Step by step. I placed one foot in front of the other, pressing gently into the wooden steps as I made my ascent. Up, up and further up I went, slowly, steadily, with ease and flow.
Until soon these steps became somewhat effortless, as if I was floating up the mountain.
This was my experience hiking up Shoushan 壽山 (Monkey Mountain) today; very unusual for me because usually I’m puffing and panting all the way to the top.
So what was so special about today?
I decided to take it slow. I wanted to see what it felt like to feel each step, and keep my awareness there in that moment. To my surprise, something magical happened. I hiked and hiked and didn’t have to stop once along the way. My heart rate stayed steady, I felt full of strength, like I could go on forever. I felt connected to my surroundings – the beautiful old trees, butterflies, and monkeys. Perhaps because today I actually took time to look around, instead of forging ahead. Everything seemed wondrous.
When someone came past me, I felt myself wanting to speed up, this urgency to get ahead, but gently pulled back and settled into my pace. And while this was going on, I continued to have one the best hikes of my life. I felt blissfully happy and at one with my environment (internally as well as externally).
Later, it got me pondering about life, and how if we continue on our paths slowly and steadily, aware and intrigued; yet completely open to whatever comes to us, we are sure to arrive at our destinations happy, stress-free and probably even encounter something magical along the way.
Instead, if we try to rush ahead and get to the top of the mountain as soon as we can, we miss so much. We forget to feel. We forget to see. We forget to play and be in wonder. Rushing, pushing, fighting to get to the top, no wonder we don’t find what were looking for when we get there. We left it behind.
And isn’t it true that if you look too hard for something, you can never find it. Such too, if you want something really badly, it can’t be yours. But if you just let go a little, forget about it, know that the universe has it covered, and simply be in the now, you very possibly could find just what you’re looking for, and more.
Slowly, slowly, step by step we go…