Standing Tall

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Step Into My Garden

Destiny is not a matter of chance;
it is a matter of choice.
It is not a thing to be waited for,
it is a thing to be achieved.
-William Jennings Bryan

I would like you to read this in a different manner than you usually do. Please either find a cooperative someone close at hand and ask them to read each paragraph to you slowly, or find a quiet spot and read this to yourself, one paragraph at a time, stopping often to let yourself imagine and wonder. I would like to give you the gift of a quiet moment with your creative self.

Settling down in your spot, let yourself become comfortable, your breathing becoming deep and regular, your body relaxing as you sit quietly, feeling yourself gently slowing down. It’s okay for you to take a time-out. It’s okay for you to relax. Breathing in is inspiring. Close your eyes and enjoy listening to the sound of your own breathing for several moments.

Feeling even more relaxed and comfortable now, gently begin to bring to mind the people you have held and hold in the highest respect, people who lived their lives in such a way that you felt inspired knowing them. Perhaps you would call them your heroes or your mentors, your friends. Beginning from the time you were a child, just as in a film, watch each one of your heroes and heroines come to life, moving, talking, doing the special things they did. Let the images of their faces come to mind, the way their eyes sparkled, the sound of their voices, the special words they said, perhaps even the feeling of the touch of their hand. Some of these people are people you know well and some you appreciated from afar, wishing you knew them.

As you watch each one, there is something else I would like you to become aware of, observing them closely. What was it about each one of them that made them so special to you? What qualities and traits do they have? What do you admire about each person? What do these special people stand for? As these qualities become clear to you, say the words aloud that describe them to you.

Listen to your own voice declare each person’s uniqueness. Was it their integrity, their laugh, the way they were always there for you, the way they spoke the truth, the way they were involved with life? Could it have been the way they stood tall in the world, being themselves, their voices being heard, their love being shared? Were they bold enough to live in their own way? What was it? Become aware of what made them so special to you. As you think about these people, notice how you are feeling. Do you feel enriched just by thinking about them, inspired and comforted? Now take a moment to express your gratitude to each one for the contribution they made to your life.

Let’s create a different picture now. What would your world have been like without these people? Notice how you feel even thinking about this loss. Gently looking back at your life, imagine what it would have been like without them to turn to, lean on, learn from, be loved by, and follow.

Sometimes we forget a very important part of the picture we are living inside of. We are so focused on looking outside of ourselves for direction, inspiration, solutions, stimulation, excitement, and leadership that we forget there are many people in the picture looking to us for those very same things.

Imagine that all of these people are back here with you now, standing around you and they are all eagerly looking at you. Their faces are full of anticipation, knowing that something important is about to happen. You are about to speak. What do you want to say to these respected people? Let yourself speak aloud, listening to your own words. And as you speak, notice if you are standing tall.


1. How often do you really let yourself relax naturally, without using TV, books, computer, alcohol, drugs, etc., to do the job? What is more important than taking care of yourself?

2. Who are the people you hold with the highest respect and admiration, your heroes, heroines, mentors, your inspiration?

3. What qualities, traits, and behaviors made them so special to you?

4. What do you want these wonderful people to know about you? What do you want to say to them?

I encourage you to share your responses to the reflection questions in the comments section.

With love and gratitude,
Kris King

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4 Responses to “Standing Tall”

  1. Lisa Lunbeck says:

    A great reminder for all the beautiful people that have touched my life! And that I am part of that beauty! Thank You!

  2. Vicki Berg says:

    What a beautiful way to start the morning–so many things for which to be grateful. Among them has been the life-changing work that you and the WINGS staff offer. Attending WINGS has been (and still is) a great catalyst for change in my life. I am forever grateful.

  3. Susan Murphy says:

    Kris,What you have said is so beautiful and listening to your voice has filled me with such peacefulness,thank you.
    Pouring out goodness,compassion, and just being there for the other person,and listening with an ear to my heart is the greatest gift that I can give.
    You are a model of that to me sprinkled with your beautiful laughter.

  4. Betty Thornton says:

    Listening to this makes me realize
    how grateful I am for all who have
    been there for me in times of growth,
    joy and loss of loved ones.

    I treasure each podcast and listen to
    them frequently to bring myself home
    and know how much you give to all
    Kris,thank you.

    This is a great reflection and my biggest
    joy in life is giving back to others for all
    their gifts and knowledge they have given