Posts Tagged With: living in the moment

Traveling in the Moment



On the eve of my departure on yet another cross-country adventure, and while musing over my decision to make the trip without a set plan or map, I am reminded of another shorter trip where a spur-of-the-moment decision and a last-minute left turn set the course of my life for the next 23 years.


I was still young, I think Jimmy was still in office (see Peacemaking with Jimmy), I was driving the same car I’d made the trip home from Maine in, and oddly, I had just stopped to visit the same pretty redhead I’d come home to Oregon to reunite with earlier…and she still wasn’t waiting.


In that case too, I was just headed in a general direction with a fairly clear destination in mind, but in no particular rush to get there.  I was on a highway winding through a dense pine forest when I passed a sign bearing the name of a small town I had only visited once in my short life and which was the home of a number of relatives I hadn’t seen in some time.  One word on a sign in the middle of nowhere and I might just as well have said, “Beam me north, Scotty!”  I stopped in Paisley for a quick visit and ended up spending the night. The next day I had Easter dinner with my cousin’s family and spent another night with them.  One thing led to another and before I knew it, I’d been living there and working for 6 months.  In that time, I met my first wife who had already applied for several positions in Alaska.  Before the year was out, she got a job offer in S.E. Alaska and north we went….where I stayed for the better part of 22 years.


I dawdled a bit too long over the above paragraphs and had to get on the road before finishing the post. It’s fitting however, that I complete this now by adding the experiences of my first day on the road.


I carried out my plan of traveling spontaneously for most of the day, shooting under the first freeway I came to and heading due west on a state highway, then turning onto a lessor road to angle a bit more northward.  As I made that very first turn (this one a right-hander), there on a sign staring me in the face was the same name I mentioned above…”Paisley.” Wow!  I’m still not sure what to make of that!  I’d been a bit sad about leaving Florida again, but consoled myself by saying I would be back someday.  Is it possible though that this trip is leading to another major life change that will keep me away for 20 years?  Of course it is!  Did that turn being a right-hander instead of a left mean that I’m going back somehow rather than forward?  I doubt it since we can never go back except in our minds, but it is interesting in light of the fact I am returning to the region I was raised in.  There is no way we can know for sure what’s around the corner for us, but that’s ok! We’re in good hands..and if we’re watchful, there are plenty of signs for us to follow.  There’s really nothing to do but get out of the way, buckle up and enjoy the ride!…and maybe take a few snapshots along the way.

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This is It!


It’s amazing how simple life really is…and how complicated we can make it! I don’t have much coming in these days in the form of funds and have generally been ok with that…happy to just BE and see what doors open up or which way the universe directs me to move. Recently though, I have been feeling a little antsy, and maybe a bit nervous about the future and all kinds of thoughts have crept into my head about where to live, how to generate funds, whether or not to take a job, etc. etc. etc. I’ve noticed myself feeling restless and out of balance, caught up in indecision and starting to stress over all these earth-shaking matters hanging over me waiting to be dealt with! I have a set of oracle cards called “Healing with the Fairies” given to me by a close friend and it’s fun to shuffle them and pull one occasionally to see what “message” the fairies might have for me that day. Amazingly, they are often very apt! This morning, my mind still restless, I pulled one, thinking the universe might have a really life-changing message for me. What I got was, “Body Movement”…which reminds me that my body has its own life force and intelligence and that I should listen to it as it wants to express itself through movement of some kind. Well…ok. I haven’t really done much in the way of physical activity the past few days as I’ve spent so much time thinking about “bigger matters”, so I listened to my body and went running and swimming…and it felt great! My bank account isn’t any fuller, but my body is very happy and I am in much better condition to deal with the “big” issues.

More importantly though, I was reminded (again) that there is only one important decision for us to make; to be present in this moment! Then it is helpful to make that decision over and over until presence is (once again) our natural state of being. One of my closest friends and I used to say to each other in all kinds of situations…whether we were blissful or in misery or somewhere in between…”This is it!” It was a reminder that this moment is all we ever really have, and that it is wise to welcome it, whatever form it comes in, and be present with it/in it.

What that means to me is that we do best when we are mindful…always; when we pay attention to the little things that are often lost or overlooked because we’re so caught up in our minds thinking about past experiences or future moments, neither of which we can do anything about since they don’t exist except as thoughts. We’ve all heard that every journey begins with a single step and that even the greatest of projects starts out with a single idea, but we forget that a successful life is made up of many small, very simple tasks and decisions. When we focus on the moment and remember to deal regularly with all the basic issues…like drinking enough water, getting enough sleep, eating nutritious food, exercising, spending some quiet time alone every day and keeping everything in our lives in balance…the complicated issues we commonly stress over just seem to fade away. Practical issues still need to be dealt with at some point, but we realize (when we let go and stop stressing over them) that they aren’t nearly as complicated as we tend to make them…and they often resolve themselves without any effort or stress on our part! If you feel overwhelmed by all the small matters that need to be dealt with, make lists until you get things under control…and then let them go! If your physical space is cluttered, your mind probably is as well. Straighten things up and notice how much better you feel. As my friend always brightly states, “Organization is the key to success!” If you are feeling stressed or depressed, try focusing on this moment and take a few small steps to bring order back to your personal space and to your life. Treat yourself to a healthy meal, take a quiet walk in nature, drink a few glasses of water or go to bed early and notice how your outlook changes. Make those things habits, take care of yourself instead of indulging yourself and notice how your life changes! This is it! Quiet your mind and enjoy the moment!

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