Monday, February 23, 2009

Seize the day

Life is 10% what you make it and 90% how you take it. Irving
Ellie and I went for a wonderful walk yesterday with a girlfriend. We wandered along winding trails through the woods, along the shore of the river where ice still blocks the water's flow. Tiny chickadees flittered amongst the trees and sunlight filtered through the barren branches casting filigree shadows upon the snow.

We chatted and laughed, shared stories and ideas about what it takes to live life on the other side of our comfort zones. We fixed the woes of the world, fixed the lives of those we love, and even managed to fix a few broken hearts as we talked! Just kidding! We're not that powerful.

What we are powerful enough to do is 'cease the day'. Make the most of the moment. Live fearlessly in the now.

At one point, while we were walking, my girlfriend told me about a hot yoga class she's been taking. "I think I might have pushed myself too far," she said. "My muscles really hurt for the next few days. I think I need to be more careful. Not do it so hard."

When I came home I had to put my feet up. I have 'bad' feet. They don't like to walk far. Don't enjoy strenuous exercise. I'm working with my chiropractor and doctor to remedy the situation -- but after walking, they are always sore and need tender loving care.

But the pain isn't harmful.

And that's the thing. I could have stayed home and not gone for the walk. But I would have missed a wonderful opportunity to spend time with someone I love, give Ellie the walk she needed and deserved. I would have missed the beautiful sunshine. The glorious fresh air. I would have missed so much if I had focused on thinking about how my feet would hurt afterwards. Walking doesn't damage my feet, it just results in transient pain -- staying home, doing nothing also causes transient pain. It's just created on a different threshold.

When I use unused muscles, I hurt. But the pain isn't harmful. It's healthful. It's simply my muscles way of saying, "Hey. Don't remember those moves. It hurts to change."

Like life. We stretch outside our comfort zone and feel the fear of change. It's not harmful. Just a reminder that we've never been this way before, or it's been a long time since we travelled this path. When we push into the pain and move through it, we transcend it.

We had a beautiful walk yesterday. Talked and laughed. Watched Ellie snuff the grasses, toss up snoutfuls of snow as she eagerly investigated every inch of pathway.

It was 10% what we were doing and 90% how we were enjoying the day, eachother's company and the world around us.

When I got home, my feet were sore. They made up 10% of what was going on for me. The rest was made up of the joy I felt having spent a glorious afternoon with a friend, enjoying the world around me. After a busy couple of weeks, I needed that time to refresh. I needed those hours of pure delight in the sunshine.

Later, because I needed to keep my feet up, I got to watch the Academy Awards with both my daughters and C.C. -- another joyful evening spent with people I love. Earlier, I picked up Alexis from the subway, we stopped and bought a bottle of champagne to toast the creative excellence of the night. We curled up together in front of the TV and spent a wonderful evening talking and laughing and sharing in the brilliance of those living their passions. It was 10% about what was happening on the TV screen in front of us, and 90% about sharing time together, enjoying each others company.

The question is: Are you focusing all your attention worrying about what life presents? Or, do you put your focus on how you create value out of life's happenings by putting your attention on your intention to create your best day yet?

1 comment:

Sarah M said...

Hi Louise!

Did you get my e-mail address? I'm so delighted you had such a fabulous day yesterday. It sounds extremely delightful :)