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.

Don’t Be A Bean Counter


The other day I was thinking about how I have a strong tendency to give things away as soon as I get them. This has translated to concepts and revelations, epiphanies and the like as social media’s influence tempts us to “think” in posts, blogs, tweets, etc. And so I was pondering how I need to adjust my responses accordingly.

Just after thinking on that compulsion in need of correction, I had the idiom come to mind: “Don’t be a bean counter.” Hmm, strange yet it seemed pronounced and possibly like a God message. So, I considered the meaning and decided to consult with my friend Google on it. (One thing that God knows about me is that I am very curious when it comes to words and sayings, I often go about hunting for them like a lost two carat diamond.) As I was assured I understood the meaning of the phrase I thought, “…hmm, shall I write something about it?”

And then I remembered my previous pondering and considered, “Maybe not. Maybe it’s for you, Annette.”

A bean counter is usually attributed to an astute and obsessive accountant or one doing such work. It also has references to doing meaningless things that consume time without much reward.

I am a cross between being a laissez-faire, laid back type and a “getter-done” revolutionary type. I know I always, and I mean always have something to do—some kind of work, organizing, my own concept developing, or at least cooking, cleaning, yard work, etc. Most of you do as well.

Yet, I am at a new place. A place that says, “let’s do what is important, skip some of the bean counting, and give myself permission to just be, to dream, to think,  etc. And, by doing so I believe I will actually be more productive and a greater creative force in my work.

This year I want to bust out a bunch of things. I LOVE MY WORK! I love getting to help people bump out their dreams and visions in conceptual and practical ways. But a person needs time to chill as well.

I’ve mentioned this before, but it is a good thing to take in particular information every day, like solid news, what’s happening in one’s industry, things that inspire, the Word of God, etc. But it is equally as important to take time to think, pray, listen, and dream—and to allow yourself to do something with what comes forth from those meditative times.

Without an excess of hours to do so, like we may imagine the great thinkers such as Plato, lazing around pondering thoughts through to completion, thinking his big mathematical thoughts, presenting and debating, etc.–you may ask, “How, or when?”

How about if we go grab some beans, count out 1,440 and see how many we can gift to ourselves, to dream, think, be still, pray, and listen.

Black, pinto, kidney, garbanzo, or ?—I suggest dried, not canned.