Tolle talks about people who walk out in nature while listening to their earbuds, talking on their phone and doing other activities that take them out of being present. I realized I really have enjoyed listening to music and podcasts while walking my dog, but that in doing so, I am missing out on being 100% present.
For the past two weeks, I have walked my dog without using my phone except to take one picture of a flower or cactus. In this short period, I’ve realized a difference in the rest of my day. I feel calmer and my mind does not go (as bonkers) as it used to. In fact, when my mind starts to go astray, I can bring it back to the present much faster now.
I rode my bike home from work twice last week. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for several years, but was afraid to try. The route home includes driving alongside very busy traffic and crossing two freeway ramps. But I (finally) conquered my fears and did it!
While riding, I couldn’t help but see how riding a bike home was analogous to life: there are choices you make that send you off (literally) on a different path. Every bit of the way, you make choices:
- smile or don’t smile at those you encounter;
- appreciate nature (or don’t);
- follow the rules/laws (or take dangerous risks);
- breathe and enjoy the journey OR stress and rush to get to your destination
All journeys (literal and figurative) share a common theme: It’s beneficial to look ahead and do a little planning (to be prepared), but most pleasant and constructive to be fully present.
It is rarely helpful to look back.