Respite: A short interval of rest or relief

Finding your path on a new trail.

“In wisdom gathered over time,
I have found that every experience is a form of exploration.”
– Ansel Adams

When one intentionally begins a hike, especially on a new trail, surprises inevitably occur – fallen rocks here, a washed out trail over there. And when the trail meanders through a densely wooded area, especially one that has not been used for quite some time, one might suffer from disorientation about where to go next. It is then that a calm spirit – and a compass – come in handy; a life-saving combination of wisdom and practicality.

If now is the time you find yourself feeling lost, it might be a good time to go in search of your compass or to ponder what your compass even is. What is that necessary item needed at this moment to help you? Is it something that has been used before? Is its whereabouts known or has it been misplaced due to disuse? What instrument might be needed to help you out of feeling helpless, stranded, abandoned and alone?

Instead of thrashing about simply trying to undo the situation you are in, staying calm and staying put may be the more necessary activity. Praying, meditating, journaling, or sharing with a trusted friend, therapist, spiritual director or family confidante may provide clues to the whereabouts of your missing compass, or even more intriguing, might themselves be the instrument needed to help you discover where it is you must go to discover your lost self.

– Connie Popp

Dr. Connie PoppDr. Connie Popp is a board member for The Center for Life Transitions as well as an active facilitator for the Center’s Life-SHIFT and Job Search Courage programs. She is also the Director of Campus Ministry at Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Read more.