Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Our Journey

I'm tired, but I know our journey is just beginning.  For those of you who follow this blog, you too follow my journey.  Right now, we are at a rest stop - pondering a huge mountainous range in front of us.  I know we're going there.  That isn't the question.  The question is how.

There is a tried and true path.  A highway.  Speedy.  Ten sure-fire ways to big bucks and the corner office, SEO tricks, ways to get your name known and respected.  Success almost by definition.

There is a dusty, bumpy path.  Historical.  Windy.  Well-traveled over the years but not by the masses.  Much slower but filled with memorable scenic opportunities and stories.  Growing a business organically but very very slowly, signs on the doors of your store window that say hours "M-F: 8ish - close, closed 11-1 for lunch", painting from the heart but not much of anything that anyone else would want to purchase.  Success self-defined but at the sacrifice of many monetary comforts.

And then - well, and then there's the history of my journey.  Our journey.  On the highway for a just a little bit to feel the wind in my face and the rush of success, then quickly off the exit ramp.  Down the dusty trail for much longer, smelling the lavender fields along the way, yet tired and worn and frustrated at the rushing sounds from the highway.  It is here I have paused at a dark but clean rest stop as I sip a machine-bought diet coke and ponder.

We're all headed to the same place.  We're all in the same land.  There's so much judgment between paths - trail-go-ers peering over to the highwaymen, sighing with a condescending smile - oh, if only they knew what they were missing.  The drivers of the fast-moving cars, glancing over occasionally to the trail wanderers, tsking as if to say at least I'm glad I'm making something of my life.

Those on the other side of the mountain where the road and the trail meet in one place all look back over their shoulders and realize simultaneously their successes and everything on which they missed matter which path they took.  On this huge, sandy, beautiful beach on the other side of the mountainous middle age of life, there are miles of un-touched beauty.  A few footprints wandering here and there outside of a deep rut of road and trail where almost everyone has bumped into realization.

It is a realization that this path - road or trail - isn't all there is.  That the grasses, the mountains, the rocks, the snow, the warm red sun, the sky...they all wait patiently to be explored, or at least acknowledged.  Without judgment, they look on and softly smile.  Life goes on.


It is where I am.  I am at the rest stop and, perhaps for the first time, deeply aware of paths outside of right and wrong, of good and bad, of fast and slow.

The highway calls to me.  Oh how awesome it feels to rush along, to get so many new followers in 24 hours, to discover a new "power person" - be it artist, blogger, coach, yogi - and to be recognized by that person.  To work hard and have that hard work rewarded by the masses...through accolades and money.  But I am always aware of what else I am speeding by.  So I cannot yet jump on the on-ramp.

The trail calls to me.  The sensual delights that are experienced when traveling slowly are indescribable.  The people you meet along the way, each consciously struggling along this path, are often delightfully good travelling companions.  And yet, I hear the rush of cars in the distance and long to feel that thrill.  I ache for the security that money can bring.  So I cannot yet start back on the trail.

How essential, how freeing, how utterly lost it feels to realize that neither path is right or wrong!!  That there is no other person who can tell me which way to take, no religion, no science, no guru who has THE answers.  That if I truly believe in what I see as I sit here on this picnic bench and view the mountains before me, if I trust what the wind tells me as I deeply breathe it into my body....that all of this is just here to be experienced.

There are consequences to every breath.

There are consequences to the path I choose, the way in which I drive or walk it, what I notice or don't along the way, even how long I choose to sit here.  Life is going on.

There are consequences if I decide to open at Etsy shop to sell my work, if I decide to paint or collage or write poetry, if I decide to teach yoga locally or via video or not at all, if I choose to focus more time on my kids and PTO activities....if I choose to walk another step conscious of my decisions or slip into a more unawakened but comfortable way of living.

There are no rights or wrongs in any of these decisions.  Just ripples out into the ocean of my reality.

I can ask others how to drive faster - and I will.  I can ask others how they deal with the hardships of the trail - and I will.  But the trails I blaze in the end are my own, oddly unique from road and trail.

Now that I have seen the soft grasses and smelled just a hint of the crisp snow in that last breath and felt the rush of the wind in my face from the road, I cannot choose just one path.  I refuse to slip into comfort, something known, at the sake of losing my awareness of all of this.

It will be a story-filled journey if nothing else.  Certainly it will continue to be confusing and challenging not only for me, but for my husband, our family, and possibly even for you.

But it is an exciting journey and I am damn sure I am going to make it one of my choosing.  I hope you'll join me, if only through reading but possibly as a travelling companion.  Who knows what we'll discover?

Next up: Finishing our drinks and starting the journey into selling art or making videos or writing a book or creating a website or doing none of that and jumping into the PTO or all of it or .....???


  1. Lisa - such hints you have dropped in this post! I loved all the wonderful analogies you've included here. We are going uphill - it will be run to reach the top of the mountain and then to see what lies in the valley below - which will lead to the NEXT mountain. :) I will support you in whatever you choose to do! Theresa

  2. You could be writing my story too! Oh I love this post!! All of it and none of it so compelling! Can't wait to see what is next!

  3. I hear ya', Lisa. Sometimes I just don't have the energy for either of the roads and that is my problem. Very well written and insightful of you. I'm honored to be a witness to your journey and keep thinking about whether or not to spend more time on my other blog that I keep "hidden" out of... fear? In the end, we're all in this journey of life together, so I support you:)

  4. lovely visual pages!! xox
    & much love to you
    in every breath
    of your journey,
    dear one.

  5. so very true. i love your art of your journey compared to the road. :)

  6. Aww Lisa I sooooo hear you!! As usual your words speak to my heart! Like you I feel torn between the two routes: knowing that the highway offers more immediate success but preferring in many ways the slower more picturesque track. It is interesting though that you identify that the paths all lead to the same point - so wise and insightful.
    I too will be supporting you as you endeavour to follow your chosen path wherever it takes you.
    Incidentally, you may be interested in this poem which seems curiously applicable somehow.
    Huge hugs xx

  7. One thing that struck me as I was reading to the end and thinking about my comment is that you (I?) forgot about the rest area. You know the place where you relax from the journey for a bit? Where you stretch just because it feels so good to do so ? Where you acknowledge how far you have come and how far you will go ? Sometimes those rest areas have a picnic table or a bit of woods at them to enjoy and to just "be" at for a while...The journey is behind us and in front of us, but it is nothing without the place where we stand right now....
    Love to be on the journey with you, Brilliant One !

  8. Lisa, I understand this SO well! This was one of the big things we struggled with when making the Florida vs. staying in Mass decision. We had prayed seriously about all of it and came to the conclusion that both may be 'right' options - just different. One may or may not be better than the other, but with the given information we simply had to choose a path and continue our journey for better or for worse. We've had a lot of the latter in our life, but we know we can handle it, so, eventually, we made the decision and took a giant leap onto one path, leaving the other behind...sadly, I fear we may have heard the locking of that gate, but I know that the road will diverge in new and exciting ways ahead, so I refuse to dwell on the clanking of that lock. I know how stressful it can be, but if you have a rest area - use it. Grab a Diet Coke and take it all in. The decision will be made one way or another, but for now, rest in knowing that the journey is never boring!

  9. Hi Lisa, love the post. I've been far, far too busy as of late.
    You'll make the right decisions. It will pour forth from within and you will take it by the hand and let it lead you.
    miss you! love, Cheryl