The Slow Path

cherry blossom

When I was little I was always looking ahead for the next good thing, Christmas, birthdays, the usual. As I grew older it was the anticipation of 'when I'm 16' , 'when I can drive' , when I grow up. It's hard not to look ahead when what you have at the moment isn't great. I remember talking to a friend about my need to have something to look forward to - it really became clear that my anticipation for things to come was a way of avoiding what was currently not making me happy. It was a survival mechanism I think, to look forward meant that I could imagine something better, something happier, that I would somehow change too and fit perfectly into my possible future. I feel sad that it took me nearly 37 years to realise how important the present is, how happy and content I could be in myself. But I am so glad that I woke up when I did.

I catch myself peeking into the possible future, musing on what could be, but instead of dwelling there, in that intangible reality, I am trying to make significant steps each day to make the things that I dream of come true. It's important to dream but dreams alone aren't very fulfilling. My son has taught me how to be present, his cries, his laughter, his pulling at my sleeve are daily reminders of right now, the present, reality, being awake. There's nothing quite so grounding as dealing with our day to day life. And it's not all rosy, there are bad days, tired days, sick days but for each one I am mindfully present.

Plans are forming for new creative adventures and as I embark on them I am excited about the journey not just the outcome. For one of the first times in my life I am thoroughly enjoying and embracing the slow path, allowing myself the time to lift my head and look around me as I travel on.