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Twists and Turns

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Beth Anstandig

Dear lovely humans,

Nature gives us so many generous lessons of how things move, progress, develop, and evolve no matter what. We need these examples so we can see the fierce resilience around us and connect to how it is within us. We also need to see and know how messy, unpredictable, and even chaotic growth can be.

If you stand in a forest of redwoods, you can see all kinds of contortions as the trees bend and turn to make their way toward sunlight and to share the space with the other trees. Trees like the one pictured twist as they grow, sometimes because of wind, other times because of soil. No matter what, they grow.

How often do we feel twisted inside as parts of ourselves are asked to stretch beyond their current capacities? How often do we feel those twists and turns and think that something is wrong? We experience the imperfections of our own growth or that of others and we are quick to name it as a pathology. But those aberrations are central to good growth and more often than not, the ways we adapt to grow actually make us stronger and more adept at co-existing with our environments and in our relationships.

This doesn’t mean that we bend ourselves beyond recognition. We have to make sure that the twists make good sense and will serve us well. Good twists and turns allow us to move forward and to do so without losing our integrity. Think of the tree, if it bends too far, it’ll snap. We need to be careful of the same. Unless you are a contortionist, we don’t want to bend ourselves into unrecognizable pretzels!

The twists are part of the growth. I’m learning to move with them and to keep growing no matter what. It’s not aligned with the natural world to stop moving forward. We move. We move forward. We move forward and twist when needed.

With love and leadership,
Beth

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