Sunday, October 29, 2017

Everyday Explorers

Let it Crack.
     A discount airline with a squirrel on the wing returned me from California last week. During the slow taxiing to the gate, I contemplated arrival on a cold Minnesota night. Everything felt so extreme. A week in the Los Angeles area with temperatures reaching over 100°F, emphasized that feeling. From one extreme to another, and that was just the weather.

A satisfying dose of summer travel has helped me shake up some familiar habit patterns. New scenes are so effective in getting my full attention. Encounters with traffic jams and waterfalls were able to show me where I tighten up, and where I feel most free. Friends and family reflected back where I've grown and where I still need to do some planting. Some emotional uprooting helped clear new paths of understanding with loved ones. Oh yeah, and a sprinkling of misunderstandings just to round it all off.

Passing Moments.
When in travel mode, surroundings are often perceived as extraordinary. Food seems extra flavorful, color palettes stand out even more, and everyone seems abnormally interesting. Monotony doesn't really exist in traveler's mind. Unless of course you stay long enough, which I usually do. With exposure, everything starts to crack a little. And luckily, as Leonard Cohen pointed out, 'that's where the light gets in.'

Noticing what I bring to a situation, whether or not I unpack my attachments and conditioning, is always eye opening. What outdated notions did I bring along? Is there a compost bin where I can toss these worn out ideas or behaviors? Staying current with ourselves and each other is as valuable as getting up to date.

Thankfully, conscious breathing is the ultimate portable travel tool. Mentally, emotionally, and anatomically, we are continually in the process of inflating or deflating ourselves. We see our response to the moment when resisting an inhale, holding onto an exhale, or being at ease. In any moment, is your body breathing with acceptance or resistance? It takes frequent trips inside of ourselves (surfing our own everyday extremes), to go where many have never been. For everyday explorers, continually arriving and taking off is found in the vast terrain of the present moment.