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I wake early, the day before Thanksgiving. I’ve been up, tossing and turning, thinking about my to-do list, my travel, my relationships, my family, the time I have, the time I spend. I’m reflecting on our year and the holiday coming up. I’m also thinking about Plenty’s second birthday coming this Saturday. I’m wondering about the year ahead, and I’m also wondering about where the time goes. All the thoughts collide together in my head.
I’m in Park City, Utah, where I’ve spent the last two days working on the retreat space we are remodeling. It’s a long-time dream: to have a place where we can invite our clients to come out of their day-to-day setting, leave their worries behind, and connect with their deepest dreams of vision and change.
We spend so much time helping our clients through their problems, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that there’s no problem that a bold vision and deep purpose can’t overcome. The challenge usually isn’t coming up with the vision — the challenge is setting the problem aside long enough to let the dream emerge. We spend so much time worrying about the “how” that we can blind ourselves to the “what.”
And yet, the heart feels what the mind doesn’t know. Our retreat space is going to be a place where our clients and friends can connect with their hearts to solve the problems their minds can’t figure out.
I’m not thinking of this at 5:15 in the morning, though — I’m mainly thinking of what time it is, and wondering why the heck I’m awake and not sleeping. I start to play that trick with mental math, calculating how little sleep I’ll have had if I’m actually up for the day at this point. Oh man, I’m going to be really tired…
Of course, that does nothing to help soothe me, and soon I sit up, defeated. No more sleep for me. I’m up.
I walk to the window and throw aside the blinds. The moon is bright and nearly full, white and light set against the Utah mountains. I have an insight that I should go for a hike and watch as the moon sets behind the mountains. Yes, that sounds nice. Physical exercise, mental calmness, and maybe a tiny bit of spiritual connection, too. I throw on my sweats, grab my coat, and head out.
Almost immediately, I’m frustrated. In the five minutes since I looked out the window, the sky has shifted. The moon has disappeared just below the horizon. There’s a trail up the mountain — somewhere — and if I get high enough, quickly enough, I can find the moon again and watch it set. It’s a kind of pretzel logic, I see now, to chase a moon that’s set just to watch it set again, but it's 5:30 in the morning and I'm really not thinking clearly.
I walk up the road and find what looks to be a trailhead. I stumble a bit through the gravel but soon I'm making good time up the hill. The trail switches back and forth a few times, and each time I take a bend I figure that I'll see the moon at any moment.
Five minutes pass, and then ten. I take two switchbacks, then three. Then four. After twenty minutes, I take a switchback that sends me down the mountainside rather than up. I stop in my tracks. It isn't going to happen. I've missed the moon.
I can't tell you why, and even as I write, it doesn't quite make sense. But at that moment, frustrated and cold and standing in the dark, I could feel tears welling up inside of me. I felt defeated and wasted. What a farce. What the heck was I doing out there?
I turned back to walk down the path I'd just walked up. As I turned around, I saw something I had missed in the climb - Venus, the Morning Star, rising in the sky to the east. I'd not seen her in my focus on the chasing the moon. But there she was, light and bright and clear.
I let the tears out, but they emerged from my mouth as laughter, deep and strong. Here I was chasing the moon's light, when all along the light was behind me. The light wasn't pulling me forward. The light was pushing me ahead.
Last year, when Plenty turned one, I marveled at the abundance all around. I felt joy from the novelty and the newness of it all. This year, as we reach our second birthday, the abundance still makes me marvel, but I find myself reflecting more about how we've grown. The moon is amazing. But the light is inside.
To all of you who read and share and tweet and pay us the ultimate compliment of letting us help you articulate your dreams, thank you. There's no need to chase the moon. You've got all the light you need.
Happy Thanksgiving, happy birthday Plenty, and health and happiness to all of you.
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