“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust
Growth is iterative. It feels like nothing, repetition, a standstill. Then suddenly, an inflection point, a still point where the disparate pieces come together and make sense. Our assumptions, perspective and priorities shift to where they should be through the gift of new eyes. No turning back and looking forward to the road that lies ahead.
Keep taking steps each day. Progress and transformation happen slowly and then suddenly. When we find home within, it matters not where we go.
What we hold tight to, holds us tighter. So let go of circumstances, approval, permission, expectations and allow the awakening to do its work. Slowly, then suddenly.
“There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti
Life is circular and cyclical and we live it linearly. When we think we’re done, beyond and past something, it pops up again to remind us to “finish the sentence.” We need to cross the “t” and dot the “i” before we can complete the sentences with a period rather than a comma.
Emotions, triggers, attachments that weigh us down and keep us circling back to learn the lesson, to see ourselves differently and act accordingly. Until we resolve and integrate our experiences, disappointments, incomplete narratives, we will keep going back to finally learn the lessons so we can move on. It requires us to keep rising up, never giving up. When we get caught in the net of the same and progress seems distant, the question to ask is not why or when but “what is the lesson I need to learn?”
Some lessons are harder, deeper and more complex. Keep at it and unravel the mystery. Class is always in session, learning is optional. When we don’t learn the lessons, we remain in the same “grade” until we do. Disparate pieces come together to complete the picture when we step back and find the missing pieces and fill the hole. The full story always comes looking back so keep working your way through the middle to the finish line. And when you arrive, celebrate and know that you are prepared for the next start line.
“Though nobody can go back and make a new beginning… Anyone can start over and make a new ending.” ― Chico Xavier
And in the learning, always be open to hope, joy and light. It is a journey, enjoy it.
“To be calm is the highest achievement of the self.” – Zen proverb
“The nearer a man comes to a calm mind, the closer he is to strength.” – Marcus Aurelius
Start and end each day in quiet with pockets woven in between;
Enter reflection, welcome ease;
Detach from activity, order and planning;
In calm, still waters, clarity enters;
Emergence, patterns, flow;
Let it unfold in the silence.
“It’s never too late in life to have a genuine adventure.” – Robert Kurson
“Adventure is not outside man; it is within.” – George Eliot
When I got new floors in Spring, I donated a lot of items and only put back what I really wanted into my house, leaving space, organizing and eliminating piles. My goal is to have my basement and garage fully decluttered and organized by spring.
Each day, I organize a shelf, create a file rather than a pile and chip away one step at a time. I’ve collected a lot through the years plus items from my parent’s and Aunt’s house after my Dad and Aunt passed. At the time, I couldn’t part with the items, but now realize that they are not required for me to remember them since they remain in my heart, voice and stories.
As I am decluttering physical spaces, I am noticing that it creates a sense of order in my mind. I can find things easier and am not filling space with new stuff recreating clutter. Not fully a minimalist but on the path to deeper meaning which equates to more with less.
Clearing spaces naturally leads to the clearing of the mind. If we are willing to clear the shelves in our thoughts and narratives, we expose old thinking, limiting beliefs, “should” lists, “others expectations of me” lists, people pleasing habits that no longer and never served our becoming and coming home to ourselves. It isn’t as easy as cleaning a shelf, but the journey is worth the destination. As you unravel trappings of ego, vulnerability and fear, you create space for expectation, joy, creativity, renewal, light and freedom.
And the journey both ends and begins when you arrive in a “new world” and “burn the ships.” In 1519 when Spanish Conquistador Hernando Cortez landed in the New World, he ordered the burning of the ships signaling that there was no turning back. For King and Country has a song called Burn the Ships:
“Burn the ships, cut the ties
Send a flare into the night
Say a prayer, turn the tide
Dry your tears and wave goodbye
Step into a new day
We can rise up from the dust and walk away
We can dance upon our heartache, yeah
So light a match, leave the past, burn the ships
And don’t you look back”
Until we are willing to “burn the ships,” we will keep returning to the past, assuming the future is a continuation and replay of what was. Clear the deck in all spaces, keep the lessons and burn the ships.
“When you are an aware being, you no longer become completely immersed in the events around you. Instead, you remain inwardly aware that you are the one who is experiencing both the events and the corresponding thoughts and emotions. When a thought is created in this state of awareness, instead of getting lost in it, you remain aware that you are the one who is thinking the thought. You are lucid.” – Michael A. Singer, The Untethered Soul
“I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.” – John Burroughs
Become an observer. When too close, take a step back. When lost in the fog, focus on the next ten feet. Be present, in rapt awareness of your thoughts, energy and intentions. We are steeped in plenty of external ongoing turmoil. Unrest is rooted within. Return to yourself, quiet your thoughts to gain clarity and lucidity. We change the world by first changing ourself. When feeling lost, scarcity, cynicism, untether your soul to see possibility and light in the moment. No past. No future. Just the depth of a moment.
“You can wear yourself out struggling with the experience of a single event, or even a single thought or emotion. And you know that all too well. Eventually you’ll see that this resistance is a tremendous waste of energy. The fact is, you’re generally using your will to resist one of two things that which has already happened or that which hasn’t happened yet. You are sitting inside resisting impressions from the past or thoughts about the future. Think of how much energy is wasted resisting what has already happened. Since the event has already passed, you are actually struggling with yourself, not with the event. In addition, contemplate how much energy is wasted resisting what might happen. Since most of the things you think might happen never do, you are just throwing your energy way. How you deal with your energy flow has a major effect on your life.” – Michael A. Singer, The Untethered Soul