I recently chucked a story. It was a powerful one too, one that limited me for years.

Driving back to McCall in December, I landed in Grand Junction, gateway to red rock country. Hmm.  Sunshine in the forecast and the nearby Colorado National Monument has trails close to town. This means cell service and people, a measure of security for the lone hiker. I looked at the twisty road on the Monument map and felt a little nervous. Hello, Renée?  You just drove to Massachusetts and back, and you’re nervous about a road in a Park?

Serpent's TrailHalfway up Serpent’s Trail the next morning, I realized I was busting a story.  Looking at that beautiful windy road from the trail, I considered my nervousness. I had never entered a National Treasure by myself.  I’d always had someone else drive and hike with me. My story was that I needed a partner to go exploring.

Clearly, that story was done. I was tromping up this trail, looking longingly and expectantly at that road. It wasn’t that I had fear about going alone, I had never even considered it.

So, how do we catch and see these old stories? 

First, put yourself in honest and curious conversations. Stop social sleepwalking and start asking people what you really want to know.  Say what’s actually on your mind in a curious, nonjudgmental fashion.  SO WHAT if someone gets triggered. You are providing them with a growth opportunity.

Second, we need to put ourselves in newness, on the edges of comfort.  Traveling, classes, people~ ANYTHING that provokes, nudges, and creates new neural pathways. Have fear? Get curious about THAT.

Third, we must listen. Listen to what our hearts and bodies really want. I wanted sunshine, beauty, and walking.  The opportunity was there, and I’IMG_3504d regret leaving too soon. Even though it cost me an extra night’s lodging, you know~~So What!

The next day I drove that road like a celebration. Took my time and stopped at turnouts to read signs and gawk. I decided the empty trails with snow patches weren’t safe and walked around the Visitor’s Center and campground.  $15 at the exit~ worth every penny.