I love to travel. While I love my home, with all it’s beauty, comforts, routines and fulfilling relationships, I love to go away and leave all of that behind to experience something brand new.
I even love airports. Groan, right? Who loves airports?! Me. I love the richness of that transition time – the eager anticipation of where I’m going or, if I’m returning home, the time to process my experience and prepare for re-entry. I love the focus I feel in an airport. All I have to do is show up in the right place at the right time. The rest is out of my control. And, more often than not, I surrender any sense of being able to control those things that are outside my influence.
Man, wouldn’t it be nice if I could live my whole life with that kind of focus and acceptance.
Then I arrive at my destination and everything feels…FRESH. Whether I’m returning to a place I know or traveling somewhere new, the environment of the place is so different from my desert home that it pulls my attention to it. The people I meet are fresh faces to me, too – again whether they are family, long-time friends, or brand new to me, they are not a part of my day-to-day homescape. I invest myself in connecting and find delight in it.
The novelty of everything around me calls me into the present moment. I experience my presence as being LIT UP inside. I love it. And I want more.
My work with horses and people often elicits the same experience from me. A bigger part of my job, however, is all the work that goes into having my own business: Marketing, accounting, organizing, more marketing, planning, scheduling, facility management, etc. Much of that work is stressful to me and while I use meditation to help me cope, my meditation practice does not lead me to the lightness of being that I experience while I’m with clients, horses, or while traveling. I’m curious about this contrast. Why the difference in my experience of my own presence?
When my mind starts spinning, I meditate to calm down and reconnect with myself. Sometimes I sit in a chair outside with my horses, sometimes I lay down on the floor, sometimes I go for a mindful walk around the neighborhood. If I’m calm I’ll work with my horse. As I reflect on these different meditations and mindful practices, I recall two completely different outcomes. One outcome is that I move from a place of very anxious to less anxious. The other is that I move from a place of calmness (but perhaps a bit awash or lacking focus) to a place of total joy, inspiration and focus. The most powerful shifts of all come out of my experiences horses or wildlife. Interesting…the difference in outcome comes from a difference in the sensory and perceptual experience I receive – if the novelty of the experience ignites my curiosity and creativity, I get lit.
I can completely see why I love traveling and how my peak traveling experiences are related to my peak experiences with horses, in my daily life and in my work. Novel sensory experiences call me into curiosity and creativity. This is a powerful new awareness for me to bring to my daily life and the humdrum aspects of running my business. When my light is dim, all I have to do is follow my curiosity. My curiosity inevitably leads me to experience something new and wonder-ful. That’s the hypothesis, anyway.
Next will be the experiment—to see how following curiosity and creative impulses changes my experience of my own presence, particularly with the work-a-day tasks that typically stress me out. I have no idea how this is going to look but I’m willing to give it a go!
Won’t you join me?
“Wonder is one of the wildest elements and qualities on the massive scale of human experience. Just a pinch of it stops time. The world halts. The eyes fill. You become, for a small time, everything you truly are.” –Victoria Erickson