This past week, I’ve been making a conscious effort to be present with the people I interact with as I go about my daily round. I’m definitely going to need to practice, because I’m just as trained to “check off the to do list” as most anyone else. But a smile, eye contact, please and thank you, that’s really all it takes. Acknowledgement of the cashier at the grocery store, or the neighbour you pass on your morning walk. Set aside the interminable list and just see and be seen for those brief interactions.
A couple of summers ago I took my first trip to Paris. I learned a lot (it was also my first solo trip anywhere outside of Canada) but what struck me most was the pace of life. Thinking back, I didn’t see one local rushing down the sidewalk with their nose stuck in their phone. They were also impeccably dressed, and we can talk about style later. But seriously, sweatpants are not suitable work wear unless you work in a gym! I digress, what I really noticed was the time they spent just being. Lingering over a beautiful lunch, enjoying a sunny afternoon in the park, or (my personal favourite) toasting the end of the school year with a bottle of bubbly at ten in the morning. I loved seeing those students, and recall them fondly. A table full of twenty-something university students, nary a distraction in sight, just laughing, talking, and toasting together.
Something wonderful happens when we cease the attachment to being distracted and too busy. I have found that space has opened up in my life so that I can pursue my passions, I’ve made new friends, I’ve tried new things, but most importantly I’ve begun the process of facing myself. Now, I think that’s really healthy, because I firmly believe that I need to have a great relationship with myself in order for all my other relationships to flourish.
And I’m only just beginning to explore living my life on my terms! Indeed, I still waffle or lose the path I’m creating, but each time I catch myself and come back sooner than the last. That’s progress, loves.
The thing is, I’ve spent too much time denying what actually calls to my heart. Maybe we all do that from time to time, just to keep ourselves from getting hurt. What I’ve come to realize though, is that denying my truth, or light, or authenticity, that hurts me more than any tumble or mistake ever has. I know like I know like I know, that no matter what happens, I will be okay, so long as I trust myself and follow my heart. I forget that sometimes… okay, more than I’d like to admit. I am learning to hold onto that faith, though, and that’s progress, too, my loves.