The It Factor We All Need...

My lungs fill with crisp mountain air. The pack weighs heavy with a week of supplies. It’s just me and the trail. Me and the earth. Me and nature, alone at last. I lift my face to the sun and laugh at the cares of life! That’s when I hear It… floating through the golden aspen leaves and whispering in my ear...
Stepping away from my position of power and wading into the river is the most loving thing I can do for myself today. The responsibilities I manage so well every day fall away. I immerse myself in the sights and sounds of the Earth’s embrace. She cares for me as I care for her. We sigh with relief. And that’s when It heals me… soothing my tired soul.
The beautiful animal between my legs lets out a whinny, delighting in her power as she races down the beach. The wind whips off my hat and my hair goes crazy. Salt spray stings my eyes. I catch my breath at the feeling of being fully alive! That’s when I feel It… coursing through my veins, pounding out a rhythm with my heart.
They may think I’m not fit for the job, but I surpass all expectations. Their gear isn’t too heavy. Their demands, not too much. These people don’t intimidate me. I don’t just keep up… I set the pace! There’s no quit in me. When I look down at my amazing self I marvel. And that’s when It fills me with pride… spurring me on in my chosen line of work.
I am strength.
I am gentleness.
I am courage.
I am nurture.
I am park ranger.
I am firefighter.
I am architect.
I am adventurer.
I am animal lover.
I am guide.
I am sailor.
I am CEO.
I am blue-collar.
I am rancher.
I am climber.
I am mom.
I am partner.
I am activist.
I am power.
I am healer.
And It fills me with everything I need to be the best me.
It’s inspired for thousands of years while I invented. Kept me going as others surrounded me, mocking my attempts to defy the odds.
In years gone by It dominated my mind as I stayed seated, in spite of every attempt to move me from my protest.
It kept my arms strong, lifted my homemade signs high in the air. No amount of negativity could send me home from that march.
It’s lifted my head when facing oppression and systemic restrictions, breaking down cultural barriers and stereotypes. It still does.
It’s universal.
Crosses barriers.
And It’s name is Elira.
This is me.
I am Elira.