Last week, I found myself hiking down a mountain in St. Martin.
I think now is a good time to mention that, over the last few years, I’ve come to realize that I have an illusion of myself that involves being a bit more outdoorsy and fearless than I actually am.
So, on this latest adventure, I found myself doing my best to focus on putting one foot in front of the other — nothing more, nothing less. At times, I’d look around and find myself thinking about how close to the edge I was or how steep the upcoming terrain seemed to be, but I would refocus on the few steps in front of me. Don’t get me wrong, I had to be aware of my surroundings…just not too aware. Each step was new. Each step was another chance to get it right — to not fall or to get back up and keep going.
Then, last night, I read this:
“Now, into the keeping of God I put all things of today. All disappointments, hindrances, forgotten things, negligences. All gladness and beauty, love, delight, achievement.”
– Margaret Cropper
The Dalai Lama says this:
“Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend – or a meaningful day.”
Eleanor Roosevelt puts it this way:
“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.”
As I hiked down that mountain last week, I gained experience with each step, which then informed my next step and the step after that and so on. At the same time, I needed to be mindful of what was to come, while not letting it get the best of me. My focus had to be on the present.
In the same way, while our past informs our present and shapes our future, we should strive to place primary focus on the present. The worries and the doubts of the future are far from productive. We have the opportunity to start each day fresh. It’s something that I certainly don’t take enough advantage of and I’m betting the same may be true for you, too.
As I work to simplify my life and live more fully and intentionally, trying my best to live solely in the present sure seems like a great goal. And the idea that each day has the potential to provide new strength and new thoughts and a new beginning certainly helps.
By the way, you gotta love the view at the top.