Lost & Found Department: Fear, Mindset, Motivation & Goals -Tales From The Trails


“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged… to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.” -Nelson Mandela

Twin Falls at Rock Island, TN - Blue Hole Hike

I did not set out on my hike last week to face any fears or challenge my mindset or do anything adventurous even.

It was a gorgeous Spring day here in Tennessee so I packed a lunch, some work, and my goal planner in my daypack with my only intention being to get a little exercise, enjoy the sunshine, and spend the afternoon outdoors working on my goals.

I didn’t venture far, just 20’ish minutes away from home, with my mind set on a big flat rock I know of that has great afternoon sun – and no distractions. πŸ™‚

Revisiting Your Haunts - Mindset Shifts & Personal Growth

My pack was quite heavy (for me anyway) with a couple of extra books, and enough extra food & water in case I wanted to stay until sunset.

I’m not used to packing an extra 10-15 pounds on my hikes, so that made for an even better workout – especially with all the inclines!

I did take a moment to stop and admire Twin Falls, but I was pretty focused on hiking out to the rock where there is NO phone signal so I could dig in to my work.

First though I ventured out onto a rock ledge hanging over the river for another view of the falls, where I almost lost my balance and ended up IN the river. πŸ˜›

Finding Your Balance - Core Strength, Confidence and Life Balance all come from the same source: Within!

This was my first hit of FEAR.

This was also the moment I realized I am NOT the same fearless trail-blazing adventurous woman I used to be. (lol)

(Yes I was alone on this hike, as usual. I took these photos using the timer delay & interval shots features with my Samsung Galaxy S7 phone.)

I came down, walked a few more feet down the trail past the ledge, then climbed back up on the rock again.

I stood there facing the raging waterfall above the swirling river and focused on my CORE, summoning my inner balance to steady myself physically.

Hiking in Rock Island State Park, Tennessee

I remember how hard I worked to build that: my core strength, my inner balance – and my confidence. I remember what it FELT like to have those things for the first time. (It felt amazing!)

I realized while standing there… how different I feel NOW.

Why is that? Maybe I’m just having an off day…

I pondered those things as I continued down the trail, which turned into a very narrow path on the edge of a steep bluff. I watched my footing cautiously, as one clumsy move could easily land me in that crazy river way down below. πŸ˜›

Tales from the Trails - Hiking Insights

The river may look innocent enough, but I assure you it is NOT.;)

I finally caught a view of my destination. πŸ™‚

This spot is known as The Blue Hole, and while swimming is not allowed and warning signs are posted everywhere, people flock here in the summer to jump off the cliffs and brave the currents.

Blue Hole Hike, Rock Island TN

My grandfather used to tell me crazy fish stories about “the blue hole” which has probably been a hot spot for who knows how many generations!

I love SO many things about hiking: the views, sunshine, fresh air, the amazing beauty of nature’s million little details.

Being unplugged (out of range with no signal) definitely tops the list too. πŸ™‚

And for exercise, hiking is such a great workout. Definitely an “upgrade” from my usual walks because the natural terrain requires a wider range of motion from various muscle groups as you navigate rocks and turns and inclines.

I hiked around to the top of the bluff overlooking the blue hole, and stood there looking down… contemplating whether I *really* wanted to climb down there – just to sit on a rock. πŸ˜›

Facing Your Fear of Heights

I did want to, though – woozy feeling in my stomach from the heights and all. I’ve climbed down it before so I knew I could do it.

Besides it was HOT and I worked up a sweat hiking at a good pace with a full pack, so cooling down by the river definitely appealed.

And then… I couldn’t do it.

Facing Your Fear of Water

I had another hit of panic. I’ve had a fear of water for as long as I can remember. Mostly a fear of what’s IN the water. What might swim up on me, or come slithering out from under that rock I was sitting on.

The fear was dizzying and I sat there for a LONG second debating whether I was THAT hot (yes!) -lol.

Did I mention there were spiders running all over my rock?!

Spiders at Play

I felt paralyzed.

I realized I was holding my breath and let it out slowly.

This whole fear thing – fear of heights, fear of spiders, fear of water – it felt so weird but also very familiar. I grew up deathly afraid of this river, and while I still have a deep respect for it, I definitely worked through and mastered all those fears.

Didn’t I?

Yes, this is me: “Ms Fearless and Adventurous” jumping off a similar bluff (also crawling with spiders) way upriver a year or so ago:

Fearless and Adventurous

So what the heck is going on now?!

If you stop pushing yourself toward who you want to become, do you start becoming who you used to be?

I forced one foot into the water…

Facing Your Fears - Challenge Your Mindset!

… and then the other.

I felt awkward and uncomfortable and all too aware of the spiders crawling all the way around me. But I sat there anyway, with both feet in the cool water, and forced myself to breathe and just BE.

Fear of Water

I felt utterly ridiculous and seriously annoyed with myself. πŸ™„

I looked over to the right, across the river, and remembered the day I scaled that opposite bluff – all the way from the bend in the river to the Blue Hole Trail – which took me HOURS of death-defying determination, and tons of courage! πŸ˜›

It was wet, covered in green slime, every hand and foothold was slick as snot, and I was wearing a DRESS -lol. If you missed that story, read it here. I went back and read it today myself – and wow, was that message ever perfect timing for me!

I was feeling very out of sorts at this point…

I remember scaling this gorge, I remember being that strong, and I remember facing fears FAST and pushing through them with an inner strength that matched my physical strength.

Where in the world did all of that go?!

As I turned to climb back up & out, because I’d had ENOUGH of the spiders and imaginary sea creatures (lol), I remembered how much I used to LOVE to climb.

I used to climb anything, anywhere – sketchy bluffs, crumbling rock formations, slippery waterfalls. I can’t even count the times I looked up at something and said, “I want to climb that!” -just because.

Now? Not so much. It just happened to be the only way out. πŸ˜›

Off Trail Fitness Hiking

It’s a gorgeous day in a gorgeous spot, and all I can think about is spiders and snakes and “a fish the size of a volkswagon” my grandfather told me he saw with his own eyes, falling and breaking a leg – or worse, busting my head open – and in that case, are my affairs in order? Um, no…

I didn’t want to stay there though, so up I climbed.

I made it back to the top and found a big flat rock in the shade, way above that “scary water” (lol) and sat down for a snack and a break – and to try to sort out the thoughts swirling through my mind.

Sunniva Super Coffee

This Sunniva Super Coffee was pretty good. It came in one of my March Keto Boxes last month and I had it in my pack. It had a bit of an aftertaste to it but not bad at all, only 1 carb, and a very nice pick-me-up on the trail!

Sunniva Super Coffee Nutrition Label

As I sat there drinking my coffee, with lizards & spiders taunting me no less, I felt totally defeated. Actually, I felt like hiking out and going to get a cheeseburger.

I pulled out some snacks (peanut butter & cream cheese) and forced myself to sit there for as long as it took for that feeling to pass.

Low Carb Hiking

Why was I craving junk food? Why did I feel afraid? Why did I feel off balance and unsteady now? Why did I worry about falling or getting snake-bit?

I never used to feel afraid or worry about anything!

I used to just let all of you do that for me. πŸ˜‰ haha

I was perplexed. and frustrated and feeling defeated. and tired.

The day felt like a waste, other than getting some decent exercise. I wasn’t in the mood to work on my goals anymore, or anything else really… so I just sat.

Being too wrapped up in your own head out on the trails is NOT a good thing, by the way. “Dog Training 101” has served me well in nature: you have to be in your Alpha state, hiking on the offense (not the defense).

I was definitely NOT in the right frame of mind on this hike, obviously.

But why?!

That was bothering me, considering I just came out here to do some work – mostly just mapping out strategies and action plans for some ambitious goals I’ve been brainstorming.

Note: anytime you’re focused inward, on internal thoughts & feelings (mostly: irrational thoughts), instead of focusing forward on your goals and the life and reality around you – you are getting sucked into the dark hole.;) -source: Mindset & Motivation: Focusing On What Matters To Achieve Your Goals (Faster)

I realized that ^ so I forced myself to focus on my surroundings.

I looked up at the river in front of me, I looked down and around at the moss and rocks and insects, and then I looked over my right shoulder toward the sun…

Lessons From Nature - Tales from the Trails

The sun was beaming through the trees and highlighting the new Spring leaves in an almost magical way. It was so beautiful… beautiful enough to pull me out of my muck of thoughts long enough to realize how focused I had been on myself – and to stop it.

That’s when I was finally able to get up and get back on the trail.

My butt hurt from sitting on that rock SO long, lol – but I was determined to sit there until the “crazy & cravings” passed, which is exactly what I did.

Unfortunately I blew out one of my shoes tripping over a stump or a rock or something earlier in the hike, but I still managed to hike out well enough.

Hike on!

I got back to the head of the trail feeling MUCH better, feeling determined to work on facing my fears and building my strength & confidence back up, but TIRED – and still not 100% trusting myself NOT to stop for that cheeseburger on the way home. πŸ˜›

I stood there at the bottom of several flights of stairs up to the parking area, feeling pretty spent, but then just took a deep breath and RAN all the way to the top.

Stair Run - Fitness Challenge

My hike was short, less than 4 miles, but I hiked both there and back at a fast pace with some extra weight in my pack.

The 26 floors my Fitbit recorded equals 260 feet of elevation – climbing up only, it doesn’t count going down – so there were some pretty decent inclines. πŸ˜‰

Fitbit Fitness Hiking

My shoes being ruined aside I felt MUCH better, a bit accomplished after the stair run even, and ready to get home to make a healthy dinner and tackle my goals. πŸ™‚

That was last Thursday.

And then…

Once I got home and rested and then back to work, something crossed my screen that really threw me for a loop. Something from my archive of stories here actually, which took me down a rabbit hole reading story after story I’ve shared with you here throughout my weight loss journey over the years.

I’ve known for awhile now that something is “off” with me. But it became glaringly obvious as I continued reading my own stories, and realizing how drastically they had changed over the last year and a half.

I mentioned feeling a total disconnect on my Foster Falls hike in December. I talked about losing my joy for hiking and forcing myself through it back in September.

I talked about that last May when I first realized things had changed, following a particularly bad spell where I was pushing myself TOO hard – this one:

Powering Through Hard Times

Ugh. Everything about that post ^ written one year ago made me SICK when I read it again last week. Not just because of what I wrote, or the horrible pictures I shared, but also because of the things going on in my life then that I didn’t share.

Coming back around to what we’ve been discussing lately, my year-long weight loss stall, THAT is where it all started. I had just come off my last round of antibiotics after being sick for three full months – and the medication had thrown me out of ketosis, and totally out of whack.

Reading through my stories here made me realize that over the last year while I’ve been struggling with this weight loss stall… I’ve been stalled in many other areas of my life – TOO.

Which now has me questioning whether it’s all tied together.

I would guess: YES.

I kept hiking. I kept eating low carb consistently. I kept working on and through it – and honestly thought I was doing good at that, until all of those old FEARS hit me so hard on this last hike.

I’m proud of myself for continuing to hike, and pushing myself to keep doing what I love, and I’m glad that I’m forcing myself to work through all these things.

Even on this last hike…

I got back up on the rock I almost fell off of. I forced my feet in the water I was terrified of. I forced myself to sit still and let the spiders play all the way around me. I pushed aside the dizzying fear of heights and pushed through my hesitation, and climbed down that bluff and back up again.

Absolutely none of this has to do with hiking at all.

Hiking is simply where I work out my thoughts, work on my mindset, improve my confidence and self-image.

It’s my therapy and my “me time” getaway. It’s a place where I can disconnect from the constant buzz of life… and reconnect with what REALLY matters.

So the fact that I’ve been experiencing a total disconnect on the trails is kind of a big deal.

It has taken me an entire week to write this because I have struggled (hard) to process what exactly is going on, and how to put it into words, or whether I even should – or want to.

What I’m realizing is that I seem to have lost my drive, ambition, enthusiasm. I lost sight of my goals, and can’t seem to get motivated again.

I haven’t had any problem sticking to my low carb way of eating through all of this, but you’ve heard me mention wanting to get back to my workouts and exercise goals.

I have FUN ambitious career goals too, and big home improvement projects I want to do, yada yada yada. I’ve just been having a really hard time with the energy & interest lately… for ANY of it.

Excuse me, self *ahem* Aren’t you the one that said: motivation is on the other side of commitment? Why yes, that WAS you. Another hiking insight, no less!

The thing is, I’ve been “doing the tasks.”

I’ve been forcing myself through the motions, just without the energy & interest. It’s like I’m still driving… but I’ve lost my drive.

Not being one to let things go on for too long, I recently joined the 100 Day Challenge that I told you about here, to kick-start myself back in gear and back on track.

The whole point of the challenge program is to blast through mindset issues and get EXCITED about your life & goals again.

So that’s where I’m at, and that’s where I’ve been – figuring out what’s holding me up and holding me back, and working through those things so I can get back to being super focused on my goals… and HAPPY again.

“I’m doing good. Everything is fine.”

I’m back to my workouts, getting back to some of my creative projects, back to traveling (which I had put on hold for awhile), I’m healthy – and have stuck to my low carb lifestyle persistently and consistently.

I feel gross though, just being honest.

I’m still carrying maybe 5 pounds of weight, but it’s more the change in my body composition than my actual weight that makes the difference.

I miss feeling lean and strong and confident. I miss my muscle tone and core strength, and really dislike feeling afraid – and uncomfortable in my clothes again.

Those are all things I can fix, of course…

And so I will. πŸ™‚

One of my favorite quotes of all time, which stays in front of me here at my desk, is this one:

β€œSet your mind on a definite goal and observe how quickly the world stands aside to let you pass.” ― Napoleon Hill

I’ll close by saying that the return of my old fears & phobias is not without reason. I thought about those this week, and I’m figuring out the best way to deal with them.

I think it’s perfectly okay to be totally freaked out about the Caney Fork River. I grew up on it, and I’ve seen some of the stuff they’ve pulled out of there. 😛

It’s totally normal to be scared of heights. Plenty of people have fallen to their death. In fact, just last summer a young girl fell from a bluff I used to love to sit on with my feet hanging over the ~150β€² drop.

Spiders are just icky. I do better than most with them, but I wouldn’t crawl into their nest or anything (on purpose).

As for my horrible mood and oh-so-sad heart-wrenching week I talked about in my post last year, with my pain and anger being obvious in both my posture and the look on my face in every photo… how very shallow that seems now, given two women died in that very spot this past year in a freak flash flood incident that came out of nowhere on a hot sunny day.

So yes, nature is to be respected at least, if not feared.

I also realized while reading back over my stories that I allowed certain things (that were too personal to disclose in those posts publicly) to totally derail me, or hold me back. A “confidence crisis” if you will, that became so obvious on the trails last week.

I think in one of my 56 revisions of this post over the four days it took me to write it, I had some brilliant insight or wonderful wisdom to share with you – but I think I lost that somewhere along the way. πŸ™‚ My apologies…

I need to get back to work, catch up on my 100 Day Challenge lessons, and probably get some sleep.;) Oh, and I have a fun “recipe fail” to share with you that had such GREAT potential. I did manage a great “save” though, so stay tuned for that (back to food talk!) in my next post.


I think with anything you want to accomplish in life…

The solution is simple:

1. Make the decision.
2. Do the actions.

It’s easy to set goals, and it’s easy to make plans. Putting those plans into action though, and doing the work to see your goals through to the FINISH is where most of us fall short.

Lack of enthusiasm or interest = lack of motivation. You really have to get EXCITED about the end result to stay committed to your goal.

And of course taking action (doing the work) brings results, and those results ignite your enthusiasm – and your motivation to keep moving toward that goal.

That’s what I’m working on.

I’m not who I used to be.

I’m not who I want to become yet either.

I’m also not so bad as I am. πŸ™‚

My life is pretty good actually, and I love the direction I’m headed. I’d like to get there faster of course, like anyone else – but things are okay right here and right now.

What bothers me most is that I feel bothered at all.

I feel some kind of inner resistance or “hold” and I really want to shake that because I have SO much I want to accomplish! I’ve been trying HARD to push through it lately, without much luck. Does it have something to do with fear? That seems obvious now. Fear of what I’m not sure…

Anyway, that’s what I’m working on.

I miss the pure grit and determination I had when I hiked the other side of that river

Reading that post again was such a good reminder to live every single day with that level of desire & determination to succeed – at whatever you want to accomplish.

I think I keep writing in circles, so I’m going to quit now. πŸ™‚

I feel excited and motivated and stalled and stuck and content & happy and sorta lost and all sorts of other things -lol. I think my little trip down memory lane brought up way too many things I don’t even want (or have time!) to deal with right now. πŸ˜›

Meanwhile, all of this DID spark some motivation and I’ve been working out and working on strength building every single day since my hike last week.:)

Wherever you are on your own goals, whatever you’re going through right now, I hope you’ll join me in getting OVER THE HUMP or getting unstuck or just getting MORE motivated and MORE ambitious.

I feel a major turning point coming on, which is usually preceded by one of these phases of total resistance -lol, ugh! I’ve worked through them before though, and it’s high time I powered through THIS one.

Are you with me? πŸ™‚

Lynn Terry,
aka @LowCarbTraveler

p.s. I now need a new pair of summer hiking shoes.:) I’m torn between replacing my favorite & faithful Nortshide Burke II hikers, switching to the Northside Trinidad Sport, or trying KEEN shoes this time instead…

Northside Shoes - FAIL

I have my eye on these:


instagram low carb @lowcarbtraveler @lowcarbtraveler @lowcarbtraveler pinterest low carb


Low Carb Snack Box


Free Ketogenic Diet Cookbook

About Lynn Terry

I love making the low carb diet EASY for people with a busy lifestyle (like me!) with my KISS / Keep It Simple method. :) About Lynn Terry: Host of the Low Carb Challenge
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32 Responses to Lost & Found Department: Fear, Mindset, Motivation & Goals -Tales From The Trails

  1. Jean Barnes says:

    At times I can so relate to what you are going through. Thank you so much for your honesty and candor and posting your true thoughts and not downplaying or sugar coating your feelings. We all go through this and most of us keep it inside for fear of what others might think. It’s so healthy and rewarding to share thes thoughts for your own clarity, but at the same time it show us lesser brave souls that we all have moment where we have fear, worry and doubt in ourselves, but it can be conquered if we take the time to face and deal with it. You are INSPIRATIONAL!

    I’ve been following you for a year now. I have read older posts and gained so much insight. I thank God that we are a digital would today because I’m moving to Germany in June and I can still remain connected while living there the next 3 to 5 years. It will be a challenge with food and keto, but I’m thankful Amazon ships to APO post office boxes for supplies. Even Keto Krate will ship there, though I haven’t checked out the others. I guess what I’m trying to say is one step at a time, one day at a time, one hour, one minute, one second at a time…we must do whatever it takes to reach that goal. You’ve shown me it’s okay to have doubts and fears, but we must work through them along our path to reach our goals.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      That’s so true, Jean – I think it’s human nature to have fears and doubts and ups and downs. It’s those tough times that make the good times SO good, and so rewarding. πŸ˜‰

      Thank YOU for the thoughtful and kind reply. I wish you a great trip and a wonderful experience in Germany! I look forward to hearing what you discover and learn there regarding your low carb lifestyle – and any challenges you face with it.

      Here’s to change, fear and unknowns and all, and facing it with sheer determination! πŸ™‚ *cheers*

  2. Connie says:

    Thank you so much for this post. This is exactly where I am too. It really helped me to think about things in a different way at exactly the right time. I love your work and recipes: you are a true inspiration!

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Thank you so much, Connie. It took me a few days to (be able to) come back around to this post and face it again – and all of your comments have truly brightened my day! πŸ™‚

      It’s so easy to “just live life” and go through the days – until you have goals, lol. That’s when you really have to dig in and power through and “do the work” – and when life seems to challenge you back. πŸ˜›

      It’s good though. Without those challenges, we would never grow as much – or experience as many wonderful things in life. πŸ˜‰

  3. Patricia Clayton says:

    Thank you so much for this post. You are so brave to lay it all on the line and being honest takes a lot of courage. It’s a coincidence that I’m going thru a lot of what you’re going thru. Hugs and let’s go do this!!!

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Let’s DO THIS indeed! πŸ™‚

      I’ve heard from so many people over the last few months that feel “stuck” in one way or another – having lost momentum, vision, motivation, energy, etc. It’s interesting to hear so many people on the same “vibe” or whatever, and makes me curious what’s causing that for so many people in my circle!

      I’m guessing the strange weather patterns this year. Or maybe the moon is in Uranus (lol, my son’s favorite joke). Whatever it is, I’m ready for it to break – or to break through it! πŸ˜‰

  4. Samantha Denham says:

    Thank you for sharing your feelings. I am sure most of us have been in a similar place – I certainly have. And it can be unbearably hard to figure it all out and get excited about things again when you are in that place. Focusing on the positive, all the little things makes a difference can help, as you did. We’re all here supporting you! You’re personal cheering squad! Big hugs! Things will only get better!

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Thank you so much for that, Samantha. πŸ™‚ You’re right, it can be really exhausting… but at the same time, enlightening. And of course necessary – to get to the next step or phase you want to achieve.

      I think if it were all easy and we could just breeze through it, everyone would be lean and fit and rich – right? πŸ™‚

      It’s the time we spend, the tough lessons we have to learn, and the scars we bear from doing it, that make us strong enough to achieve big things and *appreciate* our accomplishments enough to sustain them…

  5. Deborah says:

    I love this article and that you are always sincere and genuine! I feel like I am at a crossroad in my life on several fronts — fitness and well-being is in first or at least tied for first. I’ve tracked the links you’ve generously shared. Here’s to everyone creating and executing a strong (however we individually define that) second quarter of 2018! Thanks again!

    • Lynn Terry says:

      I’m so glad, Deborah – that you enjoyed this piece I mean, not that you are also at a crossroads or in a turning point in your own life too. πŸ˜‰

      As tough as this phase is though, knowing it means big positive changes and better results are coming… makes it much butter than just floating through the days without much challenge or anticipation or excitement for life at all. I need to learn to appreciate those boring phases of life a little more πŸ™‚ lol.

      I’m ready to power through this one! Let’s make it happen!! *cheers*

  6. Such an insightful post full of revelations and ‘aha’ moments!

    Only today I was speaking with my mum telling her how much you inspire me with your approach to life and its sometimes impossible challenges which you have had a fair share of. The way you have come through them deserves praise and admiration. And you keep smiling! πŸ™‚

    I have come to a conclusion that while it’s important to challenge myself, sometimes it’s ok to just be – especially when I feel less than ok. I have recently been focusing on regaining my energy which I seem to have lost. If I need sleep, I sleep. I just need to learn not to feel guilty about it. πŸ˜‰

    Motivation is something I struggle with a lot. Having undertaken a big project and having worked on it for a long time, I seem to have lost interest in it. I am trying to bring it back to the level of when I first started with it, to remember what made me so excited and wanting to work on it 18 hours a day. It’s hard considering that we evolve all the time, and so do our interests.

    What I am now making myself do is be consistent while the passion level is low. In other words, keep pushing forward until I see financial rewards and appreciation by others of what I have done. It’s not easy to be in this vacuum bubble, but I hope that I am on a verge of a breakthrough. Now what I need is relearn to believe in myself and what I do.

    Lynn, you are of course comparing yourself with yourself, but to me and I am sure many other people, you are a great inspiration – both in your mindset and what you have achieved despite what life has thrown at you. You shine so brightly, and I hope you know it.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      That’s very wise, Galina. Through the last few months I have been making that a practice myself: breathe, let it go, relax, rest, walk away, take the time I need – however long that is.

      I get the motivation factor too, especially on bigger projects. It’s easier when you are working on something small and can get that immediate gratification, or sense of accomplishment. It’s such a high! Much harder when you are working on what seems or feels like an endless project.

      Consistency is key. I’ve been practicing that as well, in small ways, to work toward being more consistent in the bigger goals I seem “stuck on” lately. For me even just doing 15 deep Tricep Dips and holding them longer each time, which I can do in a matter of minutes, just forcing myself to do that EVERY DAY is a good reminder that I can make anything a habit – through consistency.

      Thank you so much for your kind words, and for the chat too. πŸ™‚ It helps more than I can express! *hugs* ~ from the other side of the pond. πŸ˜‰

  7. Spencer says:

    Terry – Thanks for such a “heart felt” and motivating article. It was real, raw, full of story, fear, and total inspiration. I admire you as a person and as one of my favorite online inspirations.

    Reading this was like looking in a mirror, smiling but only seeing tears, gritting my teeth at the self evident truth of my own life, and promising to do better all in the same breath. At times life is most frustrating. And at time life is exhilarating, exciting, and fun. The second sentence has evaded me for decades… and here is why.

    As you know I am a photographer. Well I am a photographer for two reasons. First, to forget and remember my father. He too was a fantastic portrait photographer but a terrible person who left me behind. That hurts and I cry as I write this. Second, to battle stress and depression in my life. My daughter is a heroin addict and that has torn a giant hole in heart and ultimately my life. A real badge of failure I feel in my own life, even thought she did it not me. These things, although may seem to be excuses, are the things that rattle inside my head and keep me from moving on. These are the life tragedies that keep me wallowing in low self esteem and paralysis. My mind says go and then the drunken monkey in my mind says “who are you to go. look around at how much is out of your control.” And then I quit.

    Like you I need to power though somehow. I need to keep on keeping on. I need to reset and smile… somehow.

    This coming summer I am set to go hiking in the Olympic National Park for a week. I hope to capture some awesome photographs that I can share. I hope to get time to clear my mind some and maybe do some deep journaling. I hope to find answers to some of my lifes quandaries, like unlocking a business that works. I need to find my strength to take massive and most of all consistent actions in all aspects of life, leadership, and business.

    Thank you again for your fantastic article. I really do enjoy what you write and how you write it.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Your note Spencer, was full of beautiful words and harsh truths – and so many things I can relate to myself. Being abandoned by a parent – and parent guilt – two of the hardest things to “get over” … and two things I carry myself, like you.

      At a very low point in my life, in my early 30’s I think, I had a very clarifying moment where I realized I was allowing the ___ (faults, decisions, ways – I’m not sure the right word) of my parents to play a key role in my life; in my decisions; in the way I responded to things – and the ways I chose to hold myself back.

      I think it’s the norm to carry our baggage like a heavy load, and every now and then unload it all and examine it to confirm our fears and doubts, then carry on. I also think it’s a decision – a choice – to do that. (Not that realizing it comes easy, or that choosing to change is easy… or any fun at all.)

      We all have the strength – to accomplish anything we desire.

      We all have the key to unlock any locked thing.

      Or we can get them, find them, create them, whatever it takes. This is LIFE, and the journey we’re on, with each of us having a unique path and our own challenges at each fork – or the option to create a fork, or blaze a new trail, which IS an option! πŸ™‚

      I had a sobering moment sitting on that “scary rock” with those “scary spiders” with my toes in that “scary water” – when I glanced over and looked at the bluff on the other side of the river and realized that I (ME!) scaled that slimy wet bluff that entire distance, as far as I could see. I let my eyes start there at the bend in the river, where that hike got TOUGH and SCARY all the way to the blue hole trail where I shouted with RELIEF and VICTORY (and tears) – and heard it echo back to me through the gorge.

      I sat there feeling afraid in the middle of the day in full sunlight, realizing I scaled that bluff in fading daylight – for hours on end of grueling “hanging on for dear life” and having no idea how it would turn out, or if I would be stuck out there in the dark.

      Somehow that day I was okay with that. I was okay with being stuck out there through the night if that’s what it came to. I had a lighter, I had half a bag of pecans, I’d survive it I told myself.

      There is a strong side to all of us, and a weak side too. It’s a chilling experience to view one from the other – and realize you are one and the same. Or maybe that’s just because I’m a Gemini. πŸ˜‰ lol

      I know which version of me I prefer to be, and the one that can get me out of this “funk.” Interestingly, regarding depression, which I know all too well – and simply tell my doc: No I don’t think I need meds, I’m sad for legitimate reasons, because life just sucks sometimes and I’m okay with that πŸ˜› -lol.

      Anyway, in my experience “depression” is when the two voices trade places. There’s the “usual you” – the one that fills the obligations, goes through the motions, acts like a responsible adult, does the work, takes out the trash, powers through and gets things done, meets deadlines, etc. Then there’s the small nagging voice in the back of your head saying you can’t do this or that, you don’t feel like it, you’re not doing it right or doing it good enough, why bother, I’d rather just crawl back in bed, etc. That voice you usually ignore and blow off and just get through the day. Depression… is when those voices trade places, and that little voice becomes the big voice – and your lucid self is the one you brush off or ignore. And that, true depression, is a very dark place indeed. A scary one even – much scarier than being stuck on a slimy bluff over a raging river in the dark, even. *shudder*

      You’re an amazing photographer, and an equally talented writer. I love your stories, and I was reminded of that by the craft of your words here… πŸ™‚

  8. PS says:

    I never comment, but today I felt led to. This article was so well written…so heartfelt….so moving for me. I related to so very much of what you said. I want to first thank you for being so candid in your posts, so vulnerable, so honest, so FEARLESS ☺. I don’t think you realize that your lack of fear has transferred into your writing. It takes courage to write how you do, to bare your soul to an audience you’ve never met and will never see. This is where your power lies right now. Hold onto that.

    This post really made me think and it motivates me in many ways. Thank you. These words come to mind when I read this – acceptance, self love, rebuilding, bravery. Do with that what you wish, but I felt led to tell you that. Have a great week dear☺

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Thank you so much for pointing that out, PS. I feel more comfortable actually writing to and sharing all of this with you – with all of you here in our little sacred circle of personal challenges. I feel much more vulnerable knowing… people in my real life may read this, will read this, and especially the people who know the “why” behind many of the things I mentioned…

      I love the words you shared, and I will hold on to them indeed! πŸ™‚ Thank you for those too… they are perfect for me to reflect on today in my journaling as I force forward.

      I appreciate you – thank you for stepping out, speaking up and sharing your heart!

  9. Anne says:

    Introspection is good for the soul. As for the shoes, I wear nothing but Keen. I would be ashamed to say how many pairs of the various sandals I have. They are the ultimate in comfort. You can walk miles and miles without those “dogs” talking to you!

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Thank you, Anne! My winter hiking boots are KEEN and I *love* them. I’ve done a 10 mile strenuous hike on rocky terrain in my Northside summer hiking shoes, so I have to give them kudos as well. I’m still debating – but will probably end up testing several pair of each brand against each other through this next season of adventures. πŸ˜‰

  10. Deb in Texas says:

    I have only recently joined your blog, but I must say that your heartfelt thoughts and views are always appreciated. Your honesty makes the rest of us feel that we are not alone in our day-to-day struggles and feelings. Sometimes things are just plain hard. I LOVE the quote about setting your mind on a definite goal, and will definitely remember this in the future.
    Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Thank you Deb, that’s one of my favorites – and one I look at every day, first thing in the morning. πŸ™‚ All of you… here… make me feel not alone in my struggles too. I am so very grateful for the amazing community we have in each other!

  11. Roye says:

    Thank you for your thoughts and inspiration Lynn, I’m sorry you’re going through this tough time, I don’t know how you climbed and mingled with spiders before anyway so not wanting to now is totally understandable :). Not making light, just a little humor.

    As everyone else, we all have our trials and tribulation. Mine right now is that after 27 years I’ve resigned from my job…..my choice but not what I wanted. My boss of 27 years sold the business with the understanding that the new owner would keep me, I appreciate that he kept my in mind, however he didn’t know that the new owner would completely change my job description and give all of my responsibilites to “his people”. Leaving me feeling demoted and insignificant. I emailed my old boss & told him I was not returning to work. I know email is the corwardly way out but if I had to see him face to face I would have done nothing but cry.

    So here I am, “retired”, I’m 74yrs old, my husband said it’s about time :). But I felt blessed to have a job and now I’m not happy, it’s not what I wanted, and we’re really not financially ready to do without my salary. So I’m like what do I do with myself now :(.

    I’ll figure it out and I appreciate your courage to inspire me.

    P.S. I’m still doing LC and still in ketosis, still being consistent I’m just very depressed.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Your p.s. summed up my entire post, Roye.

      You illustrated it so well with your story – the points: being at a crossroads or a state of limbo, not enjoying where you are now, dealing with changes brought on by other people’s choices, figuring out what to do next… all hit close to home.

      I get how you feel. *hugs* Let’s figure out exactly what we want to do, be, see, feel, experience next… and make that happen! πŸ™‚ *cheers*

      • Roye says:

        Thanks so much Lynn, thank you for the *hug*, I need it :). And a *hug* back.

        I don’t know if you’ll be visiting this thread anymore but if you do, I was remembering a post you made about working from home, if you could give me those links again I’d appreciate it. I’d love to work from home but there are so many scams out there, I don’t know where to start.

        Thank You!!!

        • Lynn Terry says:

          Of course, Roye! I had to go hunt it down, because I remember it was a special discount link – and I found it: Work From Home Writing Jobs (discounted)

          You can read more about it here, but use the special link above to get it cheaper. πŸ˜‰

          • Roye says:

            Thank you SO much Lynn, I really appreciate you taking time out of your very busy day to do this for me. Unfortunately I had forgotten this was strictly for “writing” jobs. I am not a writer…sighhhhh. So I will keep looking. I did Admin work, A/P, A/R, Payroll, Bank Reconciliation. Sincerely, thank you again, you’re the Best!

          • Lynn Terry says:

            Ah – my friend Tawnya runs a great site for Virtual Assistants, or people looking to start a VA business. πŸ™‚ It’s at: https://www.vanetworking.com

            Tawnya and I have been friends for years. She eats low carb now too. πŸ™‚

  12. Diana says:

    IM WITH YOU Lynn, thank you for sharing your heart with us❀ You are a brave, fearless warrior…I look up to you!!! Your my inspiration and motivation, not just for healthy eating and fitness, but for mental/emotional health too!!! Our mental health is so very important and whats stirring in our hearts and minds effects everything about us…our joys, triumphs, struggles, pain, and brokeness!!!! You show us how to be the healthiest, happiest version of ourselves, mentally, emotionally, and physically!!!! Thank you girl…hugs

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Your note made me smile, Diana. πŸ™‚ You’re right… our mental health and even our overall sense of well-being affects every area of our life – performance, motivation, desire, commitment, participating – all of it.

      It’s time for me to get UNstuck and stop pondering – and start DOING. πŸ™‚ I like the high energy that comes from being proactive and productive, and the only way I know to kickstart that is to just “force forward” and take action! *cheers*

  13. Arlene Skellington says:

    thank you lynn! your words always inspire me…

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