This morning I woke up and decided to go for a walk and take in the beautiful sunshine as well as get some exercise. I’m spending a few days in Toronto, in the annex, and thought id go do some exploring. It was not an area I spent so much time in back when I lived in the city for University.
My intention was to walk to Queen’s Park to be in a green space.
Well instead of taking the linear route of Bloor street, I was guided from within. I just listened to my intuition to see which street was calling me. I had no fear of getting lost so I allowed myself to wander and be curious.
Now here I was, enjoying the beauty of the U of T campus, amidst everything in bloom. The green trees and flowers all coming to life proved that spring is in full swing down south.
I was no longer thinking of the park and became fascinated with the cobbstletone pathways, breath taking architecture, secret passage ways, silent courtyards (where I felt such history and powerful meditative energy), and of course the majestic castles. I was in wonderment every step I took, excited to see what came next. I left the hustle and bustle of city life and went back in time.
… I eventually arrived at Queens Park.
Now for the teaching that I received so clearly during this morning jaunt. It’s great to have goals in life (in this case: mission queens park), but let’s not get so focused on those goals that we miss everything that happens in between or don’t allow ourselves to wander from our original plan. When I decided not to take the most direct and quickest path, (and the one I knew best) I allowed space for intuition, adventure and curiosity. My body didn’t feel inspired to walk down those busy streets and guided me through a more natural, quiet path where I was struck by beauty (which is a really great way to get present to what is). If I were so focused on my goal, I would have never enjoyed everything that I experienced around me on the university campus.
And to be honest once I got to queens park, I didn’t feel as close to nature as I thought (or as I did just before).
Again another lesson… Sometimes we get so focused on our goal and have such an expectation for the outcome that we get brutally disappointed if it’s not what we imagined (on top of missing everything happening in life during those days/months/years of single tunnel vision).
And yet again, another lesson came to me. I was feeling so inspired from my walk, the teachings and really wanting to be creative and write about it. But no! I’m on a power walk, for exercise, I can’t sit on a park bench and write! Oh yes I can, and I did. Many of us think we’re not artistic or creative, but at the same time, do we ever take time or create space to do that? Morning, for me is such a time of creativity, especially when sitting in a park and listening to the birds, watching people cycling by, feeling the sun on my face. So I sat, and let the words come to me.
OK! So no joke I was about to write a final concluding sentence when this happens…and I’m not lying. So sitting on a park bench, writing in my notes on IPhone and a monk, dressed in a grey robe, walks up to me. He passes me a lovely card, places a beautiful red beaded bracelet on my wrist, shakes my hand and gives me a blessing. He then shows me a picture of a temple or monastery in Kathmandu and passes me a book where I can write my name and the value of my donation. Luckily I grabbed some change with the intention of buying a juice on the way home. He spoke no English, only smiled and brought his hands in prayer pose to his heart center, and that was enough. He shook my hand once more and was on his way.
Now, if I didn’t take time to pause and write, I would have never received this beautiful gift of his presence (or bracelet made with consciousness, love and kindness). The card said “work smoothly, lifetime peace” which was a beautiful reminder for me again, to be present. There is no need to work so hard, such long hours every day so that one day we can enjoy retirement and be happy and “stress free”. Instead, I choose to work smoothly and reap the benefits of a lifetime of peace:)
Life is so brilliantly arranged! I got so much more out of this “power walk” then I could have imagined. It became more of an emPOWERment walk. (Love it!) It was another great reminder that we are so much more than our physical body. Yes, it’s important to take care of our temple, but let’s also nourish mind (by taking time to feel the stillness and beauty that surrounds us) and spirit (taking time to feel connected to ourself, those around us and Source!)
Today’s practice: go out for a walk, let the universe guide you, and see what happens!