I slow my breath, catch myself mid-thought, stepping off the train that runs on predefined tracks and only goes in circles. I am continually surprised at how easily I am taken, how quickly I jump on a train of thought and ride, acting as if I am the conductor when I am really just carried along, a passenger on board, deluded by a feeling of control. Age has its rewards. I see my life differently now. I am less invested in the ride, less concerned about keeping on track. I am not so easily seduced by the feeling of progress because I am increasingly aware of how it all goes in circles.
This gives me a certain detachment and, with it, a kind of freedom. I still catch myself on the ride. But I notice, more and more often, that I am no longer trying to run the show, no longer driven toward some vague destination hidden in the twilight zone of my mind, no longer frustrated when the goal recedes as I approach. Now, I am more apt to enjoy the landscape, more inclined to find pleasure in way stations, more likely to stretch out the layovers, more willing to go sightseeing, more curious to meet the people that inhabit a place, more spontaneous in accepting an invitation or pursuing an interest in the moment. In other words, I'm taking my life off track!
To survive in the world, we must find the means to support our lives. For most of us, that translates into working hard to make money in order to have a life; unfortunately, that life is often devoured by the pursuit to get it.
How often do you run on autopilot? What keeps you tethered to the "rat race?" What life waits for you on the sidelines?
When fear pops up over my unconventional life, I can remind myself that I have a lifetime pass and it only expires when I do. I can get on board at any time. I only recently realized that I have a passport, visas for every land, and that I can come and go as I please. I still feel a certain secret anxiety when I step off, a sense that I must steal away, keep my intention hidden, and sneak off without being seen. I harbor a desire to go disguised, so that no one will know it is me breaking the rules and claiming a right to live my life rather than forever traveling toward it, which is how the commercial world would have us, caught up in the race: perpetually unsatisfied, mortgaging our lives for a distant dream that actually isn’t even our own.
Adapted from Daily Intent for Wednesday, February 8, 2017. Click the Daily Intent tag below to read more of these entries.
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