I was at the park today, on a rainy and blustery morning walk. I happened upon a raft of ducks, each walking out of the water across the path and into the other pond. Except for one small duck. This duck kept trying to climb over a tree root over part of the path-while all the while the rest of the ducks were going around the root and easily walking out. This little duck struggled several times to climb out of the water instead of walking out.

Hafiz said, “You yourself are your own obstacle, rise above yourself.” For my part-I get in my way all of time. I am a researcher at heart-I love information and new ideas and figuring things out, I have since I was a young girl devouring books. I like the way my brain works. I like its’ cleverness, the way it works out a plan, the path it takes to move a project forward.

Taking the hard way. Being stuck in decisions from the past. Letting the mind guide me when actually-the mind can only make decisions based on the past, based on what it has already done, what it knows. The heart knows the way forward. The heart is unconcerned with how many times something has been tried or how many times failure has presented itself. The heart is steadfast in its’ truth about your future, in your ability, in your grace.

I recently spoke about influence at a conference and was reminded of my mother’s words to me: “Get out of your own way, Julie.” This makes me smile at myself-it’s true-just like the little duck, I often find myself struggling to climb over something when all I need to do is walk around.

So, I am practicing getting out of my own way, rising above. How do you rise above?