Koh Phi Phi, Thailand – 2013
My nature is to really take advantage of places and things. When I travel I want to eat, see, do and explore all that I can. When I am in a new environment, I think to myself “You may not be back, take in as much as you can now!” Hence, the tendency to over order at restaurants :). But it is also important to realize the beauty and the opportunities of just being where you are. Not doing, just being.
Even if you aren’t totally thrilled with where you are in a particular moment, it’s probably because you aren’t actually where you really are – you are thinking ahead or behind, trying to complete a task or check a box, focusing on something that is not actually happening in that moment.
Our mind is always ready to be in the next place, or a place we have already been.
Life pulls us forwards or backwards.
Our nature drives us one direction or another.
Emotions cause us to project and to remember.
But when you can just be where you are… no matter that place, you are where you are, which is a gift in itself! And when you are where you are, opportunities arise – stress softens, fear fades and gratitude grows.
A story I heard this week sums it up perfectly:
Two traveling monks reached a river where they met a young woman. Wary of the current, she asked if they could carry her across. One of the monks hesitated, but the other quickly picked her up onto his shoulders, transported her across the water, and put her down on the other bank. She thanked him and departed.
As the monks continued on their way, the one was brooding and preoccupied. Unable to hold his silence, he spoke out.
“Brother, our spiritual training teaches us to avoid any contact with women, but you picked that one up on your shoulders and carried her!”
“Brother,” the second monk replied,
“I set her down on the other side, while you are still carrying her.”
May you do your best to be where you are…