So, yesterday I put on my bright green trainers and turned right instead of left.
My change in direction was met with confusion. Both of my dogs tilted their twitching black noses as they stilled their four paws. My old dogs, who only seconds ago were bouncing like pups because the shoes I was wearing meant that they were coming where I was going – were now unsure. Because when we open our gate, we have always turned left. This direction takes us to the school. Or the town. Or the beach. But yesterday, I turned right. I turned in the wrong direction. Making my two old dogs question my decision by sniffing the stillness for a moment.
Before they bounced along after me and followed.
We walked down our street on the opposite side to our footpath. Letting ourselves feel a little lost in our otherwise familiar surroundings. My old dogs delighted in the new terrain and fresh smells. We walked slower than our usual pace. I was in no rush and happy to wait. I noticed how our little world looked oddly different when on the other side of the road.
When you turn clockwise instead of counterclockwise.
We found ourselves at the river and followed it around to the bluff. Even though the sky was grey, my 2 dogs still had their regular swim. Twice I lost my old girl. She turned for home at the swings and then again on the other side of the bridge. I lost my old boy up along the bluff. It made me stop for a moment and whistle them back. Had they forgotten that we had chosen to walk a different way? Forgotten that we were on a new adventure? It was as if they had forgotten to pay attention.
To where we were. To where we are. And to where we had the choice to be.
Think yin forward folds, standing backbends and seated abdominal twists.
It’s easy to put ourselves on auto-pilot and unconsciously follow the same path we have walked along for as long as we can remember. Living life with the same direction and at a steady pace with a seemingly supportive back-up plan. In doing so, we get used to journeying through occasions with a comfortable familiarity. Making us believe that we are safe and that we are in control. Where we develop 5 year plans and then build on what we have while we plan on building some more. But by believing in a linear trajectory and following the same old path, we can forget how it is to be truly present for what is. How beautiful our path has become.
And for the potential of what can be.
Our surrounding outer landscape continually calls to us. Relentlessly trying to touch our hearts. Continually trying to feed our soul. This outer landscape is where we live out our stories and we respond to the events in our lives. This landscape is there whether you live away along the coast, up across the mountains or down in the city streets. The birds singing at sunrise to wake you. The sky painting itself a golden sunset to rest you. With the time in between unfolding itself to you. Holding periods of silence and space to create moments where you can experience deeper wisdom. Deeper truths. Deeper lives.
And that in each journey we take, we have the opportunity to open our hearts to the Heart of all creation.
A simple walk can be done so with purpose. Exploring and reflecting the various landscapes of our lives. It is in the new and in the real that we may find hidden spaces and open places. By turning right occasionally instead of turning left. Where you can make a conscious choice in your direction. Where you can admit your fears and vulnerabilities.
Where you can be brave enough to feel your feelings.
Yesterday we took a different path. It felt strange to be lost in a place I know so well. But it felt good to choose the direction rather than follow the habitual path. To see each step as a valuable lesson to take me where I am going.
To see where the sky carries itself with all it’s colours to the other side of the world.