Professor Gibson
Thought Bubbles

Navigating the Forest: How Hard Can It Be

Hello fellow optimists,

As a mom, my days are often built on a soundtrack of kid tunes, some better than others. Lately, one song has lodged itself in my mind more persistently than the rest. “Get Back Up Again” from the animated movie Trolls.

At first glance, it’s just another catchy, upbeat song that my children adore. Yet, as I listen to it on repeat, I can’t help but find its message eerily resonant with my current phase of life.

In the song, Poppy “braves the dangers of the forest” in an effort to save her family and friends. Her relentless optimism and positive spirit, despite the challenges, create a striking contrast. She continues to claim, “If you knock me over, I will get back up again.” This continues until she finally gets herself into a situation where she needs assistance.

The juxtaposition between her spirit and situations mirrors my own feelings as I navigate the current complexities of motherhood and work. It’s a reminder that, like her, I, too, am journeying through a forest, fueled by a mix of hope, determination, and a playlist that keeps me marching forward, one catchy tune at a time.

In the fast-paced rhythm of life, it’s easy to find ourselves lost in a forest of responsibilities, expectations, and endless to-do lists. The canopy of obligations casts a shadow, dimming the light of our aspirations and dreams. It’s in these moments, amidst the thick underbrush of overwhelm, that we must remember to keep moving forward, guided by the faith that we are enough, doing enough, and indeed, heading in the right direction.

Feeling Your Way Through

The journey through the forest is not one of sight but of feeling. It’s about trusting your instincts and believing in your inner compass. Each step forward, however uncertain, is a testament to your resilience. It’s a delicate dance of taking one step at a time, pausing to breathe, and listening to the subtle cues of your heart and soul. This path is not about racing to the clearing but about embracing each moment of the journey, understanding that even in the challenge of responsibility, your sense of self remains your guiding light.

Walking on faith is the art of moving forward even when the path is unclear. It’s believing you are enough even while hearing the chorus of doubts that life throws your way. Faith is the quiet voice that whispers, “You are on the right path,” even when external signs seem to say otherwise. It’s the belief that the sun still shines above the densest canopy and that the forest, with all its challenges, is also a place of growth and discovery.

Remember the Forest, Remember the Sun

There’s a profound beauty in carrying the memory of the forest with you into the sunlit clearings of achievement and peace. It serves as a reminder of your strength and capability. Conversely, when you find yourself back in the shadows, it’s crucial to remember the sun—the successes, the moments of joy, and the feelings of accomplishment. These memories act as beacons, guiding you through the darkest woods and reminding you that sunlight always follows the night.

In moments of overwhelm, it’s easy to feel like you’re not doing enough, not moving fast enough, or not making the right decisions. Yet, the truth is, you are enough just as you are. Your pace, your path, and your choices are valid and valuable. The forest and the sun are integral parts of your journey, teaching you, challenging you, and ultimately leading you to where you need to be.

I was once asked how I went from an overwhelmed individual to a calm and happy person. I still had all the pressures as before, but now I am a different person. The answer is simple. Whenever I face a challenge, I tell myself, “This will not be what breaks me. I’ve overcome too much to let this stop me.” I’ve decided that when I break, it will be over something big; I’ll go out in a blaze of glory with fireworks in the sky. And to this day, I have yet to find something big enough to take me out. Just like Poppy, I keep getting back up again.

Get Back Up Again

As you navigate the forest of life’s responsibilities and pressures, remember Poppy. Trust in your inner strength and believe in your capacity to weather the storms. The path may not always be clear, but you have everything within you to make it through. And when you step into the sunlight once again, carry the forest in your heart, for it has shaped you into the resilient, capable, and incredible person you are.

And as Poppy says, “What if it is all a big mistake? What if it is more than I can take? No! I can’t think that way. Cause I know I am really, really, really going to be ok!”

Remember, in every moment of doubt, just get back up again.