me the magic of life.

Our Story

Our StoryIt has been just over one year. One year ago our path took a new, faith demanding, exhilarating and beautiful turn. I had no idea what was in store for my heart, just promises from Heavenly Father that He would be there every step of the way.

As I have looked back over the year I have seen moments when there seemed like there was no way out, no answers to be had. There always seemed to be more questions than answers and the hole we were in kept getting deeper and deeper. It never did any good to ask, ‘why?’ because the moment that word slipped into my heart it was accompanied by the darkness of guilt and fear. (more…)

Wind and Rain

Wind and RainJust over a year ago I remember sitting down with our Bishop, seeking guidance. Our hearts were confused and we needed someone to help us understand.

We had felt for the longest time that our family was needed elsewhere, and we could feel that the time was drawing closer. The unknown was creating within our hearts was at times more than we could bear. It felt as though there were more questions than answers, yet answers were what we needed.

He reminded us of a story in the Book of Mormon that has always been a personal favorite of mine and related it to our lives.

In this particular story, the Brother of Jared and his entire family were brought to the edge of the known world. All that they saw before them was a vast ocean. What they had been promised was a land greater than where they were, a land where they could become a great nation. Yet, here they are….looking at nothing but rolling waves and the vastness of the unknown.

The Brother of Jared went to the mountain to pray and there he was instructed to build special boats to carry them forth. He was given the knowledge of how to construct these little ships and what to take with him. After construction he noticed two significant problems. These boats were ‘tight like a dish’ making it near impossible to breathe and there was not a source of light.

He pondered these problems and, again, went to the mountain to pray. The Lord gave him one answer…how to breathe. The second answer, He allowed the Brother of Jared to find. He brought sixteen clear stones to the Lord, so that He could touch them to provide the needed light. After this miracle (and many others) occurred, the Lord told the Brother of Jared that even though they had their boats, air to breathe and light, the journey to the Promised Land would be filled with winds, rains and floods. These would push their boats towards their goal. As they were driven forth, they never stopped praying and singing His praises.

Looking back I have been blessed to see how our journey to our new home is so similar to this story. After that meeting, the Lord gave us the solution to the many questions revolving around our departure… How would we leave? Where do we go? How will we be able to do this? Miracle after miracle showed us His hand.

Our “Promised Land” is truly incredible. Yet, there remains one question to be answered. It is a question of how. This past year has been filled with wind and rain (figuratively) in our lives. Each day we find ourselves pushing through, overcoming fear, falling down, repenting, standing back up and hoping. We have seen the sun break through the clouds, however we long for the days when it shines constantly upon us.

There have been moments I have wondered why He hasn’t just taken the storm, because I know it is within His power. I have also had moments when I have felt the enabling power of the Atonement strengthening us to learn. In a General Conference address, Elder Terrence M. Vinson answered my wonderings beautifully:

“But here is the point–rather than solve the problem Himself, the Lord wants us to develop the faith that will help us rely upon Him in solving our problems and trust Him. Then we can feel his love more constantly, more powerfully, more clearly, and more personally. We become united with Him, and we can become like Him. For us to become like Him is His goal. In fact it is His glory as well as His work (see Moses 1:39)

DSCN1969 300x225 Wind and RainI have seen that He is allowing us to work through the wind and rain so that we can do just this….become like Him. I have also seen that He has not left us alone in this endeavor. We have uttered many prayers, offered many stones for His finger to ‘light’ and been given so much more help than we could ever ask for. He has been with us, sheltering us when the storm was raging a bit too fiercely for  us. He has been there beckoning us onward, offering ideas and guidance.

The question of how remains, yet the surety that journey is coming to an end is there. The answer will come and with it the sun.

reblogged from Own Who You Are

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