There's a section of the Poudre River where I frequently walk that freezes in the winter. Looking down on it, one might wonder if the water is even flowing there as it resembles a frozen lake more than a river. It stays like this for much of winter, yet if you go up or downstream you not only see the water flowing but hear it babbling rhythmically across the rocks.
Sometimes it feels like our lives resemble that section of the river. This is particularly true whenever we feel stuck or are not making the progress we had hoped for in some arbitrary time frame.
When we see our lives as the frozen river. We must remind ourselves that below the surface, the water is still moving. Progress is still being made.
Leo Tolstoy said, "All really great things are happening in slow and inconspicuous ways."
Our desire for instant gratification and grandiose, visible change perpetuates a narrative of not enough. While things might appear dormant on the surface, beneath there is steady and persistent movement towards our goals (assuming we keep showing up and doing the work).
We must not discount the fact that the river flows consistently beneath the ice. When we become dismayed or doubtful it’s important to take stock and acknowledge the small and subtle shifts we are making.
Stepping away to get such a perspective may feel like a radical act of resistance. Why? Because we aren’t producing anything tangible when we do that. Instead, we are gaining a valuable vantage point.
By stepping back from that one section of the river to view the whole we see how our small yet persistent efforts are adding up. By taking the birds-eye view we can release self-imposed pressure and embrace that we are in a state of slow and inconspicuous flow towards something great.
Would you benefit from getting some perspective on your life and work? There's still time to register online for the 2021 Annual Planning Workshop and give yourself the gift of stepping back so you may move forward inspired and with intention.