“365 Days of Mindfulness” [Day32] The Truth About The Destination And The Journey…

It was Ralph Waldo Emerson who first said it, “Life is a journey, not a destination.” This quote has somehow gotten turned around by most people to a variation of “It’s not about the destination, but the journey.” It has been adopted by different spiritual teachers and given great weight so that if you for one single solitary second worry about the destination and don’t just have a singular focus on the now you are doing it wrong.”

Man am I ever doomed.

Mind, I know that it’s true and when I seriously practice mindfulness, which, I must admit, I do rather strenuously a great many days as if trying to pin myself to the present moment like a butterfly to a board, I can almost get there, some unbelievably few golden moments I actually make it, but I backslide. It would be easier if I knew that the destination would end up turning out alright, then I could go willy nilly shimmying joyfully in the present moment. It’s what I want to do, what I long to do, if I could just get a little assurance about the outcome.

I’m trying, I really am, every single day I try, but I am bi polar, I have a serious anxiety disorder, PTSD, and I am agoraphobic. It puts a crimp in things. I also worry a terrible lot about this Law of Attraction business. I watched The Secret, I read the book, I listened to the cd’s so often they groaned when I went to put them in the cd player, I read all the books from all the other people mentioned, but, well, it’s just like the destination and the journey. I get scared, and you are absolutely NOT supposed to get scared or worry about anything if you are working the LOA. It’s bad juju. Is there a set of rules for these things for bi polar people for whom the best of days is full of challenges? If there is will someone please use the contact form on this website and send me the info. pronto?

I know this all seems rather tongue in cheek but you’ve no idea how much I worry about it. I’m not saying there isn’t something to it, I’m just saying that positive affirmations, and God Bless ’em, don’t seem to work so well when you worry a lot.

Deep breath.

I am coming back to the present moment. I like it here. Right now I am sitting on my couch with 4 wee pugs snuggled in around me. They are snoring their soft puggery snores and I feel very cozy and happy and I am not worrying about anything. In this very moment I fully get what Emerson meant and I believe it. I always believe it, it’s the doing it that doesn’t always go smoothly. I want to stay with it, I really do, I have prayed about it. I have spent hours in meditation, I have felt it in the garden watching a butterfly hovering at a bright red zinnia and I was awestruck, it was a time out of time moment.

Mindfulness works best for me when I am immersed in gardening. There are cycles and seasons in the garden that follow one after the other, year in, year out, and they can be counted on. I like that. I can move through the seasons in the garden knowing what to expect, give or take weather conditions, and there is a tremendous peace in that for me. But when I worry about how I am going to support myself past the next year or so, when I work so hard there is no way I can work any harder and a class that I’ve prepared for doesn’t go, and I have to plan the next step and the next, when I am not able to work outside the home and must get something going successfully and soon, well, I really have a hard time being mindful about it. God knows I try. I am writing daily posts for a year hoping that something will click into place. I had no idea that that was why I started this project, or why I have kept up with it day in and day out no matter what when I have struggled to keep up with anything this past year which has been one of the hardest I’ve lived through in a long time, but I have realized that I am writing for my life. Like practicing scales if I just keep writing about it, from every single angle I can think of, and be honest even when it’s scary, then maybe the answer will come.

Gracious me, it just hit me! This project is a journey, not a destination. I didn’t start with any destination in mind, just write every single day about living mindfully in some form or fashion for 365 days. I truly believed, and still do, that at the end of this year of posting about mindfulness I will have learned something very, very important.

I have to pause for a moment to let this sink in…

I’m still worried about the destination but these posts have given me something to hold onto. That must be why I am keeping up with them. It’s like stringing beads one bead at a time, one post each day, and there is a beginning and an end that I know. Day 1 to Day 365, and I truly have faith that this journey is important, that it is taking me somewhere, but honestly I am not even worrying about where. I know, somewhere inside of me, that it will take care of itself.

Can life be like that? If I just keep doing my work, day after day, just like I am these posts, will everything turn out alright? Well, I guess the thing is it is going to turn out however it is going to turn out, and the only way I can influence that outcome is to work as hard as I can and live as well as I’m able every single day, in each and every moment.

That’s it. That’s IT. I will worry about the destination, that’s just human, but along with that I just have to keep working every single day to take care of myself and do the best work that I can. What else is there? I will stray, but in the meantime I will keep stringing beads. I will write these posts and I will do my other work. I will hope and I will pray and I will use affirmations and I will try to have enough belief in myself that the good energy will build steam and keep me going through the hard times. When I have difficult bi polary days I will be gentle with myself — those are the days I get positively terrified about my future and though it seems ridiculous to those who can’t understand what it is like to live with a basket full of mental health issues jangling around, on those days the fear builds to such a fever pitch I feel as though I am going to go down with the Titanic and I’ll be one of the ones that didn’t make it on a lifeboat. You think I’m being dramatic. I promise you, I’m not. A high IQ and a brain whose two sides are out of kilter can be a terrifying thing to live with. But I will manage, I always do.

So these posts will be my teacher. I think I am actually learning a little bit about the destination and the journey. I think that will do. I’d dearly love to believe that I could get The Law of Attraction to work for me, but right now we’re just trying to get my meds balanced so I can keep teetering along through my days pretty much okay. And that’s working. And I am so grateful. Onwards and Upwards, as they say. At the very least I know I will be here tomorrow, and for the time being that’s destination enough for me.

 

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Comments

  1. Another totally relatable post and so well written… I too worry about the law of attraction, and because I am prone to anxiety and worry, I fear I am just attracting more! But you are so right that the answer lies in mindfulness and staying in the present moment. Thanks to you I have been practicing this right along with you every day. I am getting better at it… Thanks so much, Maitri!
    Wishing you and your loved ones and animals a blessed Thanksgiving!

  2. I can relate to this too Maitri. I too watched “The Secret” and I practice living in the present, and I even write poems and motivational content on my website about it. So, yes, I do believe that stuff is important and DOES work. However, sometimes…the LOA pisses me off because it tries to hard. LOL Hoping that will make you smile :). But seriously, I don’t think the LOA is meant to be taken so literally that we can’t be realistic. Those people on the video? You can’t tell me they are super human robots who practice this every second of every day. And as far as Laws go…the rules are made to be broken , right? Peeshaw to the rules during those times when we need to throw the handbook on these laws out the window to just allow ourselves to BE. Mindfulness that you are blogging about here….isn’t it about BEING? I started to write a whole blog post on this once on a day where the truth was that the present moment sucked that day. And..that is the reality of life. I mean what does one do when the present moment is sucky? (like if someone is ill, dying, or if there are REAL money issues, or whatever else?). I think part of mindfulness is just BEING..which mean ALLOWING ourselves to be in whatever state we are currently in. Don’t try to fight it. Sit with those feelings. Sit with them and acknowledge them. I think there is some relief in that. That we can give up trying for a moment to just BE.

    You know, I was using the LOA to get my first home. I had a home come to me in a vision and was told to act on it that very day as I was shown in a dream that another party was going to bid on the home I had been waiting on. I felt sure this home was mine. Believed it in my soul. Put all of my energy into claiming that home and seeing myself in it. Decorating it in my mind. I did not get the home. Another party did indeed beat me to it. Then, I went through 2 full years of always being second in line and never getting a home. And THEN..this Summer…my dream home was mine. It was more (way more) than I ever imagined. It was as if it was created just for me. And here that whole time I was down in the dumps over losing homes for 2 years and wondering why the LOA did not work for me on the first home I thought for sure was mine. It wasn’t until I got the cottage I have now…the cottage that came with a mini orchard and gardens and flowers galore already built right in, that I realized why I did not get that home 2 years ago that I focused SO hard on manifesting. So, the LOA does work, but that does not mean we get everything we get when we want it. At one point I had lost hope and thought my fiance and I would never find a home. Everyone told me when we lost the first one that I would get one even better and I would some day not give a hoot about the one I lost. I did not believe them, because the other home was so great and such a bargain (an estate sale where they put it way cheaper than its market value to get rid of it) that I thought I would have to settle for less.

    Suffice it to say, they were right. I am writing a book here and telling you this story to give you hope. Somehow, everything will work out as it is supposed to , when it is supposed to. I know exactly how you feel, because I was an anxiety ridden, depressed mess thinking I would never get the right home and wondering when our future would be able to start (as we wanted a home to move forward with creating a life together). And you are absolutely right. When we are caught in this cycle of worry (and trust me..I do it too!) it can be so hard to believe those affirmations LOA, or any other such thing.

    Happy Thanksgiving. Just BE. AHHH, sometimes that is better than trying so hard. 🙂

  3. Such a remarkable post, Mairi, thank you. What you’re writing about it is so similar to what I feel sometimes in the midst of anxiety and worry and overwhelm — it is so hard to step into mindfulness or BEing, but sometimes just being outside in my garden or in nature is a tremendous antidote.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Happy Thanksgiving.

  4. Teresa Myszka says:

    Happy Thanksgiving dear Maitri! I totally identify with your post today. My problem has always been never worrying about the destination, totally being caught up in the journey, a couple of years ago my whole world went poof, when my long term partner betrayed me w/ my best friend. I ended up losing my family, home, friends, job all in a matter of six weeks…all this while in the midst of menopause…not pretty. As a mechanism to cope I developed PTSD, panic attacks, acute anxiety and depression, and that was on my good days lol. During this process I’ve found out just how strong I really am..much like you…this emotional, mental stuff sure isn’t for whimps. It takes a strong person to pull themselves out of the pits (Erma Bombeck…if life is a bowl of cherries, then why am I always in the pits), and then reach out to help others…that’s what you do…remarkable. The LOA always works for me with parking spaces, cups of coffee, and finding little serendipidies..it’s the big stuff, the meaningful stuff like making a living, getting a windfall that I have trouble with. Then I realized its the little serendipidies that happen, that are the journey. I am exactly where I need to be, and something wonderful is going to happen. So it is for you, you are being guided, something wonderful is heading your way..something big, something huge, and everything is going to be just fine, it already is. You are wonderful, you are special, you are loved. Sometimes when things don’t work out as we wanted them to its, because something bigger, better, is waiting for us. Huge hugs and THANKYOU for being here for us…you are such a guiding light in this world.

    • Teresa, such a wise and helpful comment for me, too. Your reflection resonates with me, too. I’ve totally begun to think being mindful of the small serendipities, lovely moments, and releasing the destination to give over to journeying is where magic happens.

  5. Donna Honey, thank you so much for your kind words and yes the LOA can feel like tricky business and scary if you really want to put it into practice in your life but have factors in your life that are beyond your control that are challenging every day, it kind of leaves me at a loss and makes me feel sad because I WANT to do it all right and so hard times can feel doubly hard, but then I come back to my practice and remember that in all things we always have choice. I can’t wish my bi polar disorder away or the other things but I can choose how I will deal with it and that is by getting good care, having good self care practices in place, and coming back to mindfulness over and over again. We WILL fall away but there’s no issue with that, that’s just life, the whole point is coming back to it as soon as we can and continuing to come back.

    And it’s nice to have a companion on the journey, I’m glad you are joining me. 🙂

    Blessings to you dearheart, and a warm hug…

    Maitri

  6. Oh BEKAH! You just don’t know how much I loved your comment here! I’ve read it 3x and I know I will return to it and read it again. It meant the world to me and helped me so much, and it reminded me of things I know but so easily forget, and OH how I loved the story of your cottage. Do you have more pictures of it on your blog? I would really love to see them. 🙂 You are such a bright shining star in my day. I think if we ever got on the phone we would talk for HOURS.

    Best and love to you sweet friend…

    Maitri

    • Oh I am glad! I was hoping to be of some help, because I have been here too. I knew you knew this stuff already, but when we are just in that state of being all frazzle dazzled, sometimes it helps to have a reminder. Please do read as needed <3. At some point here, I want to write the entire story of my cottage and how it was a miracle I got it..and all of the serendipitous things. Do you know a rainbow appeared over the cottage the day I walked to receive all of these gifts of furniture and such that the owners wanted to show me? That was a sign to me! I don't have too many photos of it on the blog yet , as I just recently started blogging about it. So that I don't confuse my readers who were used to my other blog posts during the week, I created cozy cottage weekends (before I had even heard of your blog or cozy room!…crazy how much we have in common) and that is when I share cottage life stuff (such as recipes, crafts, cottage photos, …anything home related). So far, I think I only have some Halloween photos up, lots of photos of our pears and pear tree, a video of the wild baby bunny and her mom in the yard, and a tour of our grape vines. I am working on making it more and more cottagy and magical as I try to make it my own. I would LOVE to share more photos with you, and what I will do is post a link in the cozy room each time I share new snippets from my cottage, so that you can get the full tour. Thank you so much Maitri. I am glad to be that star for you. That comment means the world to me. You are a bright star to me , and many many others as well.

      HOURS on the phone indeed! I would not doubt it. Love to you right back dear Maitri.

  7. Greetings Lisa, and thank you so much for your kind comments honey,

    And oh YES! Isn’t the garden the most marvelous place? I find when I get in the really hard places just to go outside with the dogs and putter in the garden even if it’s just a little weeding helps me touch down on something that is real with such pure, beautiful energy. The garden is my sanctuary, my chapel, it is holy to me. So nice to have another gardener stopping in who understands. If you have a blog or site with pictures of your garden I’d love to see… 🙂

    Blessings to you dearheart.

    Love,

    Maitri

    • The garden (and nature) are such wonderful places. They provide peace and joy.

      Thanks for asking about a blog: you can click through on my name and it will connect to it, I think. I write about half about nature observations and half about my gardening! I’ve been writing posts since 2007 — it’s been a joy and a renewal and creative experience, I’ve realized, recognizing that more in the last year or so (through WINS and other similar online classes).

      http://www.naturalgardening.blogspot.com

  8. Oh Teresa honey thank you so much, I just love seeing you here. We are surely kindred spirits, and I just got tickled all to pieces by your mention of Erma Bombeck. I read and loved ALL of her books and I read a lot of them when my children were young and they were among the books that helped me maintain my sanity!!! And OH! The little serendipities, I just love that! And honey, the last lines you wrote nearly made me cry, I just kind of wanted to sink into them like a soft warm safe space. I so need to believe that and I get so scared but I pull myself out of it and just keep on keeping on. Someone having faith in me means more than you could possibly know. Thank you so so much angel.

    I am sending you so much love and a big warm hug. Sweet blessings to you,

    Love,

    Maitri

  9. Oh Lisa your blog is just beautiful honey, thank you for sharing it with me. I can’t wait to have more time to go there and dig deeper, beautiful work!

    I send you so much love this late November night. Be at peace dearheart..

    Maitri

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