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Updated: Sep 5, 2023

Meditations on what to do with what gets in the way

Last week's walking group was on the theme of willingness. We explored the question, "Am I willing to let these feelings and thoughts exist and continue toward what truly matters to me?" Because it was the walking group, we took this idea for a walk. I encouraged the group to take a path less travelled, literally, like I told them to essentially get lost in the largest urban park in our area. I had done this once before to explore the sensation of taking risks, the participants risking getting lost and me risking losing a bunch of participants! This time, we did some contingency planning of the style, "Call me if you can't find your way back!" So we walked, and I also took a less-trodden path. On these walks, I reflect on the same things I ask the participants to reflect on. That day, I felt close to my bull's eye of values. I felt like I was in line with what mattered to me. As I walked, I observed my mind and thoughts and realized I had a significant obstacle in my path. Unfortunately, it was not as easy to get around as the boulders that posed actual obstacles on my path. No, this obstacle was of the mental sort. It was a thought obstacle, a thought-stacle. When I observed the workings of my mind, I noticed that I had been more distracted than I had in years, decades even. Recent events in my life, including the loss of a friend, had stirred up an already percolating inner pot of existential questioning. Questioning about my career, my living situation, my relationships, questions, questions, questions. From what I can tell from asking my middle-aged peers, this type of questioning is pretty typical at this time of our lives. My questioning also had an interesting mix of imagined futures added in. I realized I had been spending so much time trying to figure out my life that I wasn't fully living it! My constant questioning and thinking were pulling me away from the moment. My focus was on the future at the cost of the now. As I walked along the lesser travelled parts of the park, this "obstacle" came to light. I saw that the true obstacle was not finding answers to the questions but the questioning itself. I was distancing myself from the moment as I travelled into my mind. As I returned to the moment, to the beautiful forest, to the sound of the woodpecker pecking on the tree, and the smell of the Earth beneath my feet, a sense of deep joy and bliss washed over me. I saw, sensed, and felt that THIS moment was truly incredible in and of itself. Nothing else was required other than my being aware that it was there. I circled back to the idea of willingness and acceptance, and new questions emerged.

Can I accept that things in my life are not settled and clear right now?

Am I willing to accept the uncertainty in my life to tip the balance of my focus to where I am now?

Can I see the happiness I am living now and continue towards what matters to me while not being entirely sure where that will lead? The answer was "Yes," and I continued down that path.

Mindfully Yours,

Moire Want to learn more? Check out some other articles on my blog.

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