By Samantha McKenzie
“There are two great days in a person’s life – the day we are born and the day we discover why.” William Barclay
Life is full of itself. It’s full of work and meetings and schedules and things to do. It’s also full of things you have to do for other people and things you just can’t get to, no matter how hard you try. On any given day, life can completely deplete you.
But life is also full of everything that we need. It’s full of cherished moments and long-lasting friendships and love and sweetness. It’s full of getaways, vacations and long walks in the park and good wholesome food and red wine. Life is…full of opportunity and victories — the things that make life worth it.
Over the past two weeks, I’ve been learning to pay more attention to the sweet spots in life. I’m making an intentional effort to place my body, mind and spirit in spaces that totally inspire me.
Last week, I flew to Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC, and soaked in the state’s breathtaking mountain views. I’ve lived here for 25 years now, and can count on one hand how many times I’ve been to this side of the state.
I sat still and admired my co-worker’s amazing strength as she put her father to rest. Three months prior, her mother also passed away. I could only imagine what that must feel like. But I was able to step back and be in awe of her resilience, her fortitude, and her uncanny ability to offer others comfort during this time. I watched from a distance how, in the midst of this personal tragedy, she discovered more of herself: She was strong and able and she was enough.
I read my 14-year-old’s essay on how she learned to love herself. Her assignment was to write 1,000 words on something she discovered. I thought for sure she’d write about the sea shells she’s gathered up from various trips to the beach. I thought she’d write about her new friends and the fascinating things she’s learned about this new city of ours. But instead, she went deeper. She wrote about how she discovered self-love. She gave rich examples of how watching her sister over the years helped her love herself even more. She recalled sage advice she’d received from me and other relatives. She wrote about what it took to recover after her first crush didn’t crush back. She blew me away.
Yesterday, I attended a women in business conference and willingly piled into a room of ladies who shared similar stories and experiences. In addition to their business acumen, they brought with them a distinct compassion and a kind of humanity that we’ve long ignored in business arenas. They talked openly about leading in a different way, taking a seat at the table and bringing along with them all of their femininity — the strength that guides an entire world. I left inspired by them all.
In the midst of your day, take time to stay inspired. It’s a key ingredient to making life full of itself — in the best way possible.