Look Up from Ground Zero Hudson River Valley



Look Up from Hudson River Valley, New York

Earlier this month, I revisited Hudson River Valley, New York, a region that holds a very special place in many hearts. It is a beautiful area, not far from New York City, that was carved out by glaciers, leaving a gorgeous outdoor adventure playground with rolling hills, mountains, lakes, and of course, the Hudson River. However, the area for me holds a special place in my heart and personal history. Poughkeepsie, New York is my ground zero. It is where the idea for the Look Up mantra was born.

The Tree Story

I chose the post’s image for two reasons. Firstly, the fall color change of Hudson River Valley is epic. Secondly, I selected this shot because of the trees. In 2009, on a normal fall day, I took out the trash to the dumpster. In the driveway of my building, my ground zero, my life was rerouted by a tree. In the blink of an eye, I was struck by a large tree limb, weighing a 1,000-pounds, which leveled me, breaking my neck, and forcing my life as I knew it to pause abruptly.

Lucky and Living Example of PTG

However, I’m lucky to be able to share this story with you. I’m a living example of something called Post-Traumatic Growth (PTG). From every loss, there is an opportunity for tremendous positive growth, change, and transformation.

Revisiting Ground Zero

I had revisited the site of the accident almost a year after it happened. At that time, the tree limb had been put through a woodchipper, but the tree was still there. On this year’s visit, I turned the same corner to walk down the driveway to the dumpster, but the tree was no longer there. The city park that once was next to the driveway is now a construction site for a residential and commercial property.

Look Up Mantra

Although the tree is no longer there, the lesson of ground zero is still alive with the Look Up mantra. Look Up reminds us all, including myself who needs to be reminded frequently, of these two components:

  1. Be in the moment.
  2. Find the upside.

Wherever you are, whatever you may be going through, use Look Up. It has helped the readers of my books and myself through life’s hurdles, hiccups, and scares.

Happy Look Up Day all!

Here’s to looking up!


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