Are you looking up or down?
Are you looking up, or down?
When we don't know where we are going, when we are on uneven, unstable ground, we tend to look down and be focused on the placing of each foot with care, so that we can maintain stability. We hone our attention to what is directly in front of us.
When we know where we are going, when we have walked the path before, we have the capacity to look up, look around, take in all that is around us. We move forward with the confidence of knowing what is ahead.
I was thinking about this when I was walking on the dog beach yesterday, which is usually lovely, but at the moment is covered in seaweed and exposed rocks. Even though it is a beach I have walked thousands of times, there were sections where I had to drag my gaze from the rolling waves and back to where I placed each foot. And I thought this was a great metaphor for our lives, especially as we move into the mid-life stage. We may be in the same environment, but it doesn't take much to change for us to have to draw our attention back in, close down the chatter and peripheral 'stuff' and really focus on the shifting landscape. Whether it is dealing with teen angst (so many issues to choose from), aging/ill parents, relationship challenges, health crisis, identity crisis ... the list is long.
What I do know is that we have an amazing capacity to shift our focus. I think back to the years I had where I was so consumed with stress and unhappiness and hurt, and I just want to hug that old me for focusing on what was needed at the time - stability for my kids, nutrition, not giving up. I was very much focused on placing one foot in front of the other, because the path ahead was so unknown and unstable and scary.
Life is so different now - it has been for a long time. Being able to stride ahead with confidence, knowing that the ground is stable and secure, is such a gift. Looking up, looking around, appreciating the vastness and the opportunities - it makes my heart lift just thinking about it.
It doesn't mean there won't be more challenges. It doesn't mean that the path ahead won't veer off into the unknown. It's a fool's wish to think that things won't change. Life is simply training for more life. The more we experience, the more we understand. The more we understand, the more empathy and compassion we can show to ourselves and others.
I love that the studio is a space where we are able to support each other, offer a fresh perspective, and, for some, hug it out. Whether your particular path is in the rocky or the smooth phase - come along. Sometimes what we need is a big sigh, a sense of connection, no judgment and a good roll around on the floor, to help us to look up and notice the beauty that is around us.