What can we learn about life from planning a spring break or summer vacation? Sometimes we put more effort, energy and thought into planning a summer vacation than we do about planning what kind of life we want to be living. We get busy with the day to day routine and run on automatic. It’s a good idea to shift gears and slow down occasionally to take a look at where you have been, where you are at right now and where you want to go in life. As you continue reading keep in mind that both life and vacations are time limited.
What is the purpose of your journey?
To figure out the purpose of your journey begin by connecting to your heart’s desire. There are a variety of life domains that each person feels is important. Notice if you get a sense of excitement when reading about the possibilities. The excitement will add vitality to your life. Plus it is like a compass pointing you toward something important.
Do you want to focus on family, nature, learning, adventure, community, friends, faith, romance, health, money, or community? Which two or three are you most attracted to? If you are not sure read the list again except slowly lingering on each one to notice your reactions.
How do you want to travel?
You might say by car, train or plane. You can even consider walking or biking. Each is a different way of getting to your chosen destination. What does this have to do with your life’s journey? You can look at the mode of transportation as a way of traveling through life. You can travel unaware like in automatic mode. This means you may miss a lot of the scenery. You can also choose to travel awake with your attention focused on your intentions. We all travel with a combination of both awake and auto pilot.
The path you are on continually has changing conditions. Sometimes those conditions are navigated just fine on auto-pilot and at other times the path requires you to be fully awake and engaged with your intentions. When you are engaged with your intentions you are actively behaving in a particular way that is in alignment with your ideal self. It is like paying attention to the road conditions when the weather changes.
What is your destination?
Let’s say you plan a road trip in the car from Denver to Seattle. You have your trip planned so as to go north to Wyoming then to head west to Washington. You plan to stay in Montana and will eventually cross the Rocky Mountains.
Wyoming, Montana and the Rocky Mountains are check points along the way to your destination just like getting married, having children, and getting a job are check points in life. They are on the path in your life journey but they are not your journey. Your journey is the way you travel through life toward your destination. It is a way of being in the world based on the kind of person you want to be. What kind of person do you want to be when you are being your best self? This is not about being perfect. The components to being your best self includes self-compassion and the courage to be vulnerable. How are you traveling?
What if the car breaks down?
This is no joke. Things happen that we do not plan for and we are caught off guard. It is at these times when the question, “who and what matters to you,” becomes important? Only you can decide how you want to be in the way you travel through life. And you can travel that way starting right now. If you take a second to think about all the planning for your vacation it is done in the present moment. It’s fun to plan and to dream. And when the vacation time comes you will still be doing it in the now.
Sometimes as we head off on our journey the car stalls out, or a snow storm grounds us, when we experience set backs we can still bring a willingness to have what shows up including disappointment or anxiety. You still had fun planning and looking forward to the trip. There are barriers in life which we face and how we choose to deal with those barriers are part of the trip.
How do you plan for your future? What tools, attitudes or skills to you use to keep you on track and flexible to the change in the road conditions?