Yesterday a quote from one of my favorite movies kept going through my mind. The movie is “Under The Tuscan Sun” from the book by Frances Mayes, and this is the quote…
“Signora, between Austria and Italy, there is a section of the Alps called the Semmering. It is an impossibly steep, very high part of the mountains. They built a train track over these Alps to connect Vienna and Venice. They built these tracks even before there was a train in existence that could make the trip. They built it because they knew some day, the train would come.”
The reason that it seemed so relevant to me is that so often you hear said about mindfulness, and I have said it myself, that we need to be in this moment, not in the past, not in the future, but now. That leaves people wondering if they are going to live mindfully how in the world are they ever going to plan for the future? It is coming after all. Well, you do just what they did when building the train tracks over the Semmering, you take care of now knowing that if you do you will also be taking care of your future, more, being fully present right now, doing everything you possibly can in this moment to live fully and expansively, allowing your hopes and dreams to be filled with all of the colors of everything in your life around you, celebrating it all, you are paving the way for miracles. Take care of the present and the future will take care of itself.
I also thought of the Yellow Brick Road in The Wizard of Oz. While we didn’t see them in the movie somebody built that yellow brick road. They knew that it would one day end up in Oz but they could only build it brick by brick, right where they were in that moment. No matter what our destination we can only go step by step. Imagine how much shorter it would have felt building that road if it was done joyfully, feeling the wonderful weight of the beautiful bricks in the hand, the color of the sun. The satisfaction that every brick laid was taking them a little further along. That is the way to approach life. If they were always thinking, “Oh God, we’ve got SO far to go, this is going to take forever!” they would have had a very hard and negative experience of what creating that road, one of the most beautiful things in the whole movie, was all about.
So, too, our lives.
I am working very hard at creating a business. I hope and have faith that someday it will be very successful, but I can’t think about that now. Now I am revelling in the joy and the excitement of writing the material, each day there are revelations and discoveries. And some days I am very tired or having a hard time, and on those days I let the work go, I release it, and I just relax into doing whatever I need to do to take care of myself. In the end the hard times pass quickly — far more quickly if I have stopped everything else to rest and nurture myself — but, too, the work that I would do if I pushed myself on these days wouldn’t have been very good or reached the level that I usually do when I am coming from a good place, having had restorative time and benefiting from the compassion and loving-kindness I was able to show myself. Like last night when I just wrote a brief post saying I showed up, I’m here, I care, but I really just can’t do this today. Once I said that and got off the computer it was as if the weight of the world had been lifted off of my shoulders, I slipped into a lovely, peaceful place, and got up today ready to dive right in.
It took most of my 6 decades to realize that it was okay to take care of myself, and further that it was essential. Taking care of yourself is being mindful, it is living fully in the present and taking care of what needs to be taken care of.
And so I am building the train tracks. The train that will one day be whizzing along these tracks with joyful abandon has not been built yet, but I know that the more joyful abandon I have right now, in each moment as I write, the more that will show up one day. And I am truly loving what I am doing so much right this very moment that tomorrow doesn’t exist, and neither does the past. I’m just laying the tracks, and it is good. It is enough.
Enough is good enough.