The universe arranges things in a powerful manner. Last Sunday, she contrived to introduce me to three exceptional new friends. Betsy is a mom, superstar author, and filmmaker. Jami and Marla live in the badass city of Boise and were hosting Betsy for The Boise Coaching Summit. My Pennsylvania friend, Edie, arranged for us to meet on a perfect spring Sunday. The river was gushing with melting snow and the buds were bursting into their colorful and short lives.
During the smaller talk, I spoke about my seemingly insatiable appetite to imbibe the world through travel. Betsy shared her story about the upcoming release of her next documentary. Jami and Marla were basking in the glow of an exceptional weekend event. Those things do not happen by coincidence and the look on their faces told me that it took a ton of work but well worth the effort! Before my Olympus Chicken Salad arrived, Jami asked, “What’s next?”
While this is a very innocent and respectful question, my mind began to wander. During my public presentations, I share a story that I leaned on my first Camino in Spain. On that 500-mile trail, each day is a complete mystery. Most pilgrims have no idea of the upcoming terrain, what they will eat on that day, where they will sleep that night, and not much of a clue as to the weather conditions. Even if all of these things were carved into stone, there is no guarantee that the body will cooperate. In this challenged environment, there is no time to swim in yesterday’s sadness or dream about tomorrow’s sunny redemption. Instead, I was sucked into the present moment where I enjoyed nature, met spectacular citizens of the world, and let each day unfold. After 30+ days of walking, the beauty of the present moment transformed from a concept into a life lesson with deep roots in my heart.
Life happens! Resistance to what is happening is a futile task at best. We all create sandcastles in our minds. We then control and protect them by building mental walls. The tallest barrier will never survive the relentless waves pounding a shore during a stormy high tide. When you let go of control and are open to everything, the water hits the shore and quickly recedes.
I have presented to over 10,000 people. When talking about living in the now, I always ask the audience, “Who is this room is where they expected to be five years ago?” To date three hands have risen and I still think they misunderstood the question. This is not an invitation to go to Vegas and put in all on red 21. We all need money for housing and food in the cupboards. The point is that if the 5 year plan did not work 5 years ago, why is the current 10 year plan so solid? Each moment spent on building that wall takes time away from the present one.
Here is an excerpt from A Million Steps to explain my feeling about this topic: Another of my foundations for keeping the light aglow is to live in the Now. It is impossible to eliminate the past or avoid all pleasant or unpleasant memories. However, when I visit my past now, I try to go in, learn, and get the hell out! I am not going to be anchored by some event or trauma from my past. The same goes with the future. While hopes and dreams for a bright forecast are always present, I refuse to walk the rest of my life with eyes solely focused on the horizon. I yield to the current moment.
Jami gave me a great gift by reminding me to replace what’s next with what’s now……..