Driving through the desert in a convertible as the sun sets is something I highly recommend.
With my best friend at my side, as “Sky Full of Stars” by Coldplay blares through the speakers behind us, a thin layer of light gets smaller and smaller to my left while the sky transforms into a deep indigo to my right—cue the stars and it was a perfect moment.
It has been a cold, dark winter here in New York, and with light pollution washing out the night sky, I do not experience nighttime in its full beauty. The sky over Sedona, however, can be likened to Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night.” As I gazed upward toward the magnificence of my discovery, I was truly awestruck.
Our planet is so incredibly breathtaking. I felt closer to the cosmos, closer to something far greater than I could ever comprehend. In that perfect moment, as I was fully present and awestruck and amazed, I got to thinking about why I walk through life waiting.
Good Things Come to Those Who Do Not Wait
The winter is long in some parts of the world. The faint memory and enthusiasm of a New Year feels long behind us in the bone-chilling cold. We long for warmth—the kind of warmth one can take off their shoes in and walk in the grass. We crave the feeling of Mother Earth’s green life force once again.
Instead of warm, soothing drinks, we long to feel refreshed as the sun’s warmth hugs our skin. That’s the way it goes doesn’t it? We dream of a future happiness—a joy which is alive in our thoughts, sitting under the “if only” umbrella, sipping a tropical cocktail.
If only it were warmer…
If only it were the weekend…
If only I had a different job…
If only I could lose weight…
We fall prey to our own story where happiness can be achieved if only.
The Power of Now
There is not one single human being on the planet that does not experience the challenges of life. Each one of us has their own story. These challenges help us grow because it is only by experiencing what we don’t want that we step into a clear definition of what we do want.
What if we stepped into life exactly as it is—the way we look right now, with the job we currently have, and with the planet in the exact position it is in relation to sun at this very moment? What if we didn’t wait for the weather warm up to go to that yoga class? What if we celebrated our physical body now?
Why wait for spring to emerge to fill our mason jars with flowers and wear brighter colors? Why not fill them now? Wear that dress you’ve been saving for a special occasion now. Life is the special occasion you’ve been waiting for.
Tell a New Story
As you read this, there is a voice in your head that might be sprinkling doubt into each line. You know that voice that creates the if only stories? This voice narrates mantras like, “it’s easier said than done,” or “I have responsibilities and bills,” or (the one we love so much) “I’m tired.”
Whatever stories we are telling ourselves about why happiness can only be achieved in the future are the same voices that exist for our highest good.
The stories that do not serve our highest good are those that try to convince us that we are undeserving of our goals, that people who are well off, thinner, or more intelligent are more deserving than we are of having true joy. We can transform our stories, or at least we can stop believing them.
Transforming our thinking to serve our highest good is similar to when we tell our stories to like-minded people who love and understand us. We become animated. We revel in sharing the details, and our stories are glorious as we do not filter our creativity in how we express them.
We feel accepted and understood, so we allow our story to flourish as we infuse our deepest thoughts within them. That same story, if told to people who we feels do not understand us, or who we might feel will judge our experiences, becomes filtered and watered down. We make it small.
We Can Choose to Empower Our Beliefs
We do the same thing with our desires and our happiness when we speak to ourselves. We begin large and gorgeous, and then as we reveal our hearts to the part of ourselves that believes we’re undeserving, the naysayer inside of us is like that group of people we feel do not accept us.
The reality is that none of this is true. What’s the worst thing that could happen if we unblocked and unfiltered our lives? They’re all just thoughts. What if we stopped waiting and chose new ones right now? What if we chose to experience joy right now and stopped waiting for a special occasion?
Driving back through the desert in the sunlight, I saw a completely different perspective of the same landscape. As the red rocks lined my path home, my senses were awakened in a completely different way. I found myself in that convertible with my best friend. All I really did was open my eyes.
“You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.” ~Max Ehrmann, “Desiderata: A Poem for a Way of Life”