I’ve been moving too fast lately and my head is spinning.  So I’m forcing myself to reflect on some of the lessons I’ve not only learned but teach others.  …However, right now I’m sitting on a plane heading to handle a plethora of work and family items on my plate, and I just put down a digital copy of the latest business mag. In the news, it’s all about Unicorns and the insanity taking place in the Bay Area. It is reminiscent of my days in SF during the rise of dotcom. And once again, people are saying “It’s not cyclical…it’s different.  We haven’t been here before quite like this.”  But I have to put the story down and center my mind, because once I land, I’ll be up to my eyeballs in the reality of “life is a body of work,” not just the one shot wonder stories we keep reading or dreaming about.   But I digress.

I always come back to this question. How will you know where you are going if you don’t know where you are?

So last week, I spent two days in the desert with a dear friend and mentor. When he hoped in the car, he complained about his stress and the effect it was having on his body. His neck was in knots and a drastic life adjustment was what he thought he needed. By the end of the day, in the absence of cell phone service, driving dirt roads, gazing at the vast landscape, and not seeing one other vehicle on the dirt, his stressed had eased and his true north was in focus. Mine too.

We were both working, but engrossed in the open desert.  Armed with a compass, a map and a ruler, we could focus on the task at hand. In the absence of stress and technology, our internal road map was lying right beneath the surface, and it didn’t fail us. As we drove, I realized I was back in that space where accomplishing our goals and being completely on point was dependent on knowing exactly where I was. Not generally where I was – exactly.

 

Navigating and driving off road are metaphors for life…

Navigation = know where you are – exactly – at all times. To know where you are going, you must know where you are. Always have a plan, but be ready and capable to adjust accurately.

Driving = put your car exactly where you want it – every time. If you can’t, slow down.

 

The days I spent competing in the Gazelle were the days I needed in life – spiritually. The days I now spend driving off-road – coaching, testing, chasing roads, and helping other women compete in the Gazelle – I am constantly reminded of these simple metaphors. But some days, when I pass along this information, I have to look deep down inside.   Am I practicing what I am preaching? Is my road map clear? Am I on the right path? Am I completely focused and in the moment? Am I the best teammate I can be – as a family member, business associate, racer, and friend?  And a voice in the back of my mind is echoing that adage, “Physician, heal thyself.”

What I love about navigating (and driving off-road), is the transfer of lessons from the moment you step out of the car and put down the compass.   I get frustrated at myself for not practicing spiritual navigation every day, but I am so thankful to have a passion, hobby, (and part time profession), and fellow “navigators” that kick the rudder and point the needle back to true north every time.   I’ve been blessed by those who taught me and trusted that I would use the knowledge and pass it on – pay it forward.  I feel genuinely stoked when I hear and see women passing along some of the same tips and advice.  But the key for me at this very moment is to keep some of those lessons and metaphors right on the surface to ensure I am practicing what I preach. …AMEN…