Easter Sunday to be exact we put my fifteen year old daughter behind the wheel of our Durango and her Dad gave her the first driving lesson of many. I videoed it & my daughter’s expressions were priceless. She was NOT having a good time.
After the lesson we drove over to harts gas station and my husband ran inside to buy celebratory treats. I looked at my daughter in the back seat and she became a little emotional. I asked her what she was feeling & it was so genuinely sweet. She said, “I didn’t like driving because it makes me feel like I am getting older. I don’t want to be a teenager.” I told her that she would never be a typical teen because that is not who she is. I explained how driving is just a right of passage in a way. I explained how you have to grow in life. You have to do things that help you fly, that help you learn. I talked about how the butterfly has to go through hard things, to struggle, to break free from its ‘chrysalis’ to be able to fly. We talked about how it is not a bad thing to learn and grow. I reiterrated that she would never be a typical teen. It was a very sweet conversation.
Life is like that! You go from one growth challenge to another to another. Life should be a passage, a passage to better things that help us grow to become better people.
I LOVE that idea–a passage. The definition of ‘rites of passage’ points that mark transitional periods in a person’s life, such as birth, puberty, marriage, having children, and death. Rites of passage usually involve ritual activities and teachings designed to strip individuals of their original roles and prepare them for new roles. -dictionary.com
We all go through life changes and challenges. We go through tough things that make us feel uncomfortable, that challenge our current belief systems. Without those challenges how would we truly grow??
My only issue is that life is FULL of change and rites of passage, but I am going to go with LIFE ‘PASSAGE’ (instead of rites of passage) which is the action or process of passing from one place, condition or stage to another. I think this is more accurate in terms of life. The whole life. We don’t just have children and stop growing until we die. There is a huge portion of life within that realm. I think as adults we do more growing as we parent, as we age, as we continue to find our place as adults.
My question—as adults how can we find those specific ‘life passages’ that we personally need to challenge us to growth? We can easily become stagnate as adults, so how do we continually grow?? Here are my thoughts, research and findings….
BREAK OUT OF YOUR ORDINARY MOLD: Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo, Psychologist and author of “Better Than Perfect, says people who regularly seek out fresh experiences tend to be more creative and emotionally resilient than those who remain stuck in routine.
“Breaking your own mold can only make you stronger and more confident to reach higher levels in your professional and personal life,” she says.
How to break out of the ordinary–Do everyday things differently–(unplug on a specific day or time. Brush your teeth standing on one leg. Try a new recipe. etc) Pick a big goal–(to write a book. to run a marathon. to climb a mountain. to read five books in a month. to start a business. etc) Do something physically challenging–(take a trapeze class. go ice skating. take a rock climbing class. certify as a yoga instructor. train for something. etc)
Benefits of breaking out–Optimal anxiety is that place where your mental productivity and performance reach their peak. Still, “increased performance” and “enhanced productivity” just sound like “do more stuff.” What do you really get when you’re willing to step outside of your comfort zone? You’ll be more productive. You’ll have an easier time dealing with new and unexpected changes. You’ll find it easier to push your boundaries in the future. You’ll find it easier to brainstorm and harness your creativity. -lifehacker
EMBRACE DISCOMFORT: That is how you truly grow. It is a catalyst for progress! “The days you are most uncomfortable are the days you learn the most about yourself.” -Mary Bean
This is an interesting idea: In an interview with Outside, Karnazes makes an important point that many of us have forgotten:
Western culture has things a little backwards right now. We think that if we had every comfort available to us, we’d be happy. We equate comfort with happiness. And now we’re so comfortable we’re miserable. There’s no struggle in our lives. No sense of adventure. We get in a car, we get in an elevator, it all comes easy. What I’ve found is that I’m never more alive than when I’m pushing and I’m in pain, and I’m struggling for high achievement, and in that struggle I think there’s a magic.
That is a very interesting take from a serious Ultramarathon runner. BUT, we can look at this and equate it to our own lives. We strive to be comfortable, but I bet if any one person looked at their life to pinpoint their greatest times of personal growth, it would be in times of challenge and pain. We don’t grow in comfort. We are just comfortable. We may need to set some challenging or daunting personal goals.
SET A BIG GOAL: “Don’t shrink from discomfort. Instead, let it guide you toward accomplishment.” -Michael Hyatt
Goals make you ask a big question, “WHY?” If you can answer why you are doing something then you will see the vision behind your goal and the reason you feel compelled to move forward. Then you can ask, “How?” & begin on that part of the solution. Goals have a way of getting you in the right frame of mind to go beyond your current state.
“If you are bored with life, if you don’t get up every morning with a burning desire to do things–you don’t have enough goals.” -Lou Holtz
Here are some great resources on creating goals: These should give you a good starting point for ideas. Make your own life list, 100 goals in 100 days, 100 goals in 10 years, it is your life–you make the plan!!
Jack Canfield has “101 Lifetime Goals” http://jackcanfield.com/blog/my-101-lifetime-goals-list-and-why-you-should-have-one-too/
Most important goals according to these ranks https://www.ranker.com/list/most-important-life-goals-list/samantha-dillinger
Another guy’s list of 100 Life Goals https://fullylived.com/100-life-goals-list/
There are MANY ideas from a variety of bloggers—google some ideas, take ideas you like and make your own list to help you live the life you want!
TAKE SOME TIME TO ASK SOME BIG QUESTIONS: Take a weekend getaway or a day while you are on vacation. Maybe you take just a day alone to sit with yourself and ask some life questions. Use the time to get a renewed perspective of where you are and where you want to be. Ask yourself, “What inspires me?” “What have I learned from past mistakes or failures–what life lessons have I learned” “What do I value?” “Am I truly grateful?” “What are three things I need to look closer at in my life & work on?” “What am I the most afraid of?” “If I had a magic wand, what would I wish for? (no limitations)” “What do I need in my life to grow?” “How strong is my self-worth & do I truly care about my needs?” “Is there something I enjoy doing that I don’t take enough time to do it more often?” “When do I feel most vulnerable?” “What am I the most proud of in my life?” “What am I focusing the majority of my time on in my life?” “Do I feel passion?” “What do I need at this moment in my life?”
SHAKE IT UP! Your environment, the foods you eat, the same people you surround yourself with, your daily routines, all add to states of comfort and stagnation. Take some time to shake things up–look on Groupon or a local activity sites to see if there is something fun to do to shake up your routine. Try something new each week (a new meal, a new work outfit, surprise someone with a lunch picnic during your work break, find a new way to work, learn a new recipe, listen to a different style of music (Alexa has all kinds of play lists), a new workout, join a club that you are interested in, etc.
INVEST IN YOU! Are you doing something/anything for you? Take a class, learn a new skill or talent. Is there something you have always wanted to do or try?? Is there a book you have been wanting to read, but have not made the time. Is there an exercise class you have wanted to try? Is there something you can do/learn to boost your confidence? Is there a craft class you have been wondering about? Have you always wanted a monthly massage? Is there a workshop or seminar you have been interested in?Are you following & listening to your heart? Are you taking care of your health? Are you choosing things that make you feel happy?
Why is investing in yourself so powerful? Investing in yourself, sends a powerful message to yourself and the world. The message is:The value and potential that I possess, is important enough to me that I’m going to give it the energy, space and time to grow and create results. -huffington post
When you are taking time to do something for yourself, everyone around you benefits. You feel more alive, awakened, challenged, rejuvenated…investing in you is a win. win.
FIND AWE: The feelings you get from standing in a grove of trees, looking up into a starry night sky, having a space or feeling that seems to transdend. This is one strong human emotion. Many studies showed that people who frequently experience awe tend to have lower levels of a substance that’s been linked to stress and poor health. As part of a recent two-part study at the University of California, Berkeley, students filled out a questionnaire describing their feelings over the past month and submitted samples of their saliva to test for a substance linked with stress in the body. The students who said they’d recently experienced feelings of awe were more likely than students who hadn’t to have lower levels of the stress-linked substance (called interleukin-6) in their spit. In fact, the more often a student said they’d experienced awe in the past month, the lower his or her levels of the substance tended to be (More on the details of the study and its findings here). -businessinsider article
Awe-inspiring moments take us to a deeper place and help us realize that we are part of something so much bigger than ourselves. How to look for daily experiences of awe: being moved by music, looking at the light of the world & seeing the shadows, repetitive patterns in nature, finding the sacred in quiet moments, noticing the colors changing, seeing someone have a giving heart.
Here is a great article that talks more in-depth about the emotion of awe. https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/why_do_we_feel_awe
Well, I hope this is a good start for your personal Life Passage. Life should be cherished.
-Peace and Love to you today. -H