I am taking a short trip today to my parent’s lakehouse to enjoy family for this holiday weekend. And just this morning one of my daily email subscriptions I have spoken about to you before, en*theos, got me to thinking about journeys or more importantly our life’s journey.
The email included an article by Ran Zilca that referenced the Bhagavad Gita, the sacred Hindu script considered to be one of the most important texts in literature and philosophy and it also referenced the Tao Te Ching, written by Lao Tzu, the father of Taoism. Both of these works are familiar to me because they are often referenced in the practice of yoga and by my favorite spiritual thought leaders including Wayne Dyer. And it is actually on my “to do” list to read them both in their entirety–I guess you can say it’s on my bucket list.
And that brings me to the point I am trying to make here. We spend a lot of time thinking about our future. What we want to cross off our “bucket list” or even what we “should” be doing in this life. And we often get more preoccupied with the destination we are trying to get to rather than enjoying the journey. And sure, we have all heard “Enjoy the journey”, or “the journey IS the destination”. But I can’t say that it really sunk in for me until this morning. Here’s what what Ran said that gave me my Ah-ha!
(from the Bhagavad Gita)…
You have a right to your actions,
but never to your actions’ fruits.
Act for the action’s sake.
And do not be attached to inaction.
Self-possessed, resolute, act
without any thought of results,
open to success or failure.
This equanimity is yoga.
It’s hard to find text that encapsulates so much wisdom in so few words. Inner peace comes when your reward is simply being proactive, liberated from preoccupation with future results. You just go on the road and enjoy the ride, leaving your comfort zone to face the challenges of being out there. When you do that, results follow, but perhaps not the way you’d expected. As Lao Tzu, the father of Taoism wrote in the Tao Te Ching:
the more we don’t desire something,
the greater the chance of getting it,
and all the more exciting.
So there it is…another epiphany for me. It’s not just about enjoying the journey while still keeping your eye on the ball of the destination. It is forgetting the destination completely and the reward itself is just taking the journey.
Talk about living in the present! Can you do that? Not sure that I can, but my heart and my gut sure want to try. Can you begin to practice creating your goals simply for the joy in the journey itself? Can you write a book because you really are fulfilled by writing, not because it will make you loads of money and bring you fame? Can you design a room even if it is never published because of the sheer joy and fulfillment of creating a successful and meaningful space? Can you get healthy and change your habits just to make yourself well and whole each day, not to fit into a certain dress or swimsuit or impress another person?
I recently read in The 4-hour Work Week this profound statement…
“Time without attention means nothing, so value attention over time.”
It made me think of my daughter. And it made me realize that just being with her and not giving her my undivided attention (which I have done so many times) because I am working, or on my phone or iPad, is the same as not being with her at all. In fact, it is actually worse, because it reinforces to her that she is less important than all these electronics. Or she is less important than the person on the phone. And why would I ever want her to think anything is more valuable to me than she is? Yikes! What a gut check, right?
So I think all these ideas come full-circle for me today. It is not just about enjoying the journey. It is about being 100% present in the journey knowing all the while that if nothing comes from the journey but the journey itself, it was more fulfilling than any future result we could ever imagine and strive for. And if valuing those on the journey with you by giving them time AND attention is your only success, then what a blessed life you have had. It’s like the Tao Te Ching says…The more we don’t desire something, the greater the chance of getting it and all the more exciting.
Will you enjoy the ride? Will you leave the “baggage” of your past and your future and just live for today giving both time AND attention to the people and the moments that are most important to you?
Remember my resolution for this year to “Collect Moments, Not Things”. Well things are the destination and the moments are the journey.
Wishing you a safe and happy weekend with family and friends and hoping you enjoy the ride!
And for those of you design-lovers here are a few AMAZING rooms that leave the “baggage” as gorgeous elements of design and not limiting beliefs that hold us back. Enjoy…
p.s. To see all these great room images and travel inspired photos visit my Pinterest Boards called Destinations and Trunk Love. And while you are there, feel free to daydream about all the amazing places you want to travel and visit in this life, simply because the journey would fill your soul! Bon Voyage.