Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Appreciating Where You Are in Your Journey

It's important for us to slow down and take stock in where we are in our lives now. 

There's a lot that I want to adjust in my life right now, causing me to be completely consumed with growing and expanding and reaching and dreaming. All are great experiences to have, and necessary for evolution, but the need for these things has clouded my thoughts. My mind has been racing, jumping from thought to thought, but in reality, nothing was changing. I'm still here. Still in my life situation. 

One recent night, I sat at my kitchen table, typing away on my laptop. I felt compelled to write, a new outlet for me, and the words just poured out onto the screen, uncontrollably, like a fire hose. There was so much thought that needed to manifest into something, anything, really. It didn't matter what it was, it just needed a release. 

It was in that moment that I realized how far removed my mind had gotten from my body - from my present situation. It was reeling and turning and twisting and growing - expanding so fast I could hardly keep up with the typing. And the second I realized this, I it all came right back to me - sitting at that table. I took inventory of my surroundings. There were so many ideas I had about my future, so many things I wanted to try, and places I wanted to go. I wanted and wanted and wanted. But looking around me, I realized that my life is most certainly here and now. While I believe it's absolutely critical to know what we want out of life - our dreams, desires, hopes, and aspirations - it's also just as important to recognize and appreciate what we have available to us now. 

If I want to achieve x, y, or z, it may not be possible right this second, with the resources I have, but it could be possible a year from now, or in 10 years. If I'm certain about where I want to 'end up', but choose to honor where I'm at in my life currently, it changes my perspective. I look at my situation in a way that allows me to see what opportunities I do have, that can foster growth and prosperity. There may very well be true obstacles standing in my way, but if I've actually taken account of what they are, chances are, there's a solution available that can help me work with them. It's all about creative constraints, right?

Ever since that moment in my kitchen, I've realized that my present situation is quite a blessing. I have so much to be grateful for, even in the areas that seem less 'fortunate'. Each limitation is an opportunity to problem-solve and therefore, evolve. Whether it be time, finances, energy, etc, it's about how we choose to use those resources, that shapes who we become, and how we get from point A to point B. 

For example, it's taken a while for me to warm up to living in Oakland. Having moved from Walnut Creek, where everything is beautiful, safe, and secluded, I'm now in a more urban setting. It's not as luxurious as I'm used to, but there are definitely some wonderful attributes to acknowledge. I'm closer to work, closer to friends, and closer to just about everything in the bay area. I feel like I can take advantage of so many more things that I've wanted to experience while living out here. I look forward to the day when I can move back to Walnut Creek, though, but I can't get caught up in that need. It's not in the cards for me right now. But when the time is right, you can bet your breeches that I'll be back there. In the meantime, though, it's critical that I stop, take a deep breath, and really appreciate what I have in my life right now. There's much to enjoy and be thankful for. I get to live in an incredible part of the country, in my own little apartment, and commute to a super cool job that I love going to each and every day. 

This realization helped calm my mind. It doesn't mean it hasn't taken control and gone reeling again, but now I can recognize when it's happening, and stop and experience my life in the present moment. I can say to myself, 'Okay, you're excited about x, y, or z, but what's going on in your life right now that you can apply this to? What changes can you make today? What is in your control, and what do you get to relinquish?' 

Trusting that we're right where we need to be - always - is the key to reaching the bigger goal. We have to appreciate where we are right now in our journey, or else we'll never make it to our destination. Our 'why' is our driving force, but our direct experience with life is what allows us to realize just how far we've come, and how much more traveling we get to do. 

While we're here, let's stop and take some photos, eat some food, and just soak it all in. We'll get to where we want to be, but this moment is our only opportunity to experience, appreciate, and enjoy where we are right now. 

Introducing Painting #8: The Golden Gate (4x4 inches, watercolor)

Original Instagram Photo: