01/22/2016 01:47 EST | Updated 01/22/2017 05:12 EST

The Struggle Is Real, Until You Learn Acceptance


I recently went on a trip to Sedona, Arizona. My intention was to recharge, regroup and refocus. I had been going non-stop launching a new full-time career as an entrepreneur and I craved reconnecting with myself away from the hustle and bustle of city life. I still wanted to work while I was away, but being around the mountains and nature gave me more of the balance I was looking for.

I spent 10 days surrounded by the majestic red rocks that never ceased to amaze me no matter how many times I looked at them. Most of my days were spent hiking as many of the hundreds of trails as I could. On my third day I hiked the Airport Loop Trail -- nothing but blue skies, the sun on my face and a view I couldn't take my eyes off of.

Everything seemed perfect, until I came across a part of the trail that was nothing but mud. I'm talking about the kind of mud that engulfs your shoes to the point you almost lose them when you take a step; the kind of mud that you could easily slip and fall and be covered from head to toe; the kind of mud that drowns and cakes itself onto your shoes making each step heavier and heavier. I think you get my point. I went from pure bliss to pure disgust in a matter of seconds. I started to calculate every step I took trying to find a somewhat dry spot or rock I could step onto instead, but every time I did this I almost slipped and had my own personal mud wrap.

This was getting ridiculous. Eventually I decided I needed to stop controlling the situation so much. I stopped trying to protect my shoes from getting dirty, I stopped trying to plan every single step so methodically, I stopped caring so much about something that really didn't matter...because when I started to think of the bigger picture I realized that I was missing out on all the things that mattered more. I stopped looking at the beautiful view; I stopped noticing the sun on my face; I stopped allowing my mind to be free of meticulous things. It wasn't worth it anymore.

As I started to trudge through the mud I realized this small moment produced such a big life lesson. We fight against ourselves so much everyday. Whether it's in relationships, our careers, how we spend our time, or situations we really have no control over. We struggle with things that ultimately at the end of the day have no real meaning. How often do we look at the bigger picture? We can become such a stick-in-the-mud (no pun intended) when things don't go our way.

When we have the ability to open ourselves up to acceptance everything shifts and becomes easier. We can let go and free ourselves from our own obsessive thoughts. We can see the lessons we are meant to be learning more clearly. Think about how amazing life would be if we could just embrace and allow the flow of life to dictate our actions a little more instead of resisting the path we are maybe meant to be going down. I know the struggle is real...but when you start to understand and feel the power of acceptance you're opening yourself up to a more positive, fulfilling and enjoyable life.

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