Stepping outside of yourself for clarity

As you can probably tell, I haven’t written here for a while. I took a solo 3 week road trip covering 6 thousand miles and it was fun and life changing. I ended up camping for two weeks in the mountains without electricity, water or even cell phone service. I was in a campground only 5 miles from a small town so I wasn’t totally isolated but enough to enjoy it.

It took me 4 days of driving to arrive at my destination. As the miles ticked by, the ancillary habits and disruptions began to disappear. I was leaving it all on the side of the road and it was ALOT!! I feel bad for the people mowing the right of ways!

That was just the beginning, much like peeling a peach. Once in the mountains, the rest of the distractions melted away and I was left at the core of who I really was. Who was that anyway? I’ve been running for so long, it was time to take a much-needed break.

Without the disruption of modern conveniences, the mirror kept getting polished and I’d see things that’d make me stop and go really? I do that? Or at times, make me cry as I realized some of the crazy things I’d done.

I realized I was just living on habit and not really conscious of what I really wanted. Here in the fresh mountain air and nothing to do all day long it was pretty easy to look inward.

Course seeing what needs to be changed and then doing it are two different things. I returned home and immediately made changes. For example, I changed my work schedule from 10 hour days back to 8 hour days. I had been going in at 6:45am and leaving at 5:30pm; breakfast was something microwaved and ate at my desk. My entire life revolved around work.

Now I get up, cook (not microwave) a good breakfast and eat at home. I take time to pray, plan my day, and set intentions. I arrive at work relaxed and ready to go. I continued to focus on my health, both physical and mental and began working out again. Not just working out, but doing things I love for exercise.

What a difference in my countenance and attitude with just those two simple changes! I am continually making adjustments to live consciously instead of just via habit. Some days though, I feel the pull to slide back into those old habits. It’s easy to change when you’re isolated in the wilderness, but back at home in the thick of things, it is a lot more effort.

As soon as I returned, a friend took a 3 month vacation into the mountains. Two weeks in, I received a phone call and the hard, annoying person was replaced by a calmness and peace. Ahhh….there’s my friend. They were beginning to experience the cleansing that occurs when you step outside of yourself.

For me going to the mountains was just the ticket. You may prefer the beach or somewhere else. Whatever you enjoy, I’d highly recommend taking some quality time to step outside of yourself without distraction. It’s a great way to get back in touch with who you really are and focus on what you really want to accomplish.

Turn Left at the Next Intersection

“Turn left at the next intersection”.  What?  Why is the GPS taking me that way? That’s not how I arrived here and I’m pretty sure that’s the wrong direction.  Billions of dollars and years of satellite precision mapping beamed to my dashboard and I’m saying it’s wrong.  Of course, I know I’m right.

On the way in, the GPS flawlessly guided me into the far reaches of the Everglades via crowded interstates and around road construction. For the route home, it’s telling me to turn left in the middle of nowhere.

The road appears to head further away from civilization. I don’t have a printed map handy so I can see the big picture. Before I follow, I want to know where this little gadget is taking me! It’s not led me astray yet, but  I still feel more comfortable if I can see the big picture.

What the hell……I took the left turn and headed down a rural two lane road that lead me through more of the Everglades. The speed limit was only 55mph and very little traffic made it a scenic, relaxing drive. Why didn’t we use this road earlier, this is nice! At the next intersection, I don’t question as it directed me to another, scenic, unfamiliar road. Eventually the GPS led me back to the crowded, fast paced freeways and I knew exactly where to go.

Daily in my prayers and meditation, I’ll ask for direction or clarity. Often I get it and of course, like my response to the GPS unit, I’m prone to say “that’s not the right way to go”. Again, I’m pitting my own experience against thousands of years and millions of people before me. I must like impossible odds.

Just like the GPS, often the guidance takes me where I don’t think it should but in the end it is just what I needed. Over the years, I can say it’s always been right; when I followed it that it is. There are plenty of times I do know exactly what to do or where to go. It’s those times I ask for an answer and then ignore the answer is when I end up lost. Just because I can’t see the big picture, doesn’t mean the answer is wrong.

Maybe that’s the lesson after all; I should follow the guidance that’s given, even if I don’t see how it will get me where I need to be.