Amazing. That one word kept going through my mind on that beautiful sunny afternoon in October of 2016. Amazing. It was while visiting Minnesota for the first time, that I had the opportunity to visit a nearby park and waterfall with a dear friend who had previously lived in the area. She was eager to show me the beauty that abounds in the land of 10,000 lakes, and I was anxious to see it. Feeling the need for fresh air and craving some adventure, we decided to walk the trails of Minnehaha Park. Yellow and orange leaves crunched under our feet as we followed the water around the sometimes narrow but always scenic path. Trees in various states of fall adornment proudly displayed their colorful foliage while dark and swirling water swiftly flowed by. The glorious sights and crashing sounds invited us to listen, motivate, and share our stories.
Walking along the trail, we listened as we shared plans for future business ventures, motivating one another to dig deep into what our goals were, and describing how we would achieve them. And then suddenly, I saw it. I can’t explain it any other way than to say that it spoke to me. Isolated in it’s own little corner, this puny little tree seemed to be screaming for my attention. It told me that there was a story here, if I could only capture it. I couldn’t grab my phone quick enough! I needed to take a picture of this scrawny, gum covered tree and listen to it’s story. I was excited about how it might motivate others and prepared to share whatever I learned.
Only seeing defilement, I was a little upset at first. When I got past my own self-limiting beliefs, I saw a form of communication. Not one that I would use, but a form nonetheless. I do not know who started this, or why they would put their chewed up and useless piece of gum on this poor defenseless tree, but their one action started a chain reaction. Indeed the number of pieces of gum placed on this tree almost made it seem like doing so is a right of passage. Perhaps those who have placed their gum here felt like they would be forever connected to all that surrounds it. A perpetual reminder that they were here. Maybe they themselves simply need someone who would listen to them, motivating them to share their stories. Maybe this was a way for them to be heard.
Listen, motivate, and share. Those three words seemed to be everywhere that day. They were in the beauty of nature, the motion of the water, and the smells and sounds of the earth. They were present in our friendship. They were stuck to this tree. Yes, this colorful tree has a story to tell. What do you see when look at? What is it telling you? How does it motivate you? What will you share because of it? Who will you help by listening to it?
Listen, motivate, and share. It is through these three words that foundations are formed and relationships are built. Just like this tree we can take part and be a part of the conversation. A conversation that is more about others and less about us.
Listen, motivate, share. A necessary part of #AbundantLiving in 2017!
Ok you’ve listened to me, and hopefully I have motivated you!
Now I want to listen to you!
Share your thoughts below!