Thursday, June 18, 2015


I recently saw the movie Wild. Yes, I’ve been living under a tree, apparently. There's nothing too glamorous about a three month journey up the Pacific Crest Trail, but it certainly allowed Strayed to rediscover herself and move forward after her mother's death – that’s the physical and emotional brutality of it is. But there's something alluring about her experience, enough to inspire many others to set out on the PCT in search of the same kind of enlightenment. Sometimes we just need to be broken. We know that solitude and challenges pull something out of us, and that somehow we feel better after having gone through it. We learn something we didn't know before or end of proving to ourselves, and maybe others, that we're strong and fearless.

I want to push myself this year, try new things, take a class or two, get out of my comfort zone--yes. That's important for growth for all of us. But I don't want to fall into the trap of believing that some big experience unearths the story of my life any more than standing still and paying attention to all the small stories that exist and are waiting to be discovered right here, right now. And I don't need to wait for some hard thing or trek in solitude to be suddenly side-swept with inspiration. 

I return to one of my favorite quotes:

"No one longs for what he or she already has, and yet the accumulated insight of those wise about the spiritual life suggests that the reason so many of us cannot see the red X that marks the spot is because we are standing on it. The treasure we seek requires no lengthy expedition, no expensive equipment, no superior aptitude or special company. All we lack is the willingness to imagine that we already have everything we need. The only thing missing is our consent to be where we are." 

~Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World

There's so much richness right here for all of us, no matter how mundane our routines are or how much of our week we spend in traffic lines. Our story is not controlled by what happens to us but rather how we write it.

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