As we were walking down the winding path of the hiking trail I found myself captivated on the ground. Focused on not tripping over long tree roots, raised sand, or stepping off the trail and risking all of the “bad things”. Including ticks, poison oak, and others. 15 minutes in I realized that I never looked up at the view in front of me. How was I supposed to keep moving forward, stay on my feet, and enjoy the present view I had?
In The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho wrote that “the secret to happiness is to see the marvels of the world, and never forget the drops of oil on the spoon”. I was focused on the oil. But both the marvels and oils are apart of the present moment which I should be rooted in. So I looked up every once in a while and sometimes I even stopped walking completely. A short pause to take in the wonderous views while my feet were rooted in the roots of the trees I was trying to avoid.
Sometimes things aren’t obstacles but reminders or as Coelho would call them omens telling you what to do and affirming you in your present moment. In her speech CEO and founder of Global Citizen Year Abby Faliks presentations to the 2020 fellows, it was very reminiscent of the Alchemist. One quote that reminded me particularly if Coehlo’s work was on a slide and was said by Parker Palmer… “Before I can tell my life what I want to with it, I must listen to my life telling me who I am”. Coehlo would suggest through omens and I would add in intuition too.
That is one of my main goals in my global citizen year. As I prepare to leave for Brazil this Saturday I carry the lesson of this hike with me. And the desire to practice more mindfulness. Defined as A moment by moment awareness of thoughts, emotions, sensations, and surrounding emotions. And I hope to learn many more once I am in country. I also hope to trust my intuition and continue to grow it as a muscle. So that way decision making and everything in life come to me with ease. A life where I can be still and know that there my oil drops and tree roots are always there to ground me.
When I told some people I was taking a bridge year they were shocked. To them, it seems like I was stepping off of the trail into the “bad things”. But I never got off of the trail, I just became more mindful in my present and how I was getting to my destination. More cognizant and aware that this is apart of me pursuing my personal legend.