I was so fortunate recently to have a day travelling by ferry to Moreton Island, QLD with a good friend and the day held NO schedule or agenda. Slowly I began to unwind with the ferry ride, the snorkelling, the fish for lunch, the walk along the beach and then as I floated in the tropical calm water I realised I’d finally reached that state of just ‘being’, no thoughts of the past or of what was yet to happen in the future, just a state of peace and pleasure with the present moment….and I couldn’t remember the last time I had allowed myself a day of just ‘being’! As I returned home to school age kids and scheduled chaos I felt very disheartened to be entering the world of doing and not being….
Luckily I had Peace Is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh by my bed and he dedicates 2 pages to the art of Aimlessness. He writes: ‘In the west we are very goal oriented. We know where we want to go and we are very directed in getting there. This may be useful but often we forget to enjoy ourselves along the route…..The idea is that you do not put something in front of you and run after it, because everything is already here, in yourself.’ ‘We must stop from time to time in order to see clearly.’
And it dawned on me that I didn’t need a whole day of just ‘being’, I could incorporate it into my day….maybe meditation in the early morning for 10 minutes, riding my bike the scenic way to work or best of all, remembering to stop on the way home and sit on a rock for 5 minutes….allow myself to just be, to pause between work & home and acknowledge and appreciate the good bits about life in general….by just stopping for a moment!
The first day I tried this, just 2 days after my island trip, I sat on the rock by the sea, with no expectations, no striving, just being….and a whale breached out of the water in front of me, then another, and another…..and I watched in awe as those whales breached 21 times, playfully being in the water……it really felt like the universe was saying, ‘about time you stopped and now here is what you have been missing out on!.’ Quickly though I get caught up in the world of doing….so writing this blog is to help me get back on track…and prepare for a weekend of watching the clouds go by!