One last reference to the play, Into The Woods, which took up such a chunk of my time this summer! The title song, Into the Woods, is actually repeated in variations a number of times through the show and reflects the progression of the characters' work and lessons. It begins with the high hopes of a journey to get what they believe they want. The last version has a more experienced, wise slant to it - yet keeps its hope. Some of the words are - "Though it's deep, though it's dark and though you may lose the path...You can't just act, you have to listen...you have to think." "There are always wolves, there are always spells, there are always beans or a giant dwells there." And then, "...into the woods you go again, you have to every now and then...be ready for the journey. ... But everything you learn there will help when you return there. ... Into the woods to find there's hope of getting through the journey... each time you go there's more to learn of what you know. ... Into the woods and out of the woods and happy ever after."
This is such a metaphor for life! We often have high hopes - for a new project, a new job, a new relationship, a new habit, whatever. We move forward and meet the deep, dark, lost paths and the snags on them that are ALWAYS there. Some are little ones - a rained-out picnic or a burned out light bulb on the projector for your presentation. Some are bigger - a job loss, divorce or a cancer diagnosis. We don't often have control over what meets us on our path into the woods - into our lives. But we always have control over how we respond. We can listen and think. We can learn from others' and our own mistakes. We can decide what we can handle on our own and where we need help - and ask for it. We can be as prepared as possible, while understanding the need for flexibility and Plan Bs. We can be open to change, learning, growth, perspective and understanding. We can remember there IS a way back out of the woods - and we can be stronger for finding that way.
When it comes to our health, the path can also have unexpected turns. Things that used to work, don't. New complications arise. It can be frustrating, scary and overwhelming. But remember we have a choice in how to react. We can think and breathe. We can educate ourselves and ask for help. We can learn new ways of coping, new ways of caring for ourselves, new ways to cultivate health and wellbeing in our lives - regardless of what we meet on the path. I always encourage people to do some of that before they run into that snag - but it's never too late to make a positive move.
I wish you many blessings on your journey Into Your Woods - Into Your Life. Enjoy that journey - and share some of it with us at WellSpring!