"We're so engaged in doing things
to achieve purposes of outer value
that we forget the inner value,
the rapture that is associated with being alive,
is what it is all about."
-- Joseph Campbell
[Classic post from 8-4-11]
I've come to a very interesting place in my travels. There is much that I want, yet I feel that I need so much less than I have. I have learned how to enjoy the journey regardless of the circumstances or results. It is a rather joyous place to be and by and large, I keep it to myself, enjoying it myself. I share little bits with some, but keep most of it for private enjoyment.
I remember phrases in my early twenties as "learn to stop and smell the roses," and such. I always thought that was referring to leisure, not as a pastime, but as a focus and escape from the toil of the daily grind. Sometimes people call it a vacation, holiday, TGIF, the weekend, the long weekend, and more. I did all that and it didn't really change much of anything. It was almost as if it was just a different kind of activity.
Even on vacation, there was an agenda. Sightseeing, timetables, bus trips, road trips, and other activities that somehow become expected. Then I took a vacation trip to Maui in the mid-nineties and for ten days did no important activities, and the most important agenda was nothing. I read two John Grisham books cover to cover, walked on the beach, staring at the ocean, adored the environment, and had the best vacation in my life. I wasn't traveling all over trying to experience everything, but just experiencing being still and rather unfocused. It was glorious.
Then it was back to the daily grind again. Gotta pay the bills you know, gotta hit the numbers, gotta buy the stuff. . .
And, just a few short weeks ago, I have finally learned how to "have it all." I mean fulfillment. I have learned to become a taker. Now, I take moments whenever I can. They can be very short in terms of time, such as being at a traffic light, and yet I can use that much time to connect and pay attention and enjoy the moment without any thought of the agenda or what is coming next.
Today, I realized that I have accomplished this and I was very pleased with myself. I was sitting in my truck waiting for someone to show up. It was about 85 degrees and the sun was hot, but the breeze was pleasant. I was watching people move around me and absorbing the sunlight and heat and breeze and the lack of need of anything or anyone. I thought this is bliss! And it is especially good to take these moments or spaces and embrace them and float with them as if I am floating downstream on a calm raft. There is plenty all about me and I'm aware of no lack, no worries, no concerns, no agenda, no duties. What a glorious space.
Then, I am back to my tasks, duties, agendas and time schedules, yet something has changed them as well. They are more pleasant than they used to be, and it must be a result of that smile on my soul . . .
"I Have Learned, In Whatsoever State I Am, Therewith To Be Content." - Philippians 4:11
Spread Some Joy Today--Try being a taker today. Take moments, minutes, spaces, wherever they may be that you can take for yourself alone, and go with it. At first, it may seem as a "guilty" pleasure, but I assure you, it will easily become bliss.