Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Comfort in Diverse Experiences

I wanted to expand a little on what I wrote yesterday. When I actually selected the topic yesterday, I had a specific discussion in mind. It shifted on me mid stream so I followed that track. Today, I want to look at what I originally intended to write about.

I wrote about the fact that within the next week I would move from hiking in the mountains near Seattle to having Thanksgiving in New York City and then move on to a couple of weeks in the middle east. Three completely different worlds in less than a week. Three completely different worlds, and yet, I feel 100% at home in each of them. Each one gives me different gifts and feeds me in a unique way. All are important to me.

I wanted to talk a little bit about what allows a person to be at home in such different circumstances. I touched on one of the main points yesterday, which is having a core self - very stable and solid as a base from which to move through life.

I think there is also a piece of it that has to do with appreciating each experience for what is has to offer... and not what it is lacking. For example, for the most part, I really enjoy a quiet, peaceful environment. When I hike in the woods, it feeds the depths of my soul that loves silence and stillness. Being in New York City obviously does not provide a lot of quiet! In fact, it provides a sometimes overwhelming symphony of constant sound. When I'm in the woods, I revel in the quiet and the peaceful nature of my surroundings. When I'm in New York City, I focus on the diversity of sights and sounds around me. I love to see how many different languages I can hear just walking down a single street. I study the people on their cell phones or engaged in various conversations with their companions as they move along the crowded sidewalks. There, I revel in humanity!

When I'm in the woods alone, I enjoy the fact that no one is talking to me, except for the occaisional greeting in passing. I enjoy my solitude. In New York City, I stand in awe of the fact that I can be in solitude in the midst of a huge group of people. I'm not really speaking to anyone there as I move along the street, but I can enjoy a completely different version of solitude than I get in the woods. When I'm in the middle east, because I am the foreigner... the novelty... everyone wants to speak with me, wherever I go. I enjoy the feeling of connection and oneness.

The key, I believe, is in being able to focus in any given situation, on what's there to experience, enjoy and learn from and learn to roll with what's not there. I don't get upset about the noise in the city. I don't focus on it bugging me. I try to enjoy it as part and parcel of the New York City experience. When in the woods, I don't feel lonely. I revel in the chance for quiet and alone time. When in the middle east, surrounded by people who want to visit with me, I enjoy that feeling of community and connection... and I don't dwell so much on my lack of privacy or alone time.

Learning to focus on what's available to enjoy... and letting the rest go, is a great recipe for adjusting to new circumstances quickly and seamlessly.

Whether something is good... or not-so-good... it will always pass. Why not enjoy each and every opportunity that comes along! It's ALL... LIFE!

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