We've all heard the clichés -- life is fleeting. Time flies. As I write this, the year is already two-thirds over and it feels like it just started. Some years are like that, and 2012 is one.
That doesn't do you a lot of good if you don't have a guidance system for navigating life when it's moving at warp speed (and I realize to many of you, it's only moving at warp speed!). You can plan and goal-set and task-list all day long but you know what they say about the best-laid plans, right? Yeah, they change. Or you change. Or the universe takes matters into its own hands and course-corrects you, like it or not.
Which is why I've been pondering this post from Vicky White for a while. Given a forced choice between the two, I think I'd rather have a compass on my journey than a detailed, specific set of directions.
I didn't come to that decision lightly. I've often wished for a higher power to "come down" and literally tell me what to do next. (Now is one of those times, let me assure you!) Although angels or beings haven't visually manifested and spoke to me (well, not yet anyway) I have discovered, during times when I need and want specifics, many effective processes to get them -- journaling, self-inquiry, and meditation among the top choices. So in a sense, the detailed specific directions for where to turn next do indeed appear at any moment I'm truly lost, provided I ask for them.
The reason I'd rather have the compass than step-by-step directions is I want my journey to be fluid and flexible rather than rigid and pre-determined. I want to be able to imagineer my life, and to do so requires a non-linear path, the kind of path that involves twists, turns, changes of mind and direction, and most of all, leaps. I've learned it's essential in this mode of travel to have a means of finding your true north again when the road you thought you'd take is under construction, or when the day-to-day has driven you straight off the detour or into a ditch.
On her post Vicky asked and answered the five questions below. I think they're not only worth a broader share, but a public answer as well because they're not just going to get you clear on where you want to go -- they're going to inspire you to keep going.
Life is, after all, not about the destination, but about the journey (or so I happen to believe). We need the idea and excitement of the destination so we'll be motivated to take the trip necessary to reach it. But in the end, we realize it's not where we arrive, but who we serve and become along the way that matters most.
Here are the five questions, and here are my answers:
1) Imagine this is the end of your life... What would you like to have said to the world?
- If you realized who you really are and lived from that truth, you'd have everything you could ever dream of.
- You are the architect of your own life. Build something beautiful. Build something useful. Build it to last.
- There is no "us" and "them." All separations are artificial. There is only "we." What an incredible world it would be if we all remembered that, all the time.
- You have two choices: You can be a victim, or an owner. It's much more responsibility, but infinitely more rewarding, to be an owner.
- The problem with love isn't one of quantity or quality. It's that our experience of love is so limited and subjective. We don't understand what love really is.
- It's all love.
2) What does the world need?
- More now, less past and future
- More heart, less mind
- More play, less work
- For more people to realize they are spiritual beings having a human experience rather than physical beings having a spiritual experience
- Awareness, awareness, awareness
3) What are your greatest fears?
- Dying with regrets that I didn't live, that I didn't love, and that I didn't take chances when I could have
- Leaving a life "unfinished"
- Not living my passions
- Taking big risks
- Not taking big risks
4) What do you want more of?
- Laughter, kisses from fat and sweet-smelling babies, sunny days, quiet sunrises, red sunsets, swims in the ocean, whales and dolphins, sex, romance, red wine, travel, exploration, adventure, skiing, new hiking terrain, delightful surprises, treasured memories, meaningful connections with others, blog readers, awakened conscious community, healed hearts, peace and cooperation.
5) What inspires you?
- Travel to new cultures and countries
- People who achieve their dreams without resources but with great faith
- Success in spite of previous failure
- Anyone living in alignment with their passions/purpose
Do you see? The journey IS the destination.
I hope these questions inspire you -- to make your journey rather than shy away from it, to re-orient when you get lost, and most of all to stay the course when the going gets tough. When you ask and answer these five questions for yourself you give yourself the greatest gift: your north star. See its brilliance? Allow it to guide you. Navigate well.
Write them out, print them out, hang them where you can see them daily, and if you feel so inclined, please share your answers below.
For more by Karen Talavera, click here.
For more on wisdom, click here.