Last Wednesday I attended a networking event in Montreal. As I venture out to new networking events I carry two burning questions: will I meet someone and make a heartfelt connection and will I walk away with some new learning or piece of information. Like anything else in life, I believe that networking needs to be intentional.
I was not disappointed. The guest speaker was Bhaskar Goswami of Bodhi Yoga Center in Montreal ( www.bodhiprinciple.com) who delivered an entertaining speech on a trek he and three cousins completed in the Himalayas. It was not particularly new information to me just a simple reminder of things I know but fail to practice consistantly.
As Bhaskar shared his experience I was reminded that I have a tendency, when beginning any journey, to focus on where I am going, the destination. In doing so I often forget about the experience, that is the journey itself.
While this focus serves my need for being purposeful, it is a bit like wearing blinders, prohibiting me from checking my peripheral vision and actually experiencing what is going on in the moment. And so, if you are like me, I suggest that we all pause to smell the roses and to begin being more present with our journey, whether that is simply life, a big project we are managing or an actual trek up a mountainside.
“Perhaps the turtle knows the road better than the hare.”
Take the First Step
Have you ever noticed that when you focus on the destination, the entire picture, that you get a wee bit overwhelmed. Eleven years ago I learned a vital lesson in living the journey when Jim and I built our garden labyrinth. On the morning of June 2nd I stepped into the back yard to survey the project we were about to begin. Three weeks earlier Jim had cut the design for the labyrinth out of the grass. It was 40 feet in diameter and while I understood it was going to be no small feat, I had not fully comprehended the full breadth of the project. My task was to lift the remaining grass in the design, dig up the soil and prepare the area as a garden.
My first response was a few expletives which cannot be shared in this article! You can use your imagination here. Then Jim appeared carrying a yard stick. He set it down in front of me and gave me the following instructions: Place the stick down, mark off the first three feet, move the stick away, dig up the grass, till the soil. REPEAT. Do not lift your head, simply be in the experience until you have finished. Respond to your task and enjoy each 3 foot segment.
I did as he suggested and despite being tempted I did not look up. I stayed in the moment learning that it was very meditative to do so. Four days later the labyrinth was done and honestly, I could not have completed the task without following Jim’s instructions.
The lesson, three feet at a time, has stayed with me since. Each time I begin a new project or embark on a new journey, I bring myself into the experience and consider the first three feet. Using this strategy will allow you to be more present and mindful of your surroundings, taking in information that is readily available to you but which can be so easily missed if you keep your focus only on the destination. It also enriches the experience.
I so often meet individuals who are in overwhelm. It is my belief that they have lost a sense of the journey and why they are on the journey. Responding to overwhelm has two possible options: spinning, which is just continuing on the same course and forgetting to get grounded in the moment or pausing, which as described here brings you into the moment and allows you to be clear on your choices and decide on the first three feet.
I can assure you, at least from my own experience, that carving out the first three feet, works wonders. And so I invite you to do the same: be present, mark off the first three feet, and enjoy the journey. You will reach your destination and along the way, enjoy the experience more.
Betty Healey is an award winning author, coach and inspiring speaker. Our next Retreat Day is Saturday, May 25th – Strategic Attraction, applying the Law of Attraction strategically to your life and work. A selection of our books and cards are now available at The Grind as well as at www.roadSIGNS.ca. To find out more about our products and upcoming events, contact Betty at [email protected] or go to http://www.roadsigns.ca.