“Life is a journey, not a destination.” I’m sure many of you have heard that phrase by Ralph Waldo Emerson. How often do you say “if I have/achieve/do this [thing], then I’ll be happy or whatever”? I know I have many times. But then what? Is life over because you got to that point? Maybe for a few, but most of us come up with the next thing.
That is why life is a journey.
I think it is supposed to be. Life is made up of a series of moments, discoveries and actions that help us grow. Or maybe just get us closer to death (sarcasm intended). We shouldn’t let it become a drudge or even a race to the finish line. Life is also not a competition, unless it is within your own mind and if that is what it takes to motivate you, then go for it.
I see life as a renewal. Think of how many people you have been. Baby, child, teenager, young adult, adult, elderly and many versions in-between. Relationships, careers, hobbies and interests. And if you think you don’t have interests. . .well, reading is obviously one of them.
Downtime is a renewal. Sometimes you just need to give your body or brain a break and do mindless activities. I like computer games and have a tendency to get addicted to them. I’m in that mode now, but am starting to realize that I need to get active again. After this post, I have a date with my treadmill. It’s only 12 degrees Fahrenheit outside or I would take a walk. What is important about this is acknowledging and accepting what renewal actions we need. Honoring your body’s need for rest is as important as keeping it strong, flexible and healthy. You can’t do one without the other. If you are fidgety, it is just unspent energy and your body’s way of saying “get me moving!”. Just as feeling listless says “give me a break.”
Too often we push ourselves past the breaking point because of the perceived expectations of others. Do you really think your employer wants a crabby or sick you at work? No, especially if you are sick and infectious to others. You wouldn’t want a crabby or sick doctor operating on you, would you? Listen to what your body is saying to you and take care of it, unless you don’t care if it takes care of you. When you honor your body, your mind will respond and give you ideas. They could be creative, inventive or just reminders of to-do tasks that you forgot when you were neglecting your body.
You can think of the Earth as just a gigantic body. She goes through seasons as a form of renewal. We are in Winter, when she lies dormant and lets the Sky be active. Spring tends to be volatile, when Earth and Sky work together to cleanse and clear the way for new life. Summer is about growth, so the two work in peaceful harmony. Fall is the time when Earth and Sky share their beauty and bounty with all of nature. Imagine what we would be like if we nurtured ourselves in that same way? Do you feel renewed?