Follow the Trail Back

little one

The Broken Vas by Emile Munier (1840-1895)

You have to look at the whole trail behind you to know where you are going.

That doesn’t really make since in the natural, does it?

It’s true. To see where you are going and where your best destination is, you have to look all the way back as far as you can. Say what?

We know better. We are told to forget the past, move forward, don’t look back…truth also.

We can’t live in the past but doesn’t each day give us our form and our shape—for better or for the worse?

Awe, the better—our cherished memories, best experiences, educational highlights, trips, good relationships…happy times!

Or ouch, the worst—our painful experiences, failures, stupid people pain, sickness, heartaches, missed opportunities…discomforts, to say the least!

I am not suggesting camping out with all the negatives nor resting on the laurels of the positives. However, those things have made you and shaped you as who you are now and, they have molded you for the future which you will step into.

As I consult with people I have to dig into their past. If I don’t I can’t help them see their future. Don’t get me wrong, I am not going to take people into their deep heartaches. Yet it is telling and wise to understand those painful seasons which often birth passions resulting in caring for others in world changing ways.

But, what has broken your heart in the past that still fuels a passion for change?

Yet in the positives your life has left a breadcrumb trail leading back to the origins of your skills, purposes, and the things that make you come alive and sparkle. When you light up or delight in what you are doing it also delights others and solves problems!

I have lots of things that I love to be part of or to do. A favorite of mine is helping others to jump into their purposes and delights. Of course there is order and wisdom and timing and all that—but it is a thrilling thing to be part of.

Tell me, what makes your heart sing and what brings you joy in the present and in retrospect?

One of my favorite things as soon as I was old enough was the make up department in a local pharmacy. My first career: Cosmologist, hairstylist, nail tech, mullet cutter…

Look for the trails. There will be a convergence between those things you love, your past, your skills, careers, and callings and that will be the most exhilarating and useful spot to be.

Transformative Power of the Written Word

I wanted to say something about the value of books and written words the other day and then I spotted a blog I had written in February of 2014. It is below the photo of the books, below. I wanted to remind people to hang on to precious notes, letters, and cards they receive. It is the one thing that I really try to hold onto. I have a treasure of birthday cards and note cards from my mom who passed away a few months ago. I tied a ribbon around them and I have them with a photo of her. In those notes are precious words. Words that my mom might not be able to say in person but she could write them to me on my birthday card.

Words are used to build up and tear down, to entertain and inspire, to equip, instruct, create, and to destroy.

I have been challenging some friends lately about writing. Don’t wait until you feel like you are 100% ready to share your words or writing. You may have something to say that someone needs to hear or read. Just do it. ~Annette 11/22/15


Written word versus the spoken word: both are powerful, of course. To hear the voice of a loved one speak words of affection may trump a written note doing the same. It may, or may not. Words are powerful no matter how they are delivered.

I am in possession of a fresh revelation of the power of the written word. Please indulge me; I need to share it.

Sometimes we are not next to skin that we can dialogue with. Sometimes we are alone. Alone. Last night as I was rising back up from the proverbial ashes I reached over to the side of my desk and popped open a book that I have been meaning to return to friends–for a longtime. I know it must be special to them by the amount of love it had in it—red pencils, notes, highlighter, dates, underlines and wrap-arounds of the text. I had opened it looking for something—hope maybe? As my eyes hit the text I realized I had struck gold in the form of truth, hope, and direction. Boom, I had it! The portion of the book was about trust. It was written by Ron Mehl*—who, if you know his story, understands trust in the tough times.

Mehl’s book spoke to me when I was alone. It transformed my thinking and my emotions. It changed my perspective—I could see down a straight path, well lit.

This morning I had a conference call. There ended up being only two of us on the line, instead of the normal several. The voice on the other end of the line had just published a book. The title, Overcoming the Enemy’s Storms: Finding Healing Through the Grace of God, by Diane Gardner*.  Her memoirs wrapped around the theme of the enemies strategies. I asked her about it. Hearing just part of her story leads me to be confident that the book will be transformational to many.

Books transform.

Lately I have been on a much-needed fiction kick. When I am alone I get to grab my book and fall into a story—one without dishes calling me to wash them or deeper problems taunting me. As I read I feel enriched. My countenance and vocabulary seem richer when I pause or when I am done reading. I go to another world as a reader, an observer of lives, enjoying plot and characters, and the cadence of well written words.

Good fiction is transformative.

Have you read any poetry lately? Talk about heightened appreciation of words—packed in smaller valuable packages.

Poetry transforms.

Though one of the legs of my business helps authors to publish I can say with honesty that I am not blogging today to package content to elicit business. I needed to write about the power of the written word because of the eye-opener I just had.

Do you have written words that need to be shared?

* Ron Mehl, The Cure for the Troubled Heart

* Diane Gardner, Overcoming the Enemy’s Storms: Finding Healing Through the Grace of God