Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Stop Looking Down Long Enough to Look Up

I used to say I was an ocean girl.

Well, I didn't "used" to- I still kinda do, BUT, with more thought than before. You see, these last few weeks have been something of an epiphany. I've gone on a hike of some sort every several days for the past few weeks, and the more I do it, the more I crave it. 

Yesterday while I was out with a friend, I realized that ever so slowly, I've been learning the language of the mountains and of being in the woods. It's different than being in the ocean, not better or worse, just different.

I find peace in the sound of the wind through the trees and reminders to breathe deep when I look out on the horizon filled with mountains that could only be described as majestic against a sky so blue it's unreal.

Over the weekend I went on a hike and met a new friend who, while we were walking and talking, suddenly stopped. He grabbed my arm and said, "Look at this. Look at how amazing this view is, and we miss it because we're always looking at the ground." 

So we slowed down. We walked quite a distance behind everyone while we were mindful to look up and even completely stop once in awhile just to enjoy what was right in front of us.

I realized that many of us are so busy just trying to get where we're going, we spend the entire time looking down to make sure we don't trip, but all the while we're missing the point of it all; we're missing the spectacular views that make the journey worth taking in the first place. 

We're taught that we should hurry up and push as hard as we can to get finished, but finish what? A class? A job? A chore? A workout? A hike? And why- why do we feel as though we have to race through our lives always looking down to ensure that we don't trip while we're pushing as hard and as fast as we can to get to the end. 

But maybe, just maybe, the end is not so important. Maybe, like the old cliché says, "It's not about the destination, it's about the journey."

Next time you find yourself racing through school, work, the various stages of a relationship, a project, or even just a hike, slow down- maybe even completely stop- and take a moment to look, really look, at what's around you. 

You may just find that whatever you're working so hard to finish has a new meaning, and the end point becomes not so important after all.

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