Orientation

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(Strawberry plants blooming in the hoop house)

We are all currently in the newest moment of our own personal timelines. There is a line behind us of history, and an unknown path ahead.

I was lucky enough to have found myself in a position at 19 years old to be taught how to find my life’s orientation. In other words, how to determine: A) Where I’ve been, B) Where I am now, C) Where I want to be, and D) How to get from ‘B’ to C’.

The past must be dealt with. We have to process through fears and hurts. We have to forgive and celebrate, mourn and take pride. We need to understand what happened to us, how we felt about it then, and how we feel about it now.
There’s a magical feature about the past – once it’s been understood, it turns out to be a pile of tools. All our experiences have taught us things. These things make pure potential, and fuel for our futures.

Figuring out where we are now means taking an honest look at our lives – not a harsh look, an honest, gentle, loving one that is equally unafraid to see fault or victory. We need to know who we are, what our strengths and weaknesses are. We need to know how we process things, how our mind works, what patterns of thinking and activity we fall into.
Understanding where we are is like constructing a board with a spring underneath it, ready to launch us into whatever is next.

Knowing where we want to be can be difficult. It’s hard sometimes to picture how we want things in the future – especially when we struggle with ‘today’. For me, it was easier to pick one item at a time. For example, I knew I wanted to get married someday, and I knew I wanted to be a published author. Well, marriage isn’t something you can just plan when you’re single, so I had to let that one go. But publishing a book can be accomplished.
Identifying what we want gives us power and focus. I winds that spring beneath the board tighter and tighter, enabling us to move ahead with force.

Living out ‘the dream’ is not really as hard as it seems. There is always – always – a series of events that must happen. That’s really all it is. To get to where we want to be, we have to figure out what pieces need to fall into place.
For travel: a passport might be needed, money should be saved, airfare needs to be booked or a road trip planned, hotels or other accommodations need to be reserved, an itinerary needs to be organized, etc. To become an author I needed to: find someone to help (my editor), determine what I wanted for the book, write the first copy, edit until nearly dead, write a query letter, look for an agent, secure a publishing deal, etc.
You get the point.
All that really needs to happen is the dream needs to be broken down into little manageable steps. As each item is checked off the list, the goal gets closer. Before you know it, you are much farther from where you were and much closer to where you want to be.

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