Recently I was in Colorado and walked to the Colorado River about 10 miles downstream from the headwaters. As I stood there, the “mighty” Colorado River could be walked across with 4 large steps. Was this
really the Colorado River? Was it really the same powerful creator of the Grand Canyon, generator of electricity at the Hoover Dam and irrigator of multiple states? It reminded me of the saying by Lao Tzu, “A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.”
After the trip, I was thinking about some of the “thousand mile” journeys I have completed (and some that I am still on).
The first was my thesis. I was really struggling with making progress and finally I set the goal to work every Sunday from 1 to 5pm. So every Sunday, I went to the lab and worked on my thesis. Some days, I was not terribly inspired and I would check references and footnotes. (It could feel like a LONG 4 hours on those days.) Other days, I would write a lot, even working an extra hour or two. As a result of this consistent effort, I was able to meet the deadline to file my thesis and graduate.
Creating a successful private practice is another of those journeys. Last winter someone asked me what the secret was. I thought about it and replied, “Consistent effort over time.” It had taken years, willingness to learn from my mistakes, and putting the effort in consistently (even when I didn’t seem to be moving forward very much). Sometimes you are so busy focusing on taking the next step; you forget you are on a journey. It was only looking back, that I realized how far I had come. Unlike my thesis, there is no final deadline and graduation. This journey will continue and change as I travel this path.
I work with clients who are often challenged by huge life changes. These are thousand mile journeys like overcoming depression or anxiety, surviving death or divorce, or even changing careers. When faced with these challenges, it can feel overwhelming.
Where do you start?
We usually focus on what is the next small step that can be taken that moves us along our journey. Just like the mighty Colorado River, we have to start small and keep moving consistently over time to build up our power and complete our journey.
If you would like support on your journey (of any length), please contact Chrysalis Counseling LLC to see if Claudine Miller, LPC or Amy Rauscher, CIT can help.