Stop and smell the cows….
There’s just something about the back roads. It’s amazing that you can live in a city for so long and never see certain parts of it! My favorite thing to do in a new city is to just get lost. Make sure I have comfy (enough) shoes and just start walking to see where it all leads me. In this way, my mind isn’t looking forward to the next stop, the destination - instead I’m able to be present and take it all in. My next stop will be whatever catches my eye - a unique clothing store, a decadent bake shop, a museum, a park bench with epic people-watching potential, or that cow on the side of the mountain.
It’s so rare that we let life happen anymore. We are so busy planning, running errands, working, and looking toward the future that we miss the little things around us that could bring us so much joy! Believe me, I’ve gotten to the point where I have to schedule in time to get inspired. My brain is constantly on the move. But every time I unplug even for a walk with my dog WITHOUT a podcast/playlist/phone meeting, I feel something different about my neighborhood. I hear the birds chirping, I see the green grass and the swaying of the trees in the wind. I watch Howard sniff and sniff ’til his heart’s content without being in a hurry to finish the route.
Busy is not cool. We think if we’re not busy, then we’re lazy. My husband and I catch ourselves feeling guilty on the rare occasion that we sleep past 7AM or enjoy a Sunday afternoon bingeing on Netflix on the couch in our stretchy pants. It’s hard for us to just take a leisurely walk together because we think we should be sprinting or going to the gym, or just doing more, more, more. This is why we love to travel, because we never usually have a plan when we go places, and it means we really EXPERIENCE these places. For instance, there are plenty of fun things to do in NYC, and we could have planned our trip chock-full of agenda, but what I remember most is the way the air felt, the sounds of the city streets, the exhilaration of the subway rides, the diversity of the people. All these things would have been easily missed if we were following a rigid schedule that included rushing from activity to activity. I get that many people can’t cope without structure, but when structure and agenda interferes with your happiness, your TRUE happiness deep down inside, that’s when you’ve got to reevaluate your systems.
When do you feel TRULY happy? Think back to a recent time when you couldn’t help but smile, or your mind was floating with giddiness, or when you actually took a DEEP breath of relaxation that wasn’t in a yoga class. What brought you to that moment, what steps did you take to reach that state of being? Figure out that specific pathway and do more of it! We should be making time for more things that give us true happiness, instead of filling our time with things that we think we should be doing. You may have created a monster in your life - I know I did. I got to a point where I realized I was full of accomplishment and success in the eyes of others, but I wasn’t living a high vibe life for myself. And so I took control, and made some changes. It’s not overnight; I’m still making these changes, and figuring out what does make me happiest. It’s going to be a process of incorporating these moments consciously before I can begin to live them unconsciously on a regular basis. But there is too much of this life to experience and see and enjoy for us to wait until we’re retired, or rich, or (insert another excuse here) before we start LIVING.
Start with today. If you turn left to go home from work, turn right. Take the back roads and just enjoy the ride.