What life path did you choose? Mine, it is the path less taken, the harder trek through overgrown trails splattered with copious amounts of extra muck. The one that friends and family warned me about, scolded me about and shook their heads about when I chose it anyway. It is the one that has alternately been watered with tears to a soggy mess and baked with joy to a delightful glow. Sound familiar, maybe like your path? I think, looking back, these so-called “paths less taken” are everyone’s paths, just most of us didn’t step onto them voluntarily.
In the trek through my formidable years, I experienced being painfully shy then workably social, finally settling comfortably into just being me. I have (strong) opinions and try to keep the more contentious ones to myself, sharing them only when asked or venting to an inner circle of immediate family and close friends. More so, I prefer to just smile at the antics of life and hope that there is some bigger meaning and/or life lesson that will come from it all. Ergo, the need for yoga and meditation.
Meditation helps me make sense of things, helps me stop asking questions without listening for answers. Think about it, all the questions you have, that you ask, that you wrestle around in your brain and then toss into the wind, how much time do you invest in listening for an answer? Whatever your religious or spiritual persuasion, the asking is one thing, but the time spent in silent contemplation just listening for an answer, that is is the good stuff!
Oddly, I get a lot of answers, and insights, when I listen. I find the insights to be more valuable than the answers, mostly because an answer puts one question to bed, whereas an insight opens up a world of possibilities. One of my better insights – don’t ask questions I already know the answer to. For instance, “why me.” The answer is and always will be, “why not me.” If I dig a little deeper, life is never about why something does or does not happen to you, or for you, it is always about what you do with exactly what you have. We all are exactly where we are supposed to be in our respective lives. Where we tend to go awry is not appreciating what we have going for us and celebrating it with giddy abandon.
When I lived in Connecticut, I lived in the most amazing little house overlooking a river. From the day I moved in, I knew I wouldn’t be there forever, so I enjoyed the heck out of that house each and every day. From the deer that crossed the yard to drink from the river to the hawks and foxes that watched me on my daily walk, it was magical, like living in a fairy tale. And on a timer. Eventually, time was up and I moved to Florida.
I don’t regret leaving my woodland oasis. It was time to head for Florida, where I was destined to meet my husband. Sure, I could have stayed there, perched on the edge of heaven, forever, I suppose, but I didn’t. I listened. If you think about it, really think about it, you hear it too, that insistent something encouraging you along. It can feel like anything really, a tug at the gut, a whisper tangled in the breeze, intuition, your conscience, (sorry, no voices), these are guides showing us the way, and it is up to us to pay heed, or not.
So what happens if we miss the signs, ignore our instincts, write off our gut feelings to hunger pangs or indigestion? Then we follow a different path, one of many paths, but it will still get us where we need to go. In the end, all the paths are the same. The experiences are different, sometimes harder, sometimes easier, but our paths all go one way, from birth to death. In the end, it will always be what we do with the path we are on that makes for one heck of a ride.