Grow Your Life: The answers are blowin’ in the wind

In our valley, we often experience significant winds, and this week was no different.

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”

~ Helen Keller

In our valley, we often experience significant winds, and this week was no different. We rush out to ensure that the sun umbrellas are down, grab the towels and life jackets off the line and glance at the swaying tomato plants heavily laden with fruit and quietly wish them luck. We accept that the wind is a natural weather phenomenon, and we learn from it every time.

Whether we capture the wind in our sails, run after our ball cap as it tumbles down the sidewalk or watch as our papers flutter helplessly away, we learn about the wind by experiencing it.

Simply put, wind is caused by differences in the atmospheric pressure. When a difference in these pressures exists, air moves from the higher to the lower pressure area, resulting in winds of various speeds.

In our own lives, we have times of highs and lows and with that, storms form. There is a name for these types of storms, and it is adversity.

Adversity is the tough stuff. It is often situations and experiences that we perceive to be negative, ugly, challenging, painful and even frightful.  Regardless of the challenges, hardships, addictions or loss, we hear ourselves saying, “how did I get here?”

Again and again, we slowly and courageously walk through the adversity, and by doing so, we grow and learn to make better choices each time.

You may be asking, “Adversity, what is it good for? It is part of the natural make-up of the world.

Without the storms, we would not know and appreciate the calm.  It provides us with the opportunity to dance along our emotional scale. Feelings of despair, helplessness, anger and frustration fall away as we gain clarity about what we truly want, and we step into actions to help us feel better and better.

Every challenge and difficulty we face throughout our lives nurtures our will, our self-confidence and the essence of who we wish to become.

I know, and you know people who are in the eye of the storm right now and to them, it may seem like the winds are picking up speed. Although we cannot change or fix the storm for them, we can offer unconditional support, compassion, friendship and love.

“Always remember that your present situation is not your final destination.  The best is yet to come!”  ~ Author unknown

Elizabeth Shopland is a horticulturist for Homefront Essentials Gardening, a Certified Solution Focused Coach, author and speaker, and the owner of Banyan Tree Solutions. She can be reached at 250-342-8978 or