Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Are We There Yet?

We're coming up soon on what's reportedly the heaviest travel day of all- Thanksgiving. The time of year when the dreaded four word question, “Are we there yet,” is asked repeatedly until you want to jump out of the car window. Michael's retort to the kids was always, “Is the car still moving?” That was the cue that they better sit quietly and look out at the passing scenery instead of attempting to make him crazy. Of course, today's kids have it easier...no vacant staring out the car windows for them, they can sit and watch a DVD!

Are we There yet? Interesting that we are always in such a hurry to get There. Even as adults, we’re no different. We believe that There has to be better than Here. And, we apply the same thinking in terms of our physical and emotional health and wellness.

Are we There yet? Often, when life isn't going as we envision, we attempt to rush to our desired destination- Feeling Different. “If I could only lose all of this weight,” or, “I want to feel better about myself,” or, “I just want to be in love with a great person.” We focus only on the different way of feeling instead of considering our personal journey and how much we learn while working to achieve a goal.

The problem with solely focusing on the end result is that often the goal is pretty lofty. And, achieving it may take major time and effort. Few of us have the patience to accept that change happens a tad at a time. We don't like Here but There seems unattainable; we grow frustrated. The destination seeming too far, we slow to a crawl. Or, quit in the middle. Loss of momentum is a sign that we need to change direction. It’s time to re-direct focus to the joy of journeying, not arriving at Feeling Different. Personal journeys are accomplished a step at a time just as a long road trip is completed a mile at a time.

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Life is a progress, and not a station.” Progress can be slow. We sometimes meander taking steps forward, sometimes backward, before we find ourselves moving forward once more. When the going gets especially difficult or challenging, stop and rest. Taking a break and focusing on something else is the best way to clear heads and hearts so we can renew our efforts. It’s not unlike pulling over to the side of the road after you’ve driven for hours to stretch your legs and rest your eyes.

Are we There yet? When we constantly leap ahead to the conclusion of the ride, we miss so much. For today, let's concentrate on where we are in this moment. When you bring your focus into the now, you find that you can relax and stop fixating. It takes practice; it’s not easy staying in the moment, to not look so far into the future. But, it’s worth it to calm your thoughts and find comfort in things as they exist. Try to discover the simple pleasure that hides in things-as-they-are instead of constantly wishing things-to-be-different.

Life is not better There. Besides, you can’t arrive at a new and happier place until you’ve done a thorough job in mapping Here. Once you clearly see the starting point of who you are now, what's needed, what's desired, it’s easier to list the required changes to arrive at Feeling Different. Excitedly plan your life's road trip.

You'll find what you need as you travel along. Trusted confidants or professional resources can cheer you on when the road seems too steep. Keep traveling forward with their help. However, for today, look at the scenery; take in the view. Oh, and the answer to the question, “Are we There yet,” is, “No.” The truth is, when you get There, it becomes Here. So, sit back and enjoy the ride! It's all about the ride.

Namaste' Till Next Time,


Anonymous said...

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

melissa said...

Maybe thinking this way will make a commute to Pittsburgh a little easier. ;)

Put on the ipod, laugh at other drivers, and enjoy the scenery.

Love you.

Holly said...

Good one, Melis, but you forgot the part of taking Prozac along with using the iPod.

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