Enjoying the Journey of Life

iStock_000003642921XSmall You’ve not seen much of me for the last two weeks. If you follow me on twitter you’d have the details of last week’s why, but this week has been purely and simply a holiday.  More of one than I expected!

We went away for a short break.  I’m in Queensland writing this to you now, and enjoying amazingly warm weather for Winter.  (Except when we went up the mountains this morning, but that’s another story.)  This trip has been needed for probably way too long, and it’s a great celebration of what I achieved with last week’s mammoth effort.  Before you ask, no that’s not me in the picture (I wish!)

I’m loving how much more freely both my mind and body are moving, now they’ve had a chance to re-charge.  We’ve taken bushwalks, walked through shopping centres, paddled on the beach and done pretty much everything else we could fit in, including lounging around a bit.  Today, after a short trip up to the Gold Coast Hinterlands, we came back and I had some time to myself, as I like to do.  I was planning on reading a bit.  Instead, I had what Oprah likes to call an “Ah-Ha Moment”.

I started thinking about the things I wanted to do for my website when I got back, since the internet connection at the hotel was down (or I’d probably have been there instead of immersed in a book).  Suddenly, my mind felt like several different thoughts, some of the separate paths I’d been trying to juggle, and a few things I was only looking at trying, just clicked together into a single, unified path that just felt amazingly RIGHT.  Not to mention incredibly motivating and exciting as well.  I think it’s what Steve Pavlina calls the Path with Heart.

As I thought over that “Ah-Ha” realisation, and how well it melded everything I wanted to achieve, it occurred to me that it probably wouldn’t have happened without the rest and time out I’ve given myself this week to just recuperate and chill out.  Having reached a goal last week, I felt free to let go and enjoy for a while, and it seems like that freed up some circuits or something.

It’s funny.  We all accept and acknowledge that life is a journey, not a destination.  We know, even if we don’t actually do it, that we’re supposed to be enjoying the steps along the way.  But what about the rest stops?

When you go touring, do you drive solidly until the car runs out of juice?  Or do you plan it so you have interesting places that you reach, take some time out to enjoy, then jump in the car again to head off for the next stop? When you get back into the car after a break, don’t you feel re-energised for the trip, and have a clearer picture of where you’re going next?

Why don’t we treat the journey of life the same way?

Maybe that’s why we’ve lost touch with how to enjoy our journeys.  All our ‘rest stops’ are being saved up for the final destination.  We’re not giving ourselves those quiet moments to savour where we’ve gone, celebrate the stage we’ve reached, and refresh our thoughts of where we want to go next.  Then, when our motivation naturally drops without those little reinforcements, we end up detouring wherever any interesting sign points us.  It’s way too easy to head off in a whole new direction at the next interesting sign, abandoning each mini-journey without ever having reached the finish points they’re pointing to.

Are you driving through life with a clear plan in mind, or at least an idea of where your next stop is meant to be?  Or are you (like I’ve done in the past) following each and every signpost that looks like somewhere we might want to go, only to be detoured by the next one that shows up?

They say the first step is in acknowledging what you’ve been doing.  As a second step, (planning your whole life trip is probably a bit too much) why not try just following ONE path (no matter how short or minor) to the end, and celebrating with a rest stop when you get there.

After this last week, I can tell you, it feels amazing!

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