Photographs by Meadow Linn

Thursday, October 1, 2015

It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect…Just Begin!

Are you riding the Transition Train? If so, welcome aboard! It seems as though nearly everyone I know is moving, ending a relationship, leaving a job, or embarking on a new venture. Change can be scary, overwhelming, frustrating, exhausting, and even paralyzing. But, it can also be exciting, reinvigorating, and inspiring.

I’ve just spent the past few weeks packing up my entire life, wrapping it in bubble wrap and stuffing it into cardboard boxes. My belongings, everything from lawn furniture to measuring spoons, are wedged into a storage unit. I’ve temporarily moved in with my parents while I contemplate my next steps. Some days I am filled with possibility. On those days the world feels wide and wondrous. However, other days, the world feels foreboding and impenetrable, and it seems as though I’ll never make it through to the other side.

Like an onion, when one is embarking on a new chapter, there are often many layers of fear to peel away. There are so many “what if” questions. What if I don’t find the right home? What if I don’t have enough money? What if I can’t find a new job? What if my business doesn't soar? What if I never find love (or find love again)? What if I regret this decision? What if my kids, husband, wife, friends etc. resent me? Your individual questions will, of course, be different depending on your particular situation, but you get the idea. The challenge with these questions is that they can bring forth so much concern that it becomes difficult to see anything else.

When you’re awash in a sea of unknowns, taking decisive action can often feel impossible. “What ifs” can grip you at every corner. For this reason, sometimes riding the Transition Train can become a permanent state rather than a temporary one. We settle in and we watch the scenery go by rather than hopping off at the next station to embark on a new adventure. Being in transition is akin to a caterpillar in a chrysalis. Transition is a time of incubation, but eventually you’re going to have to break out of the chrysalis if you want to soar. This often means standing up to the “what ifs” and going forth no matter how hard they try to tether you down.

I only brought a couple suitcases of clothes and one small box with me to my parents’ house. As I was unpacking the box of paperwork, a slip of paper fell into my hand. On it was written, “Wherever you are is the perfect place to start, so begin right now.” I don’t remember ever having seen this paper before, and I don’t know where it came from. It seemed to have fallen from the heavens. The exact message I needed to kick my own personal “what ifs” to the curb!

How often have you turned down opportunity because you didn’t feel prepared? And, how many times have you missed out on something great because you didn’t think you could do it perfectly? There is great value in being prepared, knowing your plan, and having a sense of structure and organization in place before proceeding. I’ve dodged many a catastrophe as a result of my methodical approach to my life. However, sometimes this can keep you from acting. It’s possible to focus too much on getting it right instead of getting it done. My mom often says, “It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to get done.”

No matter where you are on the Transition Train, whether you’ve just gotten on board or you’ve been riding the rails for a while, do something today that will take you closer to your future. One step is all you need to get the ball rolling. You don’t have to have it all figured out. It doesn’t have to be perfect. You just have to take action, any action. Make that phone call you’ve been putting off. Create a website. Make a Facebook page. Send out your resume. Find a realtor. Join an online dating site. Whatever it is that will get you going, do it now. Once you set your future in motion, doors will begin to open. In no time you’ll hop off the Transition Train, break out of your chrysalis, and embark on a grand new adventure. Here’s to the next chapter! I believe in you!

This was posted on Facebook by Earnest Pugh, but the original author seems to be Unknown.

Artichoke and Roasted Red Pepper Dip

When I was packing boxes, unfortunately, I didn’t eat as well as I would have liked. When I was short on time and long on angst, I found myself grabbing foods that I wouldn’t normally eat. They were quick and easy and didn’t require a lot of thought or effort. But this was exactly when it was essential that I nourish my mind, body, and spirit with healthful, delicious food in order to have the physical, emotional, and mental fortitude for the journey ahead.

When we’re hungry most of us reach for something nearby, so the more you keep tasty and healthful options at your fingertips, the more likely you are to eat them. As a suggestion, carve out 20 minutes from your busy day and wash and cut your favorite vegetables and make the following scrumptious dip. The vegetables will keep in the fridge for a few days, so do the work once and eat fresh vegetables throughout the week. Place them so they are the first thing you see when you open the refrigerator door. It may sound crazy, but simply having cut vegetables (as opposed to uncut) in the fridge will make you more likely to eat them.

The walnuts in the dip add protein so you’ll stay full longer, and the vegetables will make you feel light and fit so you can move forward into your future strong, vital, and joyful.

Makes about 2 cups

½ cup raw walnuts
1-2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 12-ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained
1 12-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained
¼ tsp. French gray (Celtic) or Himalayan pink salt

Place all ingredients in a high-powered blender in the order listed. Process on medium-high until smooth or until you reach your preferred consistency. Enjoy with cut vegetables.

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