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Life's Hurdles

We all experience hurdles in life. Some are bigger than others, like a down market or losing a job, when we are not sure where the money will come from to pay the bills, a health crisis,  a pandemic, or a parent dying. We have all had these big hurdles; I have had all of the above. They were painful, scary, and daunting. 

We also regularly face daily hurdles: burnout at work, being uninspired, an overwhelming project, loads of work thrown in your lap, pressure to hit a big goal, feeling lost with what is next, feeling demoralized, or supporting a child through a difficult time. 

I was recently pondering how we move over hurdles with more ease and grace. How do we stay above the Line when we are facing a situation that feels like Mount Everest? 

What if we see beauty in the hurdles?

I realize this might sound a bit strange, but let me tell you a story about how this idea came about.

I recently went on a backpacking trip with my 21-year-old daughter to Willow Lakes in the Eagles Nest Wilderness in CO. We knew it was going to be challenging from the All Trails reports of a “hard” rating for elevation and some downed trees. Still, the promise of the most beautiful Lake nestled into a range of spectacular peaks was enticing. We committed and hit the trail with 25-lb backpacks full of supplies.

We hit our first downed tree at ¾ of a mile into the journey; we clumsily crawled over it and continued. Then we hit another one ½ miles later and another clump of triple-downed trees 200 meters later. “OK, we’ve got this!” 

Then, the famous last words: “ How many more can there be?”

524 for the round trip, to be exact. It only got harder and harder. We passed people going the other direction who looked defeated and had turned around, stating there were too many trees. I was in dread at a point - way below the line and wanting it to be over! 

My daughter Maureen!

I have to say, we had to dig pretty deep to keep going. Then I had a realization: these trees are just a mirror of the hurdles we face in life. If I keep wishing them away, I'm missing out on the experience life offers—to be in the NOW and experience this instead of wanting it to be different. It's the resistance to reality that causes suffering, not the reality itself. By choosing to be fully present in the moment, I found that I didn't want to wish any moment of my life away because every moment is precious—ALL OF IT! So, I chose to accept what was happening and be present with it, and guess what? It got a lot easier because my approach shifted to above the line. 

We kept going, and I am glad we did because it let up at mile 7, and the prize at the end was well worth the pain…

Ultimately, it's not about the obstacles we face but how we choose to engage with them. 

By embracing each challenge, we find beauty, growth, and, in the end, a sense of peace and fulfillment. Every hurdle, big or small, is an opportunity to be fully alive, to learn, and to appreciate the journey.

 So, let's choose to see the beauty in our hurdles and keep moving forward, one step at a time.

What hurdles are you currently facing? I’d love to hear about them and support you in overcoming these challenges.


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