Don’t Be A Mastodon

I have wonderful friends. Some are past mentees, past mentors, and class attendees, and some are past teachers of mine. We have remained connected. Just this week one of those friends reached out. We had a wonderful conversation which I will share in an upcoming article. But she said something I want to share today. She said words to this effect – I love reading your articles. I love how you share your life; and how transparent you are. It helps me in my life.

I was moved by her comments. Sometimes I wonder if I am too honest, or too transparent. It was a relief when I finally learned that helping others doesn’t require perfection or an all-knowingness on my part. But still, I occasionally wonder. LOL My friend, after sharing her current success, asked me how I was doing. I told her I am facing a change in my life plans and I’m working on managing it.

Last week I included in my weekly newsletter the link to a podcast I did a few weeks ago for Beyond the Cookie Cutter. It was about managing change. Then this week, out of nowhere, I found myself faced with another possible change. It will require a shift in a hope I have held on to for a long time and an adjustment in how I deal with a current situation. This reminded me of where I was back in 2013 and some hard lessons I had to learn. I want to share what I learned in 2013 because it is so 2023. LOL

Driving home from an event a few nights ago I had a very enlightening and somewhat painful conversation with my daughter about a possible change in something my husband and I have counted on for a few years. It would be easy to ignore her observations but then I would be in the position many mastodons found themselves in. Stuck in a black tar pit. If the mastodon didn’t find a way to extract herself from the pit, then death and petrified bones were the result. This can and does happen to people. Many of us know someone who is stuck and can’t seem to move forward. Sometimes they spend a lifetime stuck and leave life never having freed themselves.

I have written several articles this summer on getting unstuck, and getting help to grow. I don’t want to belabor the point but, well, it keeps coming up in my life and the lives of those around me. As I said, I am sharing some observations from 2013 because they fit perfectly for where I find myself in 2023.

The last two years I have had a few mastodon moments where I have found myself trumpeting loudly (to God at least, “Help, Help! Get me out!!) and I have gotten out and moved forward only to find myself in a new tar pit. The last few years have been filled with growth moments. Not sure why that is but life is very onion-like, and I suspect that I have reached a place in my life where I am ready, willing, and able to do some serious growing and changing. It can feel uncomfortable while being freeing. : )

In 2013 I was struggling to get out of bed because I was unhappy with myself and others. I had to learn some important lessons about sleep and personal happiness. I did learn them and have written about them. That knowledge has been life-changing when life gets tough! Recently, despite my hard-won knowledge I have found myself in that same fight.

What is Wisdom and why do I need it?

I have an exceptionally strong will so I do get out of bed, no matter what. However, willpower isn’t enough. It won’t and can’t carry you far enough to get unstuck. It requires wisdom to do hard things long enough to effect lasting change. What is wisdom? It is knowledge understood, which when coupled with faith, knowing it is true, moves us to action.

I have learned that we are responsible for how everything looks and feels in our lives. I have experienced this principle for myself, and it is fabulously freeing! You may not believe it. In fact, you may be saying “That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard”. That is exactly what I said back in 2013. But that seed planted so long ago has grown into a tree, with fruit to boot, and I know it is true.

Because of the wisdom I gained back in 2013, I have been moved to action over the past couple of years. I have taken responsibility for the fact that I have had low-in-spirit moments and that I haven’t wanted to get out of bed at times. I haven’t looked outwards for anyone or anything to blame. I have gone inward to look for the culprit.

I have prayed a lot! I have pulled out my best tools and I have been using them. P.S. If you need tools reach out and I can share what I have used with you. No cost, just friends sharing.

I have checked the past: is there any grudge I am holding on to, any anger, or other negative feeling? If I have run across anything I have used my forgiveness exercises to root it out.

I have checked my shame bank. Have I made any recent deposits or is there anything hanging around in there from the past? An empty shame bank is a wealthy shame bank.

I have been checking in with my body and asking questions. Your hip hurts. Hmmmm, why? Your neck is sore, let’s look at that. I have paid attention to my body clues and followed them. I have a couple of books that I go to, to help me understand what my body is saying. When I find anything that rings true, I go to work on it, again using prayer and my quiver of wellness tools.

I have utilized mentors. Remember that willpower is not enough. It requires wisdom to make lasting and useful changes. I have learned that when you are stuck and have done all that you can, get a mentor, someone who can help you see what you cannot see or do not want to see. Right now, the mentors I am utilizing are the friends I have made during the last decade of my life. And, as you know, a counselor for a short time this spring.

There are days I would like to stay in bed, but I am not stuck like those poor mastodons! I am taking small steps and feel able to take each one.

Mentoring gets you unstuck!

In 2013 I wasn’t caregiving. I was building a very successful and fun business teaching parents to connect with their children. I was traveling and garnering the friends I mentioned earlier. But inside I was stuck and hiding. I have a purpose for sharing my 2013 experience. It isn’t that I want you to know that I periodically get stuck although I do want you to know that. It isn’t because I want you to know that no matter how put together you seem, we all have challenges, we all are growing, although I do want you to know that.

I am telling you because I want you to understand that when you are stuck you need help from the mentors around you. It doesn’t matter if you are stuck in your business, parenting, personal development, education, health, or relationships. You need a fresh perspective. You need someone who can help you go where you may not want to go. When you understand this and believe it is true you will have another drop of wisdom to call upon in times of need.

A mentor is someone who can listen and support. They are usually a few steps ahead of you in whatever you are working on. It could be a friend, a paid mentor or counselor, a spouse, a parent, or as in my case this week, one of your grown children. One of the best mentors is God, but often He sends you to a person who has what you need.

Although I now may need to move in a direction I didn’t plan to go, I feel confident I can do it. I can get out of bed; face the challenge of yet another change I hadn’t planned on and be ok. Taking responsibility, throwing out blame, being honest with yourself, mentoring with those you trust, feels far better than lying in bed…stuck!

Good tools and mentoring can help you manage change and growth even when it is hard. So, reach out and keep growing.

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One Response to “Don’t Be A Mastodon”

  1. I have prayed a lot! I have pulled out my best tools and I have been using them. P.S. If you need tools reach out and I can share what I have used with you. No cost, just friends sharing.
    This is the first article of yours I’ve read. You have a unique style. I’m curious about your tools…

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