The Road


“Once you realize that the road is the goal and that you are always on the road, not to reach the goal, but to enjoy its beauty and its wisdom, life ceases to be a task and becomes natural and simple, in itself an ecstasy.” ~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

The road  is the goal. You are always on the road. You are on the road not to reach the goal. You are on the road to enjoy its beauty and its wisdom. Seeing the road this way. Living the road this way. Life ceases to be a task/a chore. Life becomes natural, simple, and enjoyable.

Reframing our lives this way presents as easy and difficult. Could our goal be that straightforward? Could we see deeply with such clarity of thought and feeling? Would we judge less and experience more?

We would be a lot less harder on ourselves. We would measure less and compare less. We would notice more and appreciate more. We would focus more on our own journeys and journeying companions and less on where others may or may not be going. We would have less anxiety and more trust. As long as we are moving forward and appreciating the way/the path, we would be doing okay.

Simple and hard at the same time. It’s like a release. A big release of trying to control the outcomes and the steps – not only for ourselves, but often for those around us. And how has that been working for us? Not so great. This past pandemic year has left us often feeling guarded and depleted.

Is it possible to go backwards? No, but it IS always possible to move forward. No matter your age, no matter your stage in life, no matter where you got lost. Reframing the road as the goal and seeing the journey as both the means and the ends will change us. The road is telling us to trust the process.

Fearless vs. Reckless

Reckless and fearless are not the same thing. Reckless has no boundaries. It is impulsive. Fearless creates boundaries. It is deliberate. Reckless feels hopeless. Fearless feels hopeful. Reckless is haphazard. Fearless has conviction behind it. Reckless has no direction. Fearless has a goal. Reckless is often driven by others in close proximity. Fearless is often driven by belief and faith in self.

Some would say that there is a fine line between reckless and fearless. However, their definitions and modus operandi are quite different. Reckless is defined as “without thinking or caring about the consequences of an action.” Fearless is defined as “brave, courageous, unshrinking, intrepid, calmly resolute in facing dangers.”

Now is the time and place to be fearless, not reckless. “Be wise enough not be be reckless, but brave enough to take great risks.” (Frank Warren). In times of great change and upheaval, we see both reckless and fearless behaviors on a large scale. Both require action. Both require energy. Both require change. But only fearless has any gravitas and long distance vision – to challenge us to be better and to create a better world. Reckless behavior usually seeks to destroy -that’s its endgame. Yet fearless behavior – fearless behavior seeks to build – to challenge and defeat the status quo for a better endgame.  “If you would venture, let your mind be bold….not reckless but bold.” (Louis D. Brandeis).

I urge us to be fearless, and to recognize that it is a constant state of becoming. “I feel my self becoming the fearless person I have dreamt of being. Have I arrived? No. But I’m constantly evolving and challenging myself to be unafraid to make mistakes.” (Janelle Monae)

“Fearlessness is like a muscle. I know from my own life that the more I exercise it the more natural it becomes to not let my fears run me. The first time we take that first fearless step, we begin to change our lives. And the more we act on our dreams and desires, the more fearless we become and the easier it is the next time.” ~ Arianna Huffington

Be fearless, build up, be bold, become.


When Faced With Uncertainty

The undercurrent of doubt is strong. Doubt takes you places that you don’t want to go, but sometimes can’t help going to. It whispers in our ear, “What if….,” “What if….,” “What if….,” It cycles a pattern, becomes a rhythmic drum beat. Doubt can chip away at our faith in humanity and our faith in just about anything or anyone. That’s what makes it dangerous. We can’t let strong currents of doubt numb us, or worse yet, drown us. Don’t let doubt pull you under.

“What if….” thoughts are normal as we weigh the odds. They can range in gravity from small to grand. “What if….”  thoughts are okay if they pass by us like waves. We acknowledge them, consider them, and move on. “What if….” thinking only becomes problematic when it morphs in chronic ripples of dread. A cycle that is stuck on repeat.  What if’s can stress us to the point of paralysis leaving us with the inability to respond or function. We don’t want to fall into a hopeless pit of worry.

In contrast to feeling anxiety and worry, we need to learn to tolerate some uncertainty in life. Worry is only one reaction to a challenging situation. There are other ways to respond as well. Another response to a “What if” scenario is to play it through in your mind. Every situation has more than one possible outcome. Imagine what could happen and how you would deal with it, and what resources and people you would have/need to help you. It’s also okay too to self distract – especially if you are waiting for “news” on a situation or condition. Go for a walk, listen to music, talk to a friend, read about a survivor who made it through what you may need to go through. Lift it up. Ask for strength. Reassure yourself that you are not alone.

Worry stems from an overwhelming feeling of powerlessness that has gotten stuck on rewind. We know that worry never solved nothin’. We need to shut down the replay and move forward the best that we can. One step at a time.

Going the Right Direction

Only you have to live with you. I remind myself of that when other people give me advice – i.e. – tell me what to do. And let’s face it, most of us really don’t like being told what to do by someone else. Because what’s right for you, may be wrong for me. And what’s right for me, may be wrong for you. Regardless of what anyone tells you, we have to decide for ourselves what is right for us.

So where is our moral compass for decision making? The right path has to do with perception. The problem is when our perception gets distorted by circumstance – when we can’t see the forest through the trees – and we feel hopelessly lost in it. Keep in mind, when you feel you are going the wrong way, you can always turn around a start up a new path.

To help focus, we can remember that happiness is subjective, so the road to happiness is also subjective. A good litmus test for making decisions on your journey derives from the Hippocratic oath of First, do no harm. I would add to that – First do no harm to yourself or to others. (We often forget the to yourself part.) Will what you decide be good for your health and good for the health of those around you?

What’s right for you may not be popular or understood by others. (No matter!)  Because people often say it’s okay to think outside the box. But when they are confronted by the outside box thinking, they don’t like it. At all. People will often yield to convention because it is familiar and comfortable. So be ready for all eyes on you when you are making a big change or big decision. Many will be eyes of judgment. Some will be eyes of understanding. Others will be eyes of admiration. Just don’t let any eyes change your “I” direction.

There is no “my way or the highway.” Because our roads and journeys are different. Ask and pray for guidance and assistance to keep going the right direction for you. Trust yourself.

Believe nothing just because someone else believes it. Believe only what you yourself test and judge to be true.” ~ Buddha