Rise and Shine
The sun rose brilliantly over the nearby field and though the clouds were thick it peered through and illuminated in the haze yesterdays’ storms left behind. A white horse galloped across the horizon causing my mind to resonate deeply with a sense of wonderment and appreciation for the beauty of this morning and the awareness of my environment. I smiled as two doves playfully chased each other over head.
On my way to the studio each morning I take this back country road. The area it passes through is a place that my grandmother Helen lived at one time and often when she is with me she shares nostalgic stories of what used to be and who used to live where. For that reason I guess I usually have a sense of familiarity when I travel those windy roads. I love to drive slowly and soak in the surroundings, there is so much to see; deer dance along the forest lines, cows graze in the fields, and ever so often there is a ginger colored dog that waits mischievously on the edge of his yard to pounce towards and chase any car that dares cross into his territory.
“How did I get here?”
When I was a teenager, I practically lived in my car. I loved to be free on the open road. I liked to drive fast and was always rushing towards my destination. At that time my awareness was such that I may have not noticed the sunrise, the horse, the deer, and unfortunately probably not the dog either. Through my path with yoga I’ve learned to slow down, enjoy the journey, and enjoy even the drives. Not to say it’s always easy, we all have a destination we want to get to; maybe it’s a goal, an aspiration, or an object to acquire. Maybe it’s a career goal, a romantic conquest, and maybe its crow pose! We set our sights so keenly that we often miss out on the journey. When we finally arrive or achieve it often seems that time has flown by and we think of all the things we miss or missed out on!
Sometimes when I was ripping and running the roads, as my family would say, I would have a moment of panic and realize that I was thirty or sometimes fifty miles down the road from my last coherent or conscious thought! Dangerous yes, but sad, what did I miss out on or never saw that I intended to see? The true learning process is in the journey.
Nothing is Easy
Just imagine climbing a mountain and what one would endure; cold winds, freezing dark nights, treacherous peaks and walls, dangerous animals, and the brutality of the mind alone. You would climb all day and all night for weeks and then finally you reaching the summit. You’re there, the exhilaration of success flows through your blood. How long does it last? It’s often fleeting. How long can you stay there until you climb back down? Imagine what you would notice on the way down and how it would be different. You would be more relaxed and soak in every moment, mentally burning each scene into your memory bank, wanting to remember it all forever. Once home, safe and sound in your bed, how would be different? Was it the conquest that changed you or the climb itself? And what would you do next? Probably start the process all over again and decide what to climb next, there is still Everest after all! And so the next journey begins. This is life.
So, how can we learn to enjoy the process? We’ve all heard the cliché “Stop and smell the roses”, this is a valuable lesson. Stop, stop rushing, take your time, and stop missing all the beauty right in front of your eyes in every small moment of each and every day. Smell, use your senses, touch things, see things, feel things, enjoy your surroundings. Use your emotions; let them overtake you at times, its fine, it’s all a part of life and feeling alive! And the rose…the rose represents beauty, it is also the divine. Seeing GOD in everything and everyone, that is real beauty. Every step in your journey is an opportunity to connect to spirit and the deeper part of yourself. So no matter where you are today, stop, connect, and realize. Live your life with full awareness in each moment. Don’t let thirty or even fifty years go by where you wake up one morning and realize you’ve made it, but you’re unsure of how you ended up there and what you missed out on along the way.
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