Thursday, July 19, 2012

power: ride with us

Power is such a loaded word, isn't it? You can't hear it and not instantly file it away as something fantastical or maniacal. It brings up thoughts of Super heros or Gandalf waving his staff at a dragon. That, or it makes you think of ominous figures like despots, evil bosses, and abusive figures. It seems like a mythical thing, a dangerous thing.

But power isn't any of those things. Magic and abuse are not power. "Power" is nothing more than the ability to turn a decision into an action through a force of will. You want a cookie right now? You have the power to bake a batch, or go to the store and buy some oreos. You also have the power to bite into a Granny Smith instead, if weight is an issue. You have the power to step away from your desk and get some fresh air, take a deep breath, and think about your after-work plans. No one else is in charge of you. If you bought that lie, time to let it go.

You have the power to start a novel, train for your first 5k, go to auditions for your town's play or try to have your first kid. You have the power to ask him to marry you, or to tell the person you love them that you do. You have the power to get out of harmful relationships, negative thoughts, and squalor. If you think this is coming from a person with a perfect life, think again. Darling, I have my own dragons to slay and I'm no Gandalf.

You right now have the power to lose ten pounds, learn the cello, apply for a new job, plant a raised bed garden of winter greens, or take up kung fu. There's no reason, at all, that you can't be doing kung fu in your new garden after your first day of work at your new job in a size smaller pair of Wranglers.

You have the power to change anything you want to change. You just have to make up your mind and decide to do it. Then do whatever it takes to make it happen. The road isn't easy, but the logic is. Now, I'm not saying that everyone who tries, succeeds. But everyone who has succeeded at anything, had to try. You picking up what I'm putting down?

This is all within your ability and do not listen to a single person who tells you otherwise. They are a joke, and the joke is on them. Because no one who forces their negativity down your throat is a happy person, and in the end, the only person their anger affects is themselves. And they can writhe and spit hell all they want. You and me, we can watch them roll in their own filth from the backs of our horses. Anyone who avoids negativity in the name of their dreams can ride with me. We're heading west to camp, following the light.

I think it's important to realize this. That anything you want to work towards you have the power to try, and as long as there is breath in your lungs it's not too late. So many people wish into the air, but they don't try. They never really tried and they are the ones who end up yelling at everyone else. They didn't write down the game plan, get involved in any tangible way with their goals, not matter how small. Do not let yourself become one of these people. If you are one of these people, I invite you to change right now. Hop in the river, clean up your act, and join us. The view is better up here.

So today, try. I know I will.

We have the power.


Blogger Christine said...

If only you could bottle your enthusiasm and motivation, Jenna. It would be a miracle cure! Thanks.

July 19, 2012 at 9:58 AM  
Blogger City Sister said...

Thanks...sometimes we all need that kick in the pants!

July 19, 2012 at 10:04 AM  
Blogger Pit Stop Farm said...

This made my morning. I have finally put the wheels in motion to make more positive changes in my life and to leave this world of cubicles behind. I WILL make it happen. Just like I make things happen when I learn to garden, raise livestock, can food for storage, go for a run or ride to clear my mind or prepare for an upcoming race...I choose to make these things happen. The question I always pose to myself when doubt creeps in is "Why not try?".

July 19, 2012 at 10:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm empowering myself to get where I want to be. I'm arming myself with books and magazines on homesteading, gardening, and various crafts other than my usual ones. I've planted and am harvesting from my garden. I'm working to pay off my debts so I can get the farm I wanted when I was younger and which my family had talked me out of - I was (according to family and school counselors) destined to be a secretary and work in an office -- and I've hated every minute of the last 30 years of my work life.

And it's been your books, Jenna, that have given me the determination to go after what I've been wanting and dreaming off all my life - a farm with sheep, a collie dog, my cats, and a pony!

And next year I'm planting wheat so I can make bread with it!

Thank you, Jenna!

And, yes, my family thinks I'm losing it....but I'm tired of living everyone else's life.


July 19, 2012 at 10:20 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks again, for the reminder! I am taking steps as we speak to make changes in my life. I planted a garden. I am paying off debt. I am knitting a scarf and have joined a knitting group for support. I started writing a blog. You are such an inspiration, Jenna!

July 19, 2012 at 10:31 AM  
Blogger greendria said...

I love this post! Printing it: hanging it in my cube NOW. Maybe underneath your text I'll write out today's version of my game plan for my life

July 19, 2012 at 10:31 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Cathy, you and I are living the same life!! It's good to know I'm not alone...we can do it! :)

July 19, 2012 at 10:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This equates with my notion that power is choice. That at every turning point in our day, we make choices, and that is where the power in our daily lives lies...Stephen Covey (who just died)used to talk about the moment between stimulus and response being the moment of choice, and that moment being your power over your life.

July 19, 2012 at 10:44 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Damn straight Jenna... damn straight.

July 19, 2012 at 11:31 AM  
Blogger Holly said...

Amen!!! Since I have been reading your blog, bought a small farm, sold my house (1 day-who'd a thought in this economy), got layers, got 2 rabbits...and am remodeling a lean-to to live in while being off- grid:) You are an inspiration but more than that you help us uncover our dreams, buried by critics and "well-meaning" friends over the years.And lead thru example, that where there is a will there is ALWAYS a way. Thank You!

July 19, 2012 at 12:08 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Though it would probably be best if you did not try to do kung fu in wranglers. (chafetastic!)

July 19, 2012 at 12:37 PM  
Blogger Big Sky Chicken Ranch and Victory Garden said...

Whooo-weee, those are some powerful words about choices! I'm gobbling up the encouragement this morning. THANKS!

July 19, 2012 at 12:47 PM  
Blogger Big Sky Chicken Ranch and Victory Garden said...

Whooo-weee, those are some powerful words about choices! I'm gobbling up the encouragement this morning. THANKS.

July 19, 2012 at 12:48 PM  
Blogger Goat Song said...

Dang, good advice Jenna! Exactly what I needed to! So many people around me are negative and trying to discourage my way of life (farming), and I have to admit that their words were getting to me. I was depressed and doubting myself. Could I really do this? Do I dare try? What if I fail?

By Jove, who cares what they think!? This is MY one and only life and it's not up to them how I live it! Here I goooooooo! ;)

July 19, 2012 at 1:21 PM  
Blogger Maria said...

You are so inspirational.

July 19, 2012 at 1:22 PM  
Blogger Maria said...

You are so inspirational.

July 19, 2012 at 1:22 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Paragraph 6: A whole body hell yes!

July 19, 2012 at 1:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If weight is an issue, you have the power to have an apple not an Oreo."

Here's a good reframe: If you would rather fill your body with nutritious real food than processed sugar and junk, have an apple not an oreo. If you would rather keep your energy at a good even keel, and not spike and crash, have an apple! If you want to support an organic family farm, and not a megacorporation and the chemical industry, have an apple!

I tend to be my own worst enemy, and I have found that using the right words to deal with the wilful child within is vital! The more she hears about "you have to lose weight" the more she wants that apple!


July 19, 2012 at 2:34 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...


July 19, 2012 at 2:39 PM  
Blogger Cheryl Connell said...

Yeehaw!! I am living proof - you just gotta try, be grateful and all things come to you.

July 19, 2012 at 4:05 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Thanks Jenna! I love these words! Going to make jam next Tuesday, can't wait! Got cucumbers already and watermelon that's getting bigger every day! I love it!!!!!!

July 19, 2012 at 4:09 PM  
Blogger Woman Seeking Center said...

Jenna, this is another remarkable post. As always you have nailed it! (right to the barn wall and farm fence lol) A proclamation for all!

Since I've broken stride, left the ranks of business as usual aka the common, the norm the 'standard' it's been difficult. As you've mentioned it's hard on family, on relationships. Being 'different' presents challenges right to the core. Family, money, work, self reliance, fear, exhaustion to name a few.

And yet....

Living the life that you know in your heart your were made for, destined for, is the joy. Is the salve for each ache, each fear, each pain, (and I mean that for heart and soul as well as muscle and joint, lol).

Joy and periodic contentment are the dividend of choice put to action. Easy has nothing to do with it. And "Safe"? An illusion I think. To gain, you must venture. Getting the brass ring on the merry go round has always required leaning off the horse, stretching out your arm to grab it (with no guarantee).

Fear is part of dreaming. Fear is part and parcel of progress, of change, of personal joy. If there's any way to try without fear I've not yet found it.

And as for the naysayers, ah yes, them. They stalk, they circle, they desire the cessation of dreams. I've never understood why.
As you so beautifully write, it's their demon. Dreamers, ride on!

Thank you for the zeal and passion and honesty you share here Jenna. It may sound silly or odd but I think of your writings as a lighthouse ~ a common navagation point for all of us, sailing toward the 'life different' ~ for those of us wanting and creating the 'something more' kind of life that eludes many if not most.


July 19, 2012 at 4:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I said it wrong! The more she hears about "you have to lose weight" the more she wants the oreo!


July 19, 2012 at 4:40 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Thank you! It took nearly dying last year to make me realise I have the power - to be happy, to be able to move my body, to be able to change things I don't like, to not be scared of what people think!

Sometimes I think the naysayers are just there to drive us that little bit harder, to make us more determined to use our power.

Have a fantastic weekend, Jenna!

July 19, 2012 at 6:29 PM  
Blogger Jenny said...

I bought my mandolin! It should be here in a few days. I know this doesn't seem related to the post but it is. =)

July 19, 2012 at 6:35 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

I tried to reblog this, but ended up with a link to your blog

July 19, 2012 at 11:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reminder to self: work on that darn novel you started. Yes! I can and will finish it and will get it sold to a publisher.

July 19, 2012 at 11:40 PM  
Blogger kaelak said...

Love this, and you! I'm bookmarking this post. :)

July 20, 2012 at 12:24 AM  
Blogger The Kelly's Adventures in KY said...

This is exactly what I needed to read this morning. Jenna, thank you very much for posting this. I have just been thrown completely off my original life plan and forced onto an extremely difficult road. Try and Hope, both words I need to grasp onto today. Thank you.

July 20, 2012 at 7:35 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

YES! Thank you for this! I am going for a loan modification to get the mort on my townhouse to a poing where a renter can carry it! I looked at a great rental w HUGE fenced in yard! No farm yet but totally big enough for garden and chickens!!!Faith is Fear that has said it's prayers! KEEP GOING EVERYONE!!!

July 20, 2012 at 8:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I needed this, today. Thanks for the poke in the arse. :) I need to just keep on pushing through & someday I'll get where I want to go. Sending you a big hug.


July 20, 2012 at 5:52 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

I'm a little late to this post, but it's so timely for me. My partner and I are getting ready to jump off the proverbial cliff, and your recent posts have been so helpful and spot on. Thank you!

July 20, 2012 at 11:57 PM  

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