Lessons Learned from Pumpkin Carving

Self doubt creeps in and threatens to shut me down. It almost succeeds as I contemplate choosing easy over fulfilling or delegating the most challenging part.

I move forward with my vision as I have done in the past so many times, and this time I end up being rewarded with a pumpkin carved with love, intention, and vision, and a few lessons on the way.

img_20161031_135512Here they are…

It is always easiest to doubt yourself, but in the end it takes more energy than trusting yourself.

If you begin with self doubt and let it grow, you let yourself off the hook. You convince yourself you can’t do it, and so you don’t even try. What you lose is the chance to see the fruits of work done from a place of love, regardless of how it turns out. When you do this, you invite in regret, frustration, and if you’re like many people I know, you get down on yourself which sinks your energy a lot more than a bit of pushing through the feeling would have.

When you release perfection, beauty blooms.

This obsession we seem to have with perfection has got to stop, because it’s based on a false premise – that perfection actually exists. This is one of those times when I like to turn to nature. What would a ‘perfect’ tree look like? One with no knots in the trunk, a perfectly straight trunk? One that dropped it’s leaves with equal timing between each leaf? One that was filled only with flowers that bloomed to perfection? If such a tree existed, it would lack the character that makes a tree and tree. It is our knots, our curves and detours, our unpredictability, that make us who we are. We are so used to seeing polished versions of people’s lives, whether they are deeply so through airbrushed magazine images or just crafted in a certain way through social media. When we let go of that need for perfection, we get to enjoy life as it unfolds, whether in creative endeavors or in the simple moments. Did you see my photo of my yoga practice the other day? Things pushed out of the way, terrible lighting in the photo? I shared it to show you the truth of what life looks like around it, to help shatter this false notion of perfection.

The practice of believing you can bring your vision to fruition is more important than the outcome.

In order to keep moving forward, you have to believe in yourself and in your vision. Believing in your vision does not mean it needs to turn out the way that you see it now. There is always the possibility to shift and grow into the vision, because you are ever changing, as are the circumstances of your life. So many journeys have begun with a specific intention, rooted in deep desire, and have brought us to places we never could have expected and never would have been able to dream up, but they feel inevitable now. Have you had that happen before? If you have, you know you can trust that journey.

Ganesha showed me I could do what I thought could not be done.

Ganesha is the remover of obstacles and has been the deity that I have felt deepest connection to for many years. Ganesha reminds me to let go of what clutters my mind, to break the chains of the negative self talk, and to keep reaching forward instead of holding onto the past. This week, it was quite literally through the carving of the image of Ganesha into a pumpkin that I was reminded to remove the obstacle of the old story that was playing once again, and to just be in the moment and trust.

Allow your vision to arise from your heart.

We can spend our lives settling – for easy, for straight forward, for what we think we’re supposed to do. Or, we can quiet the mind, listen to the heart, and really tune in and discover what we desire. When we do this, we find our way into the flow, releasing obstacles, and making our way closer and closer to that vision that resides deep within us.

What lessons have you learned when self doubt has crept in and you kept going anyway? I’d love it if you’d share in the comments below!

4 thoughts on “Lessons Learned from Pumpkin Carving

  1. Amy Brooks

    I love this: “Or, we can quiet the mind, listen to the heart, and really tune in and discover what we desire. When we do this, we find our way into the flow, releasing obstacles, and making our way closer and closer to that vision that resides deep within us.” AMEN!

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  2. megan

    I love this analogy, thanks for sharing. I think it is very common for women especially to have self doubt about ourselves and the job we are doing as wives and mothers.

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