The safety of observing from afar

first row of coaster


 

(Less than 2 minutes to read)

I met people in my life who were full of fear. Fear that keeps them far away, up on their mountain top, earthbound. They stayed up there, like a baby bird who never jumped, but walked around in the branches of the tree, growing into an adult, never trying to leave, never trying to risk itself. And I was no better, so my trying to help these people was pretty futile.

But I’ve left the mountaintop refugee finally. I stopped telling myself stories, and although I haven’t jumped to experience the total experience of being liberated, I’m taking small leaps, restraining myself, finding outcroppings to rest on.  I couldn’t stand the suffocating thin air of that flat-topped prison any longer, complaining about things, but not willing, or courageous enough, to change them.

It’s so helpful to surround yourself with the people doing things you want to, but aren’t. The strong influence of your friends on you is shown in scientific research. But the catch-22 is, you need to be self-aware enough to find these people, or allow them into your life.

One of the most heartbreaking things to see are those with so much potential, but so little  heart, unwilling to step up to the edge and look down to see what they’re missing. So they stay in their refugee, with enough air to survive, but not to thrive.

It’s a lesson to those of us who have decided to leave our nest on that mountaintop: The lesson of letting people go who aren’t ready for change.  The lesson of the futility of trying to pry open a person who has closed themselves off, like a clam. And finally a lesson that helps you face sadness: the sadness of seeing love wasted, missing from the world, from those who are too overwhelmed to open themselves up and share it.


Follow me and I will take you away from the everyday.

If this is something you care about, then SHARE it. Less observation. More participation.

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Everything special becomes ordinary

Julie and mermaid
Photo by Joakim Hjelm. More spectacular prints sold at: http://joakimhjelmphotography.instaproofs.com/store/

Ever been out on the ocean? It’s overwhelming at first, but after a few days, months, years, it’s just a huge bathtub of water you’re on. Life is like an ocean. You can stay close to shore, in the bay, where it’s calm, where you can see the bottom, and you know exactly what you’re going to get, you know what to expect. Or you can venture out into the deceptively unremarkable, rolling expanse of blue.

The ocean is vast like life, and if you live it conservatively, on the surface, skimming along half in the water, and half out, you miss all the beauty and interaction below.Every moment of your walking around, there’s a veneer of the everyday stuff, the ordinary. But under that surface of ordinary blue, gently repeating waves of life, beyond the traffic of endless cars, streams of people walking by, the stores opening and closing, there’s a special experience, if you just punch through the surface, strip off the coat, go a little deeper, and explore. How to get there? Ask how someone is doing. Genuinely. Then ask them what they’re doing. And really listen to them. It’s simple, but that’s the point.

Everything extraordinary is simple. And everything simple is extraordinary.

Here’s the proof: Everything that is special becomes ordinary.

Your new car, the latest and greatest cell phone, even your partner can become unappreciated…so couldn’t a good argument be made that everything ordinary is special, if you’d just look at it differently? If you’d push back on that daily trek around your little world and get out of your flight path. Instead, extend your boundary beyond the shallows of your ocean, the place you’ve acclimated to, and made your home, where everything is visible, calm, and repetitively risk-free.

Life is going to end, our chartered boat is rented and it’s going to be reclaimed by the earth, whether we like it or not. It would be a shame if we didn’t take her out there into that wide beautiful expanse of blue world, throw an anchor down every so often, and dive into the currents. Exploring, underneath it all, beyond the traffic of endless cars, the streams of people walking by, the stores opening and closing. On the surface, all this is ordinary, until you get past it, and see what supports it all: The people, the relationships, the connections, decisions, hopes, desires, and frustrations of humanity. All the ordinary stuff that’s extraordinary once you’re swimming in it, too.

Everything special becomes ordinary, so everything ordinary can be special.
Don’t ignore the ordinary.