I had this saying taped to my mirror for years. It is so wise and so true, and could make our paths to enlightenment so much easier. We all, at some point or another, struggle to find answers.. We buy self-help books. We take classes. We join groups. But I believe Glenda the Good Witch in the Wizard of Oz was right.
We had them all along.
We just forget as we grow up and life happens to us.
I think one of the best ways to be reminded of our inner wisdom, to solve a problem that’s been nagging at us, or to help ourselves make a decision we’ve been struggling with, is get outside and play.
This past week week I was struggling a bit with business plans, projections and projects. The weekend had arrived and I was feeling like I should spend much of Saturday at my desk again. But it was a perfect summer day on the Central Coast, and friend of mine asked me to go to a popular beach a short drive from home. She proposed, however, we do it a bit differently than usual. Instead of jumping in the car and fighting traffic and parking when we got there, she suggested we ride our bikes. It was an easy sell as I had my 11-year-old niece and her little friend coming over for the afternoon.
We packed up the backpacks, bungee-d down the beach chairs and peddled off. Immediately I recalled the memory peddling off for summer adventures when I was a kid: It mattered not our destination or timeframe, the minute we made it to the end of our own street, we were headed for summer fun.
That’s how it felt as we took off for the beach last weekend. We were able to take a bike path the whole way, so had no worries about traffic, parking or navigating intersections. We were just cruising. I looked at my niece and her friend and was moved by their enthusiasm to play. When I had asked them earlier about riding with us, they simply said “sure” and went to get their bikes. They had no questions about destinations or plans. I watched my friend Tarren who is a successful attorney, mother and grandmother peddle away, and saw instead little beach girl enjoying the same sense of adventure. Her bike was packed up with all the essentials for a fun day at the beach. I was grinning ear to ear watching it all. Feeling it all.
We got the beach, locked our bikes up (just that ritual brought back an inner reminder of childhood adventures) and headed for the surf. My niece and her playmate couldn’t get their shoes, hats and clothes off fast enough to run to the water. I watched them jump the waves, squeal and laugh in the surf for hours. And as I felt the familiar comfort of the warm sand below me, the hot sun above and a light ocean breeze keeping the temperature just right, I thought, “This is the kind of joy we are born with.” This is the kind of joy we need to soak up at every opportunity. Even if we aren’t on summer break.
I think we need to quit trying to figure things out so much and remember what Mom told us when we got cranky, were testing her patience, or whined that there was NOTHING to do. Remember? Mine would snap: “Go outside and Play!” I am learning more each day the wisdom in those words.
Find a way to go play today my friends!
Next week: Shredding the Gnar.