Powering Through

We’re approaching the one-year anniversary of the beginning of quarantine. A year! A challenging and emotional march through four seasons. How have we changed and what have we learned? Where do we go from here? Although we may be sensing the light at the end of this dark tunnel we’ve been walking through, there’s not much clarity as to how or even when this unexpected journey will end.

This time of the year lends itself to being inside, reflecting, seeing, evaluating where we are and where we want to be. Given all that has happened this last year, many of us feel anxious about the future. We’re hoping for positive change and the promise of something fresh and new to take hold and grow roots. We can’t see it yet so we may get discouraged and begin to believe that winter will never end.

I’ve been thinking about inspiration these days. I usually don’t have to go looking for it. It comes in solitude, in nature, in poetry, in the little things, quietly, and often unexpectedly.

Lately, I’ve been feeling the weight of our collective drama and the reality of the times draping over me like a thick, heavy blanket, much like the snow that covers the earth outside. I am well aware that the cold temperatures and lack of light are also contributing to the heaviness.

Today, as I sat down to write, I started by looking at photos. I needed a spark of inspiration which soon arrived in the form of the picture and the quote above.

“Bloom where you are planted.”

How do we do that? Although I have witnessed plants sprouting and blooming in the most unlikely and unexpected places, not every plant can bloom where it’s planted. Most plants require the soil, light, and moisture conditions that are most favorable to them.

Still, some plants will take what they can and do their best to survive. A few years ago we had our driveway paved and when spring arrived, purslane and wild violets managed to come through in a couple of places. I was stunned at the strength, resilience, and perseverance of these so-called weeds.

Granted, it’s quite different for humans. Unless we’re caught in a no-win situation where our ability to think, make choices, and act to help ourselves is taken away altogether, we do possess some sense of control and the ability to influence our environment.

At some point in our life, many of us find ourselves in a toxic work environment, a difficult relationship, or get blindsided by an unexpected loss and life changes. Initially, we may not be able to see our way out or through but whether by luck, sheer determination, or both, we begin to imagine something different, something better.

As we begin to open up to the possibility of change, inspiration and guidance can come from the most unlikely sources and the seeds of a new journey begin to grow. Initially, we may have to be patient and read the landscape. At this stage, our goal is to gain clarity about what needs to change and why.

With clarity comes confidence and with confidence comes the urge for
meaningful action.

I find that during these times, when I am not clear about the road ahead, what helps me stay grounded is keeping things simple, taking care of what is right in front of me, and finding goodness wherever I can.

Have you ever had the experience of receiving a much-needed flash of insight about a project or a decision you’ve been grappling with while washing dishes, cooking, gardening, listening to music, or taking a walk? It probably came out of the blue, when you least expected it but it gave you exactly that boost of energy you had been waiting for to propel you forward.

What kind of changes are taking place in
your life right now?

Where can you draw inspiration and strength from?

  • Do you need more time with yourself? Then make time. Even 15-20 minutes sitting down to breathe, journal, read, take a walk, or dance to your favorite song can make you feel better and more energized.
  • Do you need more time with like-minded people? Pick up the phone and call a friend, meet over Zoom, or for a nature walk. Be creative.
  • What needs to be simplified? Look around you. You know what drains your energy. Let it go.
  • What are some small changes you can make to help you feel better and more confident?

If you’d like to explore these questions further, reach out and schedule a Clarity Coaching Session with me or try the Monthly Gatherings.

As we renew our commitment to ourselves and begin to work towards improving the conditions of our daily life, we build momentum. Eventually, we may choose to stay where we are and continue to change and grow. Or, we may decide that the time has come to pick ourselves up and find the place that is most favorable to us, the place where we can grow deep roots and blossom.

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

Langston Hughes

We may have many false starts. We may even get frustrated in the process but if we can just hold on to our dreams and sense of purpose, chances are the road will become easier and we’ll learn that, much like the purslane and wild violets breaking through a rough surface, we too are a lot stronger and more resilient than we ever knew.

What are your thoughts? I invite you to scroll below and share your comment.

As a life coach and retreat leader, Yota works with women seeking clarity, inspiration, and purpose in the midst of life changes. Her approach is intuitive and deeply influenced by her cultural roots, work and life experience, and her long-term practice of mindfulness meditation.

7 Comments

  • Linda Samuels

    You speak my language, my friend. Every word resonated with me. And I love how you got your inspiration from the photo and message on the pitcher, “Bloom where you are planted.” How apt. And while not all things can “bloom” where they are planted, as you mentioned, there is tremendous resilience within and around us. I found that line in the Hughes’ poem interesting- “For when dreams go, life is a barren field frozen with snow.” I stopped to think about that. As I look out back on this very cold, winter day, the snow is frozen and piled high. But the sun is out. On the frozen snow, I see sparkles of light, glistening with hope. The white blanket is a cozy protection for the earth. It covers the ground and will nourish spring growth. In the glittery white, those moments when the light catches the crevices and texture of the snow, my heart is lifted and calmed. Change happened, is here, and will be coming. And so the seasons go.

    • Yota Schneider

      Hi Linda,

      Thank you for sharing the imagery of the light sparkling on the snow-covered earth, glistening with hope. Hope is what maintains us during the dark of winter, hope for the return of the light and the warmth. As I read your words, I could see the sparkles and felt the relief and calm.

      Change is always underfoot. It takes us a bit longer to recognize it and go with it.

      Stay warm and enjoy the snow that’s coming our way again tomorrow.

      Big hugs 💜

  • Tara

    Yota,

    “Powering Through” is what I am so trying to do! So many major challenges for close to 2 yrs now! But thanks to wonderful, wise, supportive folks like you, quiet meditation, Spiritual online videos ( with caps! ), family support, Mother Nature, Maggie The Zen Dog, good books, soothing tea and yes! chocolate and other Pandemic Winter Yums 🙂 I am hanging on to Hope for a much brighter year.

    I’m finding taking small steps, staying positive, and taking one decision at a time is really carrying me through.
    Your post resonated so deeply for me as I’m sure for many others. Love the Wild Purple Violets! Will visualize that image when things get tough.
    Walking out into the Sunshine as I end this lengthy post.
    With much gratitude for your loving words and guidance… 🌿❤🌿🙏

    • Yota Schneider

      Hi Tara,

      Good to hear your voice ❤️

      I know how difficult it’s been for you these last two years. You’ve been dealing with some incredibly difficult challenges but here you are, doing the best you can and powering through. You are the that Wild Purple Violet my friend! Give yourself a big hug of appreciation and definitely some good chocolate.

      I hope you enjoy the sunshine today. Get your treats ready because there’s more snow coming tomorrow 😉

      Stay strong and healthy. You’re almost there.

      Big hugs!

  • Ronnie Ann

    The words “Bloom where you are planted.” stayed with me all day after I read them. Such a simple and comforting reminder. One of the things that has helped me as I deal with these COVID times and so many very real physical & logistical things / limits that I can’t change right now (taking action and finding solutions is so much a part of me) is simply that it’s really ok to do absolutely nothing “of value” sometimes and honor that too.

    So like you and the others, I find other ways to bloom and embrace the light that I do have. Small steps and kindnesses. And a lot of internal blooming, I admit. 🙂 As I stay inside much of the time, I adore my Brooklyn street scene view of life below. And find myself rooting on businesses who have adapted with the times and the new (mostly masked) normal of hustle and bustle below … even on this cloudy and brrrr cold day. And I marvel at the human spirit. The spirit that finds ways to bloom and resides in all of us. As always, thank you for your words of comfort and hope, Yota. Wishing all good things to you and your readers!

    • Yota Schneider

      Dear RonnieAnn,

      Thank you for your inspirational and heart warming response as well as for inviting us to your home, to stand by the window and take a look below, to watch alongside you the human spirit and resilience in action.

      As one who also sees herself as a problem solver and a doer, I can relate to the challenge of redefining what activities of “value” look like. Much happens below the surface while doing seemingly nothing, doesn’t it?

      Thank you for your good wishes. Right back at you, as always. ❤️

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