The Long Journey to Now

Diana Ensign

Diana Ensign

By Diana J. Ensign

Our lives are made up of numerous moments—most of which pass by in a blur.

We give shape and meaning to those moments by the stories we tell.  A collection of life’s fleeting moments get stored in our mental time capsules with titles such as, “When I moved to Indiana,” “When I graduated high school,” “When I got married,” “When I lost my job,” or “When my father died.”  We define our lives by pivotal events—how we handled them or failed to handle them, what we did before or after significant life transitions, and the lessons we carry forward.  Over time, these moments become the legends and myths we pass along to our children, share with our family and friends, and reminisce about during weddings and funerals.

I love stories.  My writer’s antenna is constantly tuned toward stories that make a positive difference in the world.  I love listening to them, and I love giving voice to them in a book or article. I love knowing people who have taken their life stories and drastically re-written them in order to be a catalyst for change.

“We define our lives by pivotal events—how we handled them or failed to handle them, what we did before or after significant life transitions, and the lessons we carry forward.”

At some point along our journey, we may arrive at an unfamiliar juncture in the unfolding of our life story. It’s that place—often discovered late in life or after a crisis—where we’re no longer running from grief and sorrow and no longer racing toward happiness and success.  This less traveled path is not highly regarded by our culture, because it doesn’t require outside validation or the purchase of goods and services.  It’s found in the here and now. For me, it’s a place of contentment.

Being in the present moment is simple; and yet, extremely difficult for most of us to do. Ancient Masters have written volumes over the eons on how to ‘be’ in the now.

Here’s how I try to make sure this moment doesn’t slip past unnoticed:

I take a deep breath…

I look around…

I feel the wind on my arm or the sun on my face…

I observe a white butterfly flittering near a yellow flower or note the reddish tinge suddenly appearing on the leaves…

And I say, “Thank you for this day”…

No past. No future. Just blue sky, wisps of white clouds, majestic trees, an ever-changing Midwest landscape, and an unseen mystery that defies all that we think we know.

Pause… Breathe… Listen…

The journey is now.

 

Author Bio

Diana J. Ensign, JD, is an Indiana writer and author of ‘Traveling Spirit: Daily Tools for Your Life’s Journey” (available on Amazon).  She blogs on Spirituality for Daily Living at http://www.dianaensign.com/.  Diana is one of the panel speakers at the Spirit & Place event, From Addiction and Loss to Wholeness, Saturday, November 8, 1:30-3:00 PM. Fairbanks Recovery Center, Rm. 128. Presented by Fairbanks, Indiana Addictions Issues Coalition, and The 24 Group. For event info: 317-572-9469 or kgill@fairbankscd.org.

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