Today, I woke up and was guided to go for a walk in a historic district I frequent. I love being in the area because the architecture is so fascinating.
Some years ago, I did some research on the area because I was so intrigued. The more I learned the more I wanted to know. More recently I’ve noticed what appeared to be guided tours and I longed for being in a position to afford a ticket to go. I assumed they must be expensive.
A few days ago, I saw a post on social media about national parks offering free entry. I forgot the reason why. I checked to see if any national parks were near me thinking I could visit one day with my daughter. As I did my quick search, I was so excited to see that the area that I am so fascinated with was on the list as a national park! I went to their site and made note of the days and times I could visit for a tour.
Fast forward to today. I felt a really strong leading to get dressed and get to the area for an early morning walk. I haven’t had uninterrupted “quiet time,” to reflect and introspect. So I shook off the urge to stay in bed, followed that internal guidance, hopped in my car and got there. I parked and walked, and sat and reflected, and walked some more. It just felt like a really guided time of “time to sit,” “time to get walking, again.” I just kept following that “voice.”
At the end of my walk, I decided to take the long way back to my car so I could view a few of the amazing houses a block over from where I parked. As I stopped on the corner in front of one of the largest houses, I saw a little display with information cards. As I reached in to grab one, a lady approached who was walking her dog. She greeted me and told me that they were offering two tours today, and both were free! She said that I should come back later for one of the tours.
It was the coolest thing because I have been wanting to go on architectural tours my entire adult life. I AM FASCINATED BY ARCHITECTURE. But, unfortunately, whenever tours were going on, I was unable to attend for one reason or another (typically money related). Every year, as the summer came to a close, I would be so disappointed that I once again hadn’t done a single tour. To find out that one of the areas I’m fascinated with was offering a tour that was my perfect price (free), and it was close enough that money couldn’t interfere in another way (i.e. not enough gas), AND it was early enough in the day that other responsibilities wouldn’t get in the way, I was beyond elated….
So, I did go back later, and I attended the tour! I nearly backed out because I was running a little late, but I made myself not worry about that. I went in and sat down to listen to the brief lecture and joined the group to walk over to one of the houses…. IT WAS BLISS! It was what I always hoped a tour like that would be. I got to go inside the home and hear stories about the family that lived there. I got to observe all the cool interior details: like the original hardwood floors, an old school sewing machine, and an ice chest! It was so cool experiencing this structure that has been there since the 1800’s. I was in there walking up the creaky winding staircase of a home I’ve passed for so many times with curiosity about what I was like inside.
After the tour was over and I reflected on my time, I got to see how following guidance early this morning led me to experience one of my dreams. I realized that spirituality isn’t always about sacrifice, struggle, and going without. Sometimes spirituality is about following an inspired thought, that leads to another, and another that leads to an experience you’ve always wanted.
Today, I was inspired to love myself enough to get up early while the world was peaceful, to take a walk in a neighborhood I adore. By doing something so simple, I walked right in to an opportunity I’ve wanted for so long. I can’t help but wonder if life gets to be this simple…. that all the striving is unnecessary. Maybe I get to just glide from one inspired thought to next and without real effort—at least not the kind I’m used to—I can experience everything I’ve ever desired.
My experience today combined with some other amazing experiences I’ve had over the last few days has me thinking so differently. During my walk I was inspired to start looking for the good in my life, to start intentionally observing the beautiful things. I’m convinced that is why I was in the right place at the right time today. As I was walking and resting, admiring and observing, I was so at peace. I was appreciating the architecture and beauty I could see, and then an opportunity to see more opened up to me.
I followed what brought me joy and more joy came to me. I looked for what made me smile and gained more smiles. I paused to appreciate what was beautiful and I got to see so many beautiful things.
This was one of my best days of my life. I really savored my experiences. And it all began with simply appreciating the beauty around me.
I am ready to shift in my life. I want to experience more peace, joy, and ease. Maybe that starts by shifting what I focus on. I’ve heard it a million times, and even said it (“where focus goes, energy flows” and all that).
I feel like today offered me an opportunity to pivot. I loved today and as I focused on the beautiful things more beauty unfolded. As I parked in front of my house, I noticed a robin by my bushes trying to pull a string with its beak. I knew that string was tied and the robin was going to need help. I grabbed my scissors and slowly walked over, allowing the robin to move safely out of my reach, but still close enough to observe. I cut the string, left it on the side by the bush, and went to grab my things. It brought me so much joy to know that I got to play a role in helping a robin build its nest. Instant bliss.
Today, I learned I can control my focus….
My day was full of blissful moments, because all day I focused on beautiful things. The outcome taught me how much focus really does matter. Instead of trying not to focus on what’s wrong in my life, or worse, focusing on it directly, I simply intentionally noticed and enjoyed the beauty around me.
I’m going to do more of what makes me smile. I’m going to notice more of what’s beautiful. I’m going to remind myself to expect things to work out. I’m going to appreciate what I can appreciate. I’m going to follow my bliss. And I hope you will, too.
Marlene Dillon Empowerment Specialist
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