How to enjoy the trail? Find a guide.
Image you were preparing for the climb or hike of a lifetime. You’d spend months in preparation mode: reading everything you could, studying maps, buying supplies, and building up your physical endurance. This adventure would be all you talked about, thought about and dreamed about. Your friends and family would have your climb dates marked on their calendars, curious about how to reach you on the trail.
Undoubtedly, you’d start reaching out to others who had done it before. You’d join Facebook groups, ask friends, and seek out in person events geared toward hiking. It’s human nature to be curious about the experience of those who have gone before; we can’t help but start cataloguing information, filing it away in case it becomes useful. Preparing ourselves for any kind of disaster or beauty we can imagine.
When we commit to such big adventures, usually only a few times in a lifetime, they become a touchstone of our time on this planet, and I imagine that they’re the experiences we reflect on (for better or worse) in our last moments.
My perspective? Our time on this planet is the touchstone.
Adventures, activities and people are all beautiful and distracting parts of life. Although delightful, heartbreaking, even mesmerizing in their own ways, they’re nothing compared to the grander vision of living: knowing and understanding your self, soul and spirit in this incarnation.
So my question becomes this: how can we foster that same sense of commitment, or top-of-mind-ness, of absolutely immersion and enchantment and absorption of information when it comes to our daily experience? How can we live from a place of ardent yearning, when no rare adventure is on the horizon? By looking within. By committing to understanding our depth, rather than skimming the surface of the breadth of our experience.
Read the books, and pay attention to how they make you feel. Try to put your spirit into words. Onto a canvas. Into dance. Talk to others about their experience on the planet. Seek out myths and bed time stories around the world. Find a guide. Not someone who knows it all, but someone who’s walking the same trail of exploration, just a few steps ahead of you. Study the maps that others draw for you, and then blaze your own trails. Commit in a major way to the only development that matters: personal development. Pack snacks.
Your life (and the greatest journey) are happening now. You just need to open your eyes.