In honor of 2017
Wasn’t it only yesterday I was writing a post about the events that shaped my life in 2016? The mental and emotional breakdown I experience last year led me into a powerful breakthrough this year.
After completing orientation and mobility training I turned my focus back to my business.
In May I was given the unique opportunity to attend a training for the blind.
I spent the month of June living with twenty plus blind adults learning to do things without relying on my eyes.
I learned something profound about fear which I did not see at the time. Looking back it stands out as one of my deepest insights.
Fear does not exist when I focus all my attention on living fully in the present moment.
Each day for thirty days I was given a chance multiple times a day to practice living totally in the now.
This was not an easy task for me. My entire life I allowed my mind to wander from past to future.
I was forced to focus on my own needs because helping others was not permitted. This was a brutal challenge for a helper personality.
We were required to use our white cane at all times and receive orientation and mobility training daily. Since I have partial sight my training was done blindfolded.
Teaching my mind to stay with me and help me travel safely from place to place gave me a crash course in present moment awareness. I needed my mind to help me notice every detail of how to get where I wanted to go and remember how to get back.
I experienced frequent emotional outbursts of tears when my mind wandered and I could not remember which path I took, which direction I was facing or how many houses I passed.
When I was able to engage my mind fully in the task at hand I would relax. I laughed at myself and my challenges as I learned to listen to the sounds of traffic, the hum of an air conditioner or the roar of a lawn mower.
I learned to notice how the sun feels as it moves through the sky and the sounds and smells of people enjoying coffee on a terrace.
As I focused fully on my own needs I shared freely my melt downs, challenges, victories and personal battles with my class mates. We were all coming face to face with our own unique challenges of learning how to take care of ourselves and live life in a whole new way.
I did not recognize myself. In a split second I would move from tears to genuine belly laughs. So much so I had become known for my laugh.
I thought the laughter was to avoid crying. Over time I realized going from deep sadness and tears to lighthearted laughter at my situation and myself was to experience true joy.
Near the end of the month I decided to go for an early morning walk. Using my white cane daily it had become a natural extension of my arm and I hardly noticed how it guided me up and down steps and over uneven sidewalks and dirt paths.
What I remember most about that morning is how beautiful the sun was as it peeked over the horizon. I was walking with my head up and looking forward instead of down watching my feet afraid I might fall.
For the first time in my life I understood how to live free from fear.
I knew if I could keep my attention on my own life as it was right in that moment and allow myself to experience fully the bitter and the sweet moments fear would not exist.
I learned to live life more fully by giving all my attention to the day to day activities of life.
he greatest surprise was discovering the gift of joy while living fully in the present moment.
2017 was yet another life changing year that proved to be even better than the year before.
It will be fun to discover the delightful experiences awaiting me in the new year.