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The Power of Looking UP

Meadow Lane Park

I am starting to look up, to notice, and to walk differently. I may trip a time or two because I’m not staring cautiously at my feet, but I hope I always stumble forward and get up to move again.

Have you noticed if you're looking up these days?

Sometimes when work and life are overwhelming I find myself head down and focused.

When I start to raise my gaze in life I begin to walk differently. Sure I trip more but the view and extra momentum collected is worth it.

This summer as I would walk my dog in the park I really noticed how much I watched the path. I gently stared at the ground and carefully moved forward over the familiar trail.

The Meadow Lane Park path is a little uneven and there is a potential for tripping, but in the summer it is a route I walk daily. At this point, I know where the tripping hazards are. Sometimes I think it's because my brain gets consumed with fears. Fears about the next steps or the ones I've recently taken.

During my walk and in my life I subconsciously go through the motions and miss everything around me.

The park I walk in has amazingly old trees and in the summer their green leaves highlight the most amazing Nebraska blue sky. Often, at night, I walk with swooping bats and birds eager to catch a bug or two. There are people playing, laughing and talking. There is also an endless parade of dogs. Often the muggy sweet smell of the Nebraska summer is highlighted by a faint hint of a backyard BBQ.

If I don't force myself to look up I miss all of the beauty in the moment. I need to remind myself of this at work as well. We all have limited time to do great work and to notice the amazingly talented people we get to do it with.

Just going through the motion I'm choosing to be average.

For me, it's no good spending too much time head down and hoping not to trip. It's no good just powering through my day without taking stock of the amazing grace bestowed on me for reasons yet unknown.

I actually like my life and love the people around me. When I raise my head I can truly see that I've arrived at a place where I don’t have to just look down and power through.

Recently, I've shared some thoughts with friends going through hard times. Because of some pain in our lives, we’ve stopped looking at what's right in the world, mostly because we are afraid to trip and fall even further.

I want to embrace life and stop worrying about falling all the time.

Here is my way of accomplishing that goal:

  • I want to live with faith over fear — not to be careless with my talents and strengths but to use them to maximize and help others in my life caught in average moments.

  • I never want to stop learning - I realize that when life gets hard or even average that is the time you need to invest in personal growth and development. I'm committing to doubling down on learning during every season of life.

  • I'll live from a powerful place of awe & wonder - It's why I love going to Disney World. When I play like a big kid it stokes the part of my imagination that helps me wonder more. What is possible? That's a great mantra to live by.

  • I'll commit to giving more love than I take - This is not as easy as when you love better, forgive more often, share in a community of trust and grace — the rewards are huge. It's impossible to out give love but I'll commit to trying.

And…Here is my favorite.

  • I can't help but see the infinite potential each and every one of us has deep inside. My family, friends, co-workers, and clients will always know I am their biggest cheerleader. It's easy to cheer for greatness and spotting it in others becomes a wonderful habit.

A habit that will always trump looking down - unless you wear great shoes.

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