If you want to get lost, be present

I listened to the waves crashing against the rocks and the whistling of the wind today. Down by the water there was an inviting assortment of boulders just waiting for someone to take a seat.  For someone to breathe in the crisp air, feel their hair on their face, and listen to the sounds of earth, appreciating the magical space around them.

As I did this I experienced a clear mind for the first time in seven days – one week at what many would define as one of the most tranquil lands in America.  I am away from home, without work, and living in a beautiful a-frame with a view of the mountains and Lake Tahoe – and I couldn’t clear my head.  How?  How can I not keep a clear head when everything happening around me stirs together to make what society would call the perfect recipe for an escape?

What had I been doing for the last seven days that kept me from having a moment like this? Here I was, in the one of the most breathtaking places on this earth and I had yet to feel a spiritual connection with it.

For me, that is what traveling is all about.  I don’t travel to eat good food, buy new clothes or meet new people.  I travel to see, feel and hear a new land, a new piece of earth.

But this time it’s different.  This time I am not feeling well enough to over-exert my legs and hike to the peak.  My body is too exhausted to take a two mile walk through the woods.  My ovary is too irritated to let me live this escape the way I wanted to.  And my mind is being just as stubborn as my body.

I’ve been keeping myself from having a meaningful experience because I can’t do it the way I always have.  I have been refusing to adapt to my own body.

Instead of sitting on the porch and getting lost in the view, I’ve been getting lost in articles, books and social media to distract myself from the emotional pain and frustrations.  I’ve been taking the easy way out of my own head so I can stop thinking about the hardships that lie ahead of me the next few months. 

It’s only now, on my last day, that I realize my best escape has nothing to do with getting lost – it has everything to do with being present.

 

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