Garden of Hope

Garden of Hope

What is the story you are telling yourself today?  

Are you facing anxiety because of a job that sucks life’s energy out of you?  Do you feel stuck in a bad relationship?  Or are you facing a difficult health decision?  Do your steps feel heavier as each day of the week passes?

You may feel suffocating sensations come to the surface as you face an endless cycle of forced obligations and nauseating habitual motions.  Your breaths may likely become shallower, you may neglect your basic needs, and you may develop a gloomy outlook as you forget to look for the sun each day.

As the sun rises, a promise is extended for a new day to make the necessary changes, to accept growth, and move in a direction that complements vitality.  Yet, so many wither in the repetition of monotony on an endless treadmill of dread.

Walk with me in the “Garden of Hope” for a moment.  Consider that we need space to breathe, water and food to thrive, and sunlight to grow.  At times our environment works against these necessities.  

So what do we tell ourselves at this point?  Do you hear yourself crying, “Nothing will ever change.”, Or “I have no choice.”  Mental mantras drive our actions and build foundations for tomorrow.  Why not instead focus on words of affirmation powerful enough to destroy the amplified barriers we place in our own way?  

“Breathe in the scent of inspiration and aspiration.” – Erika K Rothwell

Change the message, walk through a “garden”.  Breathe in the scent of inspiration and aspiration.  Don’t give up on your dreams.

We cannot let the weeds of distraction and hopelessness choke out our will to thrive.  When we remove the unnecessary overgrowth of negativity and self-imposed expectations space opens granting us breathing room, hampering the weight of anxious thoughts and giving us an opportunity for growth.

Think of ways you can use obstacles in your current situation as stepping stones to a greater plan.  Plant the seeds of tomorrow in your imagination today.  Daydream for a moment.  And if you are a list person, write a bucket list and fill it with everything your heart imagines, no matter what the hurdles may be.

“Think of ways you can use obstacles in your current situation as stepping stones to a greater plan.” – Erika K Rothwell

As flowers need rain to soak their roots and make them stronger, we also benefit from the washing away of the old story to gain deeper insight into our desires. After the storm, let us be motivated to look toward the sun, as it shines its positivity on us and helps us set buds of change for tomorrow’s bloom.  

And when the sun sets, on a day “outside” of the ordinary, remind yourself to look for it tomorrow as you begin a new chapter.

“And when the sun sets, on a day “outside” of the ordinary, remind yourself to look for it tomorrow as you begin a new chapter.” Erika K Rothwell

As soon as we embrace our freedom to choose genuinely and share our unique colors by following our passions, a refreshing array of authenticity will fill drab spaces with joy. 

And that’s the beauty in the “Garden of Hope”.

-Erika K Rothwell

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Hope – Path of Inspiration – Day 29

Hope – Path of Inspiration – Day 29

When inspiration takes you down side roads for a meandering moment, space is opened between what must be done and what is possible. Traveling along the road of life reminds me that we often focus on an endpoint while forgetting to make time for inspiration along the way. Why are we always in such a hurry?  Do we actually ever arrive in life?

In a hurried life, paths we choose may not allow time for whimsical detours or perceived frivolities.  Likewise, when we travel, our planned arrival time typically sets in motion the fastest and most efficient route to our destination.

I still mourn a missed opportunity during my last road trip to stop for a moment, to capture a “photograph to be” calling to me, once the goal of arriving took over as the priority.

Remember when time seemed to last forever.  You didn’t count the minutes or the hours because you didn’t know they even existed.  Your days were filled with adventure, entertaining inspiration, while learning and growing.

At what point did we allow a clock to determine our life’s path?  When did our accomplishments become measured between numbers and our purpose quantified by a dictated plan on a to-do list?

Once inspiration is lost, motivation fades and energy wanes.

Productivity is a sum of variables and can be looked upon as so much more than a completed checklist of tasks.  So, I remind myself to take the time to savor the joys of inspiration.  Without it, life seems drab and daily motions become robotic.  

Our life may indeed hold a hidden algorithm, but we can always input new variables. 

Look around you and sense your current environment.  We were meant to do more than simply survive, we were meant to use our senses and dream of possibilities.  Anything is possible especially when time is not dictating what is possible.  Inspiration changes the clock. 

As we head toward a planned destination, the joy of inspiration will expand the frame along the way.

The stars come out every night, but our view of those stars changes with our perspective.  On days of hurry or disinterest, we miss them completely.  On nights where gloom clouds their view, they may not appear at all.  When we make the time to see them, we know the plan is so much bigger than what exists in the 24 hours we are given each day.  

Hope lives in the inspiration of living life to its fullest, when we remember to smell the flowers, listen to our hearts, take the pictures, and gaze at the stars.

Take some time to meander down the path of inspiration.

-Erika K Rothwell

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Discovering Hope – A Solo Flight – Day 28

Discovering Hope – A Solo Flight – Day 28

As I see a flock of birds fly across the cloud-knit sky, my thoughts follow them.  Once they disappear from sight, one lone bird flies in the opposite direction awakening a story I tell myself and now share with you.

There must be pleasure in following, not having to forge your own way, deciding what you should do or even where to go next, for someone is always in the lead and many others have trusted enough to follow.  It appears to be a safe route.  Hasn’t it been said. “there is safety in numbers.”?

So why does the solitary bird attract my attention?  Perhaps it seeks a unique path. And, as in the similarity of my venture, I sit at my desk alone exacting words as I venture forth, trying to connect through individuation.

Individuation, a call for awareness of our unique nature and an intimate connection with all life.

Hope secures the quest.  I am looking to discover the idea that appears after the first five obvious ones.  The wind of change moves me in unusual directions and variables often upset the consistencies of my work.  Inspiration exists everywhere I turn, sending me to travel indirect routes.  

All the while, my shadow seeks me out with the fear of commercialism.

The message glares at me, “It can’t be necessary to follow the masses to find success.  My work is art.  And my art, a calling.”

At this moment, contentment resembles only a meditation.  Artistic creation, ongoing pursuit of perfection.  As every artist or writer knows, the search for a perfect element, color, or word is a quest into another dimension.  And some days you must keep seeking.

Suddenly the moment arrives when you bring your creation to life.  Yet, you hesitate unready to share.   

So many of us struggle with diametrically opposed feelings.  Do we covet the peace as we set our work on a shelf never to be discovered, or do we risk the comfort of obscurity to become known to others?

Our fear is well-founded.  In a world of mass-production, artistry can be devoured by hungry giants.  What once was birthed as an original work of art, intricately crafted as the first of its kind, can be copied or modified in a fury with only a blurry likeness.

At this point as I encourage myself, I implore you, believe you are an inspiration.  Your solo flight has attracted a following.  Find others that choose to fly alone. Share your gifts with them. 

Most importantly, never give up.  Hope can always be discovered within you.  You cannot be mass-produced and your originals always live in you.

-Erika K Rothwell

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Power of Hope – A Transformation – Day 22

Power of Hope – A Transformation – Day 22

A door opens to tomorrow. What I hope for today may not be the same for tomorrow.  Each day brings growth and change.  As I subconsciously step through the doorway of today, a picture begins to materialize bringing me closer to a conscious choice, the next door.  

A calling from deep within combined with enticing opportunities placed in front of me sets the stage for personal transformation, a process I cannot avoid but have learned to appreciate.

In the past, I found myself frustrated as I wavered between possibilities.  I now welcome the flexibility and freedom of thought and feeling that it brings.  There is comfort in knowing that I do not have to choose all the doors at once.  And I lean on self-acceptance throughout the odyssey as I slowly regain my balance. 

We cannot avoid the imbalance caused by sudden changes or obstacles set in our way, especially if we find instant decisions difficult.  But, harnessing the power of hope and letting it lead us in the decisions of the day, while we regain our footing, can help guide us in choosing the right door for tomorrow.

-Erika K Rothwell 

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