Power for Change: Fans and Touchstones

I made a trip back to my hometown last weekend. It was a vivid reminder of the fact that change looks forward, but also connects to the past. Glimpses backward help us understand our roots and give us the power to make change in the future.

I was an unusual trip home for me – an 80th birthday party for a friend outside the family. It was unhurried with few things planned. The extra time allowed for more exploring and connecting than the usual quick, busy visits. This trip there was time to stop and just “be.”

We see ourselves through the eyes of others. Family and old friends have seen us through the entire arc of our lives. These fans help us see the best in ourselves in ways that we cannot see for ourselves. Many (most?) of the feelings and opinions are strong and unvarnished, providing us with unique insights into our strengths and talents.

Pine ConesTouchstones are also a unique way to tap into the strength of our pasts. For me, the first was spotting the Capitol as I pulled into Madison. More than anything else, it is a symbol of Madison and is the first distinct sight that says “Welcome home!” Seeing it always brings back the memories of past triumphs. I also took time to run past the old house where we lived during high school and college. Looking at the familiar structure reminded me of the stability we had growing up – only two houses and an unchanging set of rules and expectations. Finally, I drove past a grove of mature pine trees. Four of us planted most of those trees as seedlings 35 years ago. They reminded me of how old I’m becoming and how far I’ve come.

It was a good weekend to recharge and refocus. The ability to connect with family and fans provided the positive energy to recharge the batteries. Revisiting familiar touchstones provided the perspective to focus action in the future. The time back in the hometown provided some terrific power to face the changes ahead.

How will you find your own power source?


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June 2010
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