Today, following the co-facilitation of a staff team-building retreat with Dewey Schott, I had a realization that our lives are filled with "defining moments". There are times throughout our existence when something deeply informs our direction. They are incidents that are so influential that they impact how we perceives ourselves, define our values, direct our course or develop behavior. In the best cases these moments are positive and at the worst they are negative. Often we don't recognize these defining moments until someone asks us to reflect on them - which is often the case in a retreat setting.
What I recognized is that your response to these defining moments can be positive or negative, panic or excitement, inspiration or suffocation. As a defining moment the impact is going to be extreme in either direction. As I chart my own path I'm recognizing that stepping back in the "now" to reflect on these defining moments is essential, especially when you are moving towards panic. It is a choice to frame the situation as negative or positive. My theory is you only live once and you choose your own path. We also choose our reaction, although sometimes it feels like we don't have a choice.
My personal objective is to reduce stress, live peacefully and to do onto others as I would have them do on to me. Recognizing these values I am choosing to see potentially negative situations as learning opportunities, a chance to be a stronger, more pro-active, well-defined person with a vision and mission that drives me forward. I am taking hold of these defining moments and determining my own definition instead of letting them define me.