No Hesitation

Please, watch this five-minute video of Candid Thovex skiing.  It is nothing short of amazing.

What struck me about this video is not simply the skill, commitment, dedication, and fearlessness that Thovex has devoted to his skiing.  What struck me is that there are many moments on the video — if not throughout its entirety — where it feels that if Thovex had hesitated for one micro-second, he might have crashed into a tree or gone flying off the mountain into a rock wall.  Mission Not-Accomplished.

I am not and have never been one to seek thrills by daredevil skiing down the mountain or by catching air on my kiteboard in ultra-cold seawater or by jumping out of an airplane.  I love to hike the trail but am not interested in rock or ice climbing.  Still, I was thinking about how this incredibly gutsy video parallels my life.

I actually can see how it does apply to my fiddle playing or my writing or my positive intending or my Thoreau-esque sauntering down the road through the forest or . . .  you get the idea.  Not exactly the stuff of thrills, spills, and chills to an observer.  But this is my life.  It matters to me how I feel as I absorb and interpret the environment that I have chosen to live in.  Without hesitation.

Hesitation.  It has its merits.  I have certainly jumped all willy-nilly into certain situations and have not emerged with what has felt to be at the time the best of outcomes.  And before I am too quick to judge a crazy outcome, I do realize that there is a bigger picture I cannot see.  An unfinished play that has not been yet written.  A dance that is still being choreographed.  An elaborate tapestry that only allows me to see the underside — the side with the knots, the threads, and the inevitable slubs — all the while knowing that there is a gorgeous pattern seen from above.  There is fate and there is destiny.  There are many metaphors, allegories, analogies, and similes that I have read and that I have tried to apply like a Band-Aid to my wounded soul when I have really mucked up.  Depending on the degree of mucking, these word pictures have provided temporary solace and have gotten me through to the next time I did not hesitate.  And knowing me, the opportunity would certainly be there.

leap of faithI have thrown caution to the proverbial wind and plunged into relationships, jobs, adventures at random.  My brother and I are still laughing about the night that we got frozen out of our March camping trip without a tent in the unexpected snow and had to seek free hospitality à la couch surfing (we were broke: hence why we were snow camping) from one of the Lower Tavern’s regulars (stranger to us), Duane.  Not exactly flying down a mountain at incredible speeds like Thovex but a leap of faith, nonetheless, that resulted in a high-speed Dukes-of-Hazzard car chase up an S-curved gravel road (we were actually the pursuers, not our host Duane).  Yes, a leap of faith and a lengthy journal entry and a re-affirmation of my knowing that angels do exist.  At the very least, I can say that we were not in Hesitation Mode.

Still, hesitation is not all that it is billed to be.  It can really mess life up.  If there are Band-Aid moments when I have not hesitated, I am thinking that there are exponentially more times when I have hesitated.  Waffled.  Procrastinated.  Buried my head in the sand.  Dinked around.  Hoped it would go away or resolve on its own.  I didn’t know what to do, so I hesitated.  At the time, I simply didn’t realize that not making a decision is still making a decision.  I am wanting to grow my awareness of this now.  To hesitate or not to hesitate is not the question.  They are exactly the same thing.

leap-of-faith1Although I am mightily aware of my propensity to jump first and think later, my perspective has changed slightly.  There is the juxtaposition of spontaneity and hesitation.  And there is the contrasting effect of believing and knowing.     We believe with our minds, but we know with our hearts.  We say what we think, but we act with our hearts.  And . . . “Sometimes your only transportation is a leap of faith.” — Margaret Shepard

I have a research-oriented mind.  And a creative heart.  Maybe this is the challenge I create for myself.  Perhaps I am so busy dissecting experiences into rational bits of mind and body and soul, I am creating moments of hesitation that would be best lived by just allowing my knowing self to have the wheel.  Put my believing into the back seat — certainly invite it along — without the benefit of a spare steering wheel.

Can there really be so many complex parts to such a simple whole — this thing called life?   Believing is important.  Knowing is important.  Really knowing. When I allow the seamless marriage of these two . . . Pilgrim, look out and hold on!  Things are going to start happening in ways that my mind could not have ever imagined on its own.

One of my favorite quotes is “Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen.  This has been a guiding quote through some challenging times in recent history.  I have this quote scattered throughout my house.  It is written on the front of my journal.  I really value this quote.  But I am adding to it today:

Always know that something wonderful is happening right now.  Right now.  

Walt Whitman wrote: “To me, every hour of the day and night is an unspeakably perfect miracle.”  There are feelings of comfort, peacefulness, appreciation, and joy in not only believing this but knowing that this true.

Miracles happen.  They do.  Every single moment.  I KNOW this to be true.  My awareness of an “unspeakably perfect miracle” erases the seam between my believing and my knowing.  Embrace the moment.  Ski the mountain.  Know the miracle.  Without hesitation.



What are you waiting for?

time-travel-clockWaiting . . . why do we call it waiting when we are always doing something else while we are doing what we call waiting? We wait at the bus stop.  At the doctor’s office.  In the conference room for a meeting to begin.  At the lacrosse field for practice to be over.  At home for dinner preparations to be completed.  At a restaurant for a predictably-late friend to show.

red child shoesWe wait for our friends, our spouses, our partners, our parents, our family.  We wait for children to tie their shoes or to pick up their toys.  We wait for our spouses to finish getting ready so we can get going.  We wait for our friends to all arrive so we can go into the theatre and find seats.

We wait while anticipating what we consider to be predictable outcomes.  The truck to get lubed.  The light to turn green.  The ferry to arrive.  Our grades to be posted at the end of the quarter.  We wait for serious things like test results. We wait for unstable relationships to resolve by themselves.  While in this labyrinth, we wait while we stay and we wait for the other person to go away.

We wait for technology to deliver. We wait for texts, emails, and attachments.  While we wait, we bury our thoughts in our phones and our computers and our iPads.  All in the name of waiting.

Sometimes we are patient; sometimes we are impatient.  Sometimes we are intense; sometimes we are dreamy.

We wait in traffic and in line, while seated and while standing. While we wait, we laugh and we cry and and we grump and we think that we are thinking about nothing.  While we wait, we make grocery lists and we think about how we should clean the bathroom before our guests arrive for dinner that night.  We go for a quick run or we shoot a few hoops.  We tidy our desks or we empty the dishwasher.  We walk the dog while waiting for the car pool to arrive.  We feed the cat while we are waiting for the last few minutes of the spin cycle to be done so we can transfer clean clothes into the dryer.

All of this productivity while we are waiting.   There is a whole lot of energy that goes into waiting.  Waiting is doing.  And being.  And thinking.  And feeling.  And living.

140Do you ever feel as if you are waiting for your life to start?  For it to begin in the way that you once saw it unfolding in your imagination?  Did you see yourself living on Maui or did you think that you would have published at least two New York Times Bestsellers by now?  Did you think that you would have lost all of that extra weight or that you would have been in good enough shape to climb Annapurna?   Did you see yourself having returned to school and then walking across that stage for your diploma?  Did you see yourself being an awesome studio musician or a brilliant politician or an inspirational speaker or . . . ?

121I am aware that life is a swirl of matter and motion and that I am in my life’s vortex.  I very much appreciate the amazing blessings that abound and that allow for me to be living my dream.  My dreams.  If waiting is living, then there is no time left to be thinking about waiting.  It is officially time to set aside the sometimes overpowering notion of waiting and just start being alive.  Am I waiting?  If so, for what?  Time is ticking and there truly is no time like the present to kick up my heels and yell Hallelujah.  No more waiting.

vintage movie cameraThere are several songs that come to mind . . . lyrics that talk about how life is not a rehearsal.  It is an impromptu performance and you are the star.  Yes, you.  As introverted or private a person you may be, you are the principal actor in this play called Life.  There are no second takes, no director calling, “Cut!” or “Action!” or “Roll ‘em!” or “Fade to black.”   It is all a brand new Right Now.  Why wait?  Let the camera roll.

The next time I find myself waiting for anything, I hope that I am reminded of these thoughts and that I will re-direct my Waiting Thoughts into Creating Good Stuff . . . and continue to always believe that something wonderful is about to happen . . . while I am Waiting. toaster oven

believe that something wonderful