In talking with a friend, who had recently taken up quilting, we realized how we can use the simplest of observations as landmarks of how we are doing; of where we are on our spiritual path. This friend had been taking lessons in machine quilting and had, very quickly, recognized that her struggles with the free-form method of quilting reflected her struggles with “just going with the flow” in life. My friend’s strength is in things structured, in getting to the root of things through methodical investigation, so the lesson in straight-line stitching was a breeze for her, allowing her to use her intense concentration abilities.
The lesson in unstructured stitching however, was a true challenge. Instead of gentle curves, her free-form stitches jerked into peaks and valleys. Rigid creations. She observed that another classmate was having the exact opposite experience. For this classmate, the structured, straight-line work was considered boring and tedious but she excelled in the free-flowing work.
This friend, who has been embracing the challenge of understanding herself better in order to grow and evolve, was excited to share this observation with me, and excited for me to share it with my readers. She has come to know that the answers we seek are all around us. We just need to become aware (An Atmosphere of Awareness).
Those of you who journal can more readily look back on your journey to see the various landmark “ah, ha” moments, moments when you put the pieces of the puzzle together to see where you grew, or to recognize patterns that have yet to be broken. Journalling provides a phenomenal venue to reflect upon lessons learned or to acknowledge areas yet to be worked on. If you find that handling a journal to be too intimidating, then grab a calendar that has large blocks of white space for each day and simply jot down a quick note of the highlight(s) of the day.
Another great tool for reflection is conversation with those who have watched your life evolve – your family, your friends. We have heard that how we perceive ourselves is not necessarily how others see us. Somewhere in the middle is the true “us.”
It is easy for us to chastise ourselves when we recognize the landmarks of repeated patterns that we thought we had left behind, but we must take care to recognize times of progress and times when we became enlightened.
To acknowledge the times where it was clear that we had changed for the better, helps us to keep moving forward in times of trials and tribulations. It is important to recognize landmarks in order to not lose faith in our ability to progress. Landmarks allow us moments of celebration. It is time to focus on the positive.
The first step to getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are. ~ J.P. Morgan