At 35 years old, I think I finally get that I don’t need to get anywhere. Maybe it sounds aim-less on the surface, but really it’s not. Maybe it sounds motivation-less, but quite the contrary. The realization that life is … that I am … that we all are … and that that’s enough … is steeped in the powerful purpose to be engaged in process.
First time I heard about this focus on process was years ago while working at a bona fide vortex of art and love and full self-expression – Appel Farm Arts & Music Center, nestled in rural and beautiful Elmer, New Jersey. It’s quite impossible to put this inspired and inspiring place into perspective in a blog, or even an entire book for that matter. You just have to send your kids to summer camp there, or attend one of the music festivals, to be clear on just what this organization is all about. But at the heart of it all lies a philosophy that we are all artists and abides an energy that encourages self-discovery through process, without being worried about how it’s all gonna turn out.
Now, let’s pick up this perspective and transpose it back to the real world … (before I get carried away with my artsy-fartsy tendencies and caught up in utopian fantasies that we all live off-the-land on beautiful farms with fresh air and family around and lots of music and beautiful places to take walks) .. because that’s where the rubber meets the road, right? In action, not in theory.
What does your day look like schedule-wise? How about your week? And your month? Do you have a to-do list that doesn’t seem do-able? When life seems busy, take inventory. What really needs doing? What truly requires your attention? The answer is YOU require your attention.
Sometimes we’re so busy driving toward the enchanting and luminous metropolis of Results that we totally miss the beautiful scenery alongside the country roads. Do you know what your commute to work looks like? Do yourself a favor and really experience your commute on your way today! If you feel stuck in the satisfaction of simply checking things off your list, check-in with yourself instead to find out what matters. Just because you’re in motion, doesn’t mean you have direction.
On this, I speak deeply from personal experience. It’s always been somewhat of a challenge for me – a high-energy human being with a fondness for seeing projects get done – to consistently maintain this awareness … to remain on-purpose … and witness the miracles in process.
It’s a blessing to have many beautiful spirits around me who subscribe to a slower pace that allows space for enjoyment … interestingly enough, it’s mostly younger people and older people. I remember Ray’s daughter Dominique, an artist through-and-through, chiding us earlier in the year for walking too fast while visiting the Grand Canyon. She was picking up stones, feeling the trees, enjoying the view … and the two of us were, literally and unknowingly, speed-walking.
Coming to the yoga mat is another daily practice that keeps me grounded and engaged in process. Through the focus on breath, through pranayama, we meet our innate energy. Through the exploration of movement, through asana, we recognize our physical strengths and weaknesses. Moving our bodies with our breath allows us to discover our sense of self in space, in relation to ourselves and to others … and maybe to uncover some emotions that need our attention as well.
The beauty is that no one else’s process looks like mine … no one else’s process looks like your’s … so inhabit your process , whatever it looks like today, and love every second.