Yesterday, I was in a Persian grocery market in town where one can enjoy amazing prices on semi-local produce. My mother was with
me after spending the day reading books and enjoying the sea breeze, while I worked to meet a writing deadline. Mom is now 73-years-old (she looks like she’s going on 63 rather than 73, but that’s besides the point…or maybe it’s not “besides the point.” I NEED her to be 63 because I want her to be around for many, many more years. The thought of losing her one day scares the living daylights out of me).
Mom and I walked down the aisle that I knew would lead us to the cilantro. I glanced at my mom for a moment and was filled with the overwhelming conviction to be there fully with her – to not worry about where we need to rush to next, how we will get there on time, or if we were doing the “right” thing at the “right” time.
Mom was looking at a pile of apples to her right. There was a glimmer of happiness in her eyes – a twinkle. She held her purse in her left hand and as usual was dressed elegantly – with purpose. I made a point to look around at the various shoppers, racing around to get done with their shopping tasks and on to the next event.
“Where the heck are we all racing to?” I asked myself. It became apparent to me in that instant that the race is imaginary. We work and work and go and go and do and do. In the process we end up panting like dogs – tears streaming down our faces, as we think we could be doing better. We fret because we may not get to that place, that destination. What destination? Where? How?
I am realizing more and more that “the destination” is an illusion. Instead, if I dare to focus on the “here,” I will get “there” without the struggle – without the panting – without the stomach ulcers – without failed relationships…
Mom and I roamed around the market smiling, savoring the moment. She didn’t know that I’d made the decision to embrace each second of our experience together. She had no idea that I had recently found myself worrying about losing her and fear of change. By choosing to open my arms wide and thank the cosmos for the perfect moment, I was free. Free to enjoy the smallest details in life.
When we got back to my home, I decided not to touch my computer, my cell phone and other annoying electronic devices. I then put on the movie Chocolat and sat next to mom. Throughout our movie experience, we laughed, teared up and were amazed at the rich story line. While the credits rolled at the movie’s end, I put my head on Mom’s shoulder and asked her to give me head tickles as she did when I was a kid. My mom is still here. She still is my longest-standing best friend, and she always will be.
Where are we racing to? Where are we going? What are we doing to ourselves?
Before leaving the grocery store, my mom had accidentally stepped in front of a woman in a hurry. Mom apologized in the most sincere of ways, but the woman didn’t say a word. She frowned and pushed her way toward the checkout stand.
I’m not sure why the woman was so unhappy. It probably didn’t have anything to do with my mom or that moment – but I pray that today she realizes her race in life is an illusion. She can make her moments more enjoyable by telling “the race” to take a hike and insert herself into “now.” It’s about her son who trailed behind her, picking up various pieces of fruit and looking at them in amazement – with obvious imagination. She didn’t seem to even acknowledge his existence — just kept frowning and racing forward.
Where are you racing to? What are your intentions? What can you do to better harness the moment?
Did you know that we can paint our days in any way we wish?
You can use any colors you choose…and you can modify those colors at any moment in time. Don’t buy into the illusion that you have to race – that there is a destination to get to – that you have to be this way or that – that your kids have to be this way or that. Untangle your being from the complex “shoulds” and “what ifs”… and then open it to the simple, yet oh so amazing “here and now.”
– Jen Engevik
Project BE Bold