Lessons Learned

Andrea Chilcote, Erik's Hope

Has this week held any challenges for you?  Read more, as Andrea shares lessons learned and her thankfulness for grace.

by Andrea Chilcote

Gratitude is a subject I have written of many times before. It never gets old. Today I am grateful for lessons learned.

In this week that held many challenges for many people in my life (and I’m betting some of yours too) – illness, strife, imbalance – I am thankful for the grace around me. That grace surrounds all of us.

For most of the week, I had the privilege of working with a diverse group in a unique experience designed to create personal insights, which led to personal transformation. (And just so you know, it was not always comfortable, tidy or easy).

No one had any idea of what the experience would bring before it began. They didn’t know what would appear before them next.

And that begs a question, what happened to you this week? What tested your mettle? What triggered your survival instincts? And, what triggered your ingrained patterns of behavior that might not serve you today?

Today, I am personally grateful for the full range of experiences I have collected in my life. (That is not easy to admit). Each has transformed what follows.

Do you seek transformation? If you experienced difficulty in the last several days, ask yourself these two questions:

  • For what is this experience a metaphor in my life?
  • What can I release that is no longer relevant?

We are either on this earth to grow in consciousness and reap the rewards of doing so, or it is a random existence in which some get lucky and others get by.

I’m betting on growth, over the lottery. How about you?


This post appeared originally on The Spirited Woman where Andrea is a blogger. Enjoy it!

Defining Your Destination (2014)

Define Your DestinationHow does one “Re-Write the Story of Their Life?” This is the last in a three-part series I wrote in 2012 for The Spirited Woman. In this part I discuss transition.

By Andrea Chilcote

Being “in transition” implies you have left one place (physically, mentally or emotionally) and have not yet arrived in another. And one of the more daunting challenges associated with transition is not knowing where you are going. I don’t know about you, but while I am enjoying the journey, I want to have a destination on the horizon.

The process of defining a destination, an intended outcome sounds simple – though we can make it into a complex science project.

I’ve never cared for mind benders, those frustrating puzzles that make your brain hurt. Yet I’ve spent a good portion of my life puzzling over so-called universal principles that feel just like mind benders. I’m referring to profound revelations uttered by philosophers and gurus that you just know are The Truth, yet are paradoxical and seem hard to live by in practical terms.

One such head scratcher is the concept of detachment. According to this gem of wisdom, we must set a clear and compelling vision, then…let it go. The idea is that with attachment, our fears and obsessions will muddy the pure intent, contriving all manner of disaster and plotting contingencies to prevent such. This focus on the details can be exacerbated when one is in transition, because it feels as though all we control is the minutiae.

Does this “law of detachment” mean we should stop wanting what we say we want? No, no—and therein sits the conundrum. The problem often lies in defining what we want. Often what we say we want is just a means of getting to some higher-level, often unexpressed, goal. What we get attached to is the mechanism — this house, this job, this relationship – and we miss all of the beautiful opportunities that show up along the way.

In your heart of hearts, what do you know you truly want? And, what will having that bring you? The answer to the second question is, in all likelihood, what you truly desire. The rest is just method or means, the detailed how-to that your clever mind has calculated. These instructions we issue to the universe squelch our creative wisdom and limit the innate potential available to all. Most of the time, we’re not in charge of the how-to’s anyway. Have you ever looked back after some miraculous achievement and wondered how it all came together? W.H. Murray’s famous statement says it all: ”The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.”

So look forward. Craft your vision, paint a picture of your heart’s desire. See it, feel it, imagine it come to life. Then let it be. Go about your day, enjoying each precious and fleeting moment. You might be surprised at what happens next.

Read all three parts on The Spirited Woman site.