Saturday, September 14, 2013

Cleaning the Forest Floor

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I remember when I was little and fishing with my Dad up on Mooselookmeguntic Lake, I looked up at one mountain range and noticed one mountain was bare and black.  "Dad? What happened to all the trees?"

He looked to where I was pointing and said "Oh, that looks like the Ranger Service conducted a managed burn..."

"A managed burn? What's that?"

Dad went on to explain that a couple years prior, a windstorm hit the area, and toppled down all the trees, making it impossible for anyone to get through the area - including the wildlife like moose, bear, and deer. The Forest Rangers deliberately set fire to areas of the woods  to "clean the forest floor." By doing so, they prevent uncontrolled wildfires, they make it easier for larger wildlife like to re-enter the woods, and it allows new growth to come in and heal the damaged and scarred areas from the storm.   Sure enough, a couple years later we came back to the same place, and I looked up and saw a green and lush mountain.

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This year, I lit a match.    No, not to the woods - that would be highly irresponsible and illegal unless I was a trained Forest Ranger.   No, what I am talking about is the business I had been building for the past five years.  My business, much like the mountain range I saw with my Dad all those years ago, had taken a large hit.  Medical and financial set backs had weakened an already fragile ecosystem.  My business had become overgrown with wild ideas and half completed goals.  I had no clear vision of where I was going.  I was going in circles, trying to climb over toppled debris, and working way too hard to get on the right path.  It didn't make any sense, and because of that, I wasn't attracting clients, and wasn't experiencing any new growth.  No matter how hard I tried, nothing sustaining would ever come from that mangled mess.  I stopped creating new programs, stopped taking on new clients, and stopped working on a plan that wasn't working.  I lit a match and watched it burn.

I am allowing what was meant to be
to spring up from the ashes.

At first, I was devastated.  It had taken a long time to grow my business - I mourned what was, and what might have been.  But, just like the burned forest, I now have a blank slate, I can allow for new growth.  I discovered I am not growing a completely new business - I am allowing what was meant to be to spring up from the ashes.  Best of all, the ashes of my previous experiences are acting as nutrients for my new direction.  Just like the forest, nothing needs to be replanted - it is replenishing itself because of the vast amount of potential that was laying dormant just waiting to blossom once it had the space to flourish.

Starting over is never easy - even for trained professionals.  There can be many variables and unknowns, and it can be scary.  But, when you plan a managed burn and regrowth properly, and with the right people to assist, you can grow back stronger, more resilient and better than before.  Sometimes when you are trying to Open Doors to Reach Your Key Potential, you need to Blaze some Trails.

What space in your life do you need to clear in order to grow?  If you need help - I have a match.

Please come visit me in my new neck of the woods -

Until then, Hit the Heights!
Priscilla Hansen, CPC - Business & Leadership Guide
Blazing Trails Coaching