It’s been a summer of rain in the Shenandoah Valley, cooler than usual in the day, with absolutely beautiful skies in the early dusk. One thing about the Shenandoah Valley is its skies are most magnificent right before the clouds open and pour down upon us. And, the rain has come, overflowing our (eight!) rain barrels, and igniting blooming, happy plants! I think how I take all of this – the earth, the rain, the plants, and the blooms – for granted!

I used to think it was me doing all of the work. Grin and bear it. Work harder, work longer. Do more. Better. Then, one day, I realized with the right kind of support, the load is lighter, the work is easier. And often it’s the support that is invisible that has been the most helpful. I realize now my husband, Coach, mentor, friends, spiritual directors, and other good people have been and still are pulling for me, lifting me up, giving me the strength and the courage to carry on.

So, the most important ingredient I think anyone needs to create positive change in their life, to create anything of value, is Support. It’s the one constant ingredient I have that is allowing me to make positive changes in my life. And, the definition of support is so fitting – it is “what bears the weight.” Synonyms for the word support are foundation, groundwork, reinforcement, and backing.

In Biblical times, a farmer would yoke an older ox with a younger one to learn to plow correctly. The younger ox got the support, the foundation, and reinforcement needed to plow. In today’s fast-paced world of social media and the internet, the rates of social isolation are rising. Loneliness is a major source of unhappiness in the lives of many individuals. In fact, the UK recently appointed a Minister of Loneliness to address the problem of loneliness. People are not connecting with each in ways that feed souls and nourish communities. They aren’t yoked with anyone who can provide them with the foundation they need.

My question for you is:

Where are you getting support?

Who is helping you learn how to plow this difficult, challenging, beautiful world?

Who are you supporting?

Make sure your foundation is strong and you have the reinforcement you need and deserve so you can bloom and be the foundation for others!  

Remember to say thank you!

Hope you are having a glorious summer!


Patty Maples
Patty Maples Transition Coaching for Career and Life

Berryville VA 22611
United States of America