When I was three years old, my father wrote a six-page letter to his brother about our travels from California to Minnesota where my Dad had received a promotion for his work at the Pillsbury Company. Most of the letter is about the national parks we stopped at (my mom, dad and sister, age one) and the beauty of nature, an imprint that I have carried throughout my life. Many trips to national parks. I love it!
And there is something else. Interwoven in his letter are comments about things I was doing and saying on the trip. At age three, he painted a verbal picture of who I was meeting, my curiosity and the things that fascinated me. The cowboy hats, the wooden sidewalks, the cows in the middle of the road. My wonder-wander love is present.
My favorite days are spent wandering. Wandering is a practice like yoga, meditation and writing. It involves wiping the slate clean. Sitting in silence. Listening for an inspiration. Asking the question: What does my soul want to experience today?
Sometimes wandering is a solitary practice, where I allow myself to be empty in the anticipation of what will cross my path that day. Meeting people along the way. Observing my surroundings. Taking inspired action. Sometimes wandering includes a dog I am pet sitting or a day with my five-year-old granddaughter. I surrender and follow their lead.
The funny thing about wandering is that sometimes it leads me to explore in different ways. Sometimes I am inspired to nap or go to a movie or write or even create a newsletter or webpage for my business. Wandering is a surrender that helps me to connect with desire and inspiration. It is a connection to body wisdom. And at the end of the period of wandering, there is clarity about my life.
Last week, I was inspired to go to Restorative Yoga. Tuning in, I felt a rush, a push to leave the house immediately and walk to the bus stop on Main Street. I felt shot out of a canon, only grabbing my purse and saying a quick good-bye to the cats. Walking quickly to the corner, I am at the bus stop, just as the bus was arriving.
After yoga class at Naam Yoga-Santa Monica, I felt inspired to start walking the two miles back to the condo instead of taking the bus. I knew I could change my mind along the bus route. After walking for a ½ mile, I looked down at the sidewalk and saw a wallet. I looked around and wondered if I was on Candid Camera. Was this a joke? No one was around so I picked up the wallet, looked for identification and started walking down the street looking for the owner. A half block later, I saw three men, frantically looking through packages and pockets and looking around on the ground. I said, “Did you lose a wallet?” One man starts nodding his head up and down. I hand it to him. Smile and walk away. I was thinking that maybe that was the inspiration to walk instead of take the bus. I was there at the exact right time to assist this man from a foreign land. A reminder of how connected we all are.
…whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the universe.~ The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo
Wandering helps me remember who I am.
Andrea Hylen: Author of Heal My Voice: An Evolutionary Woman’s Journey. Creator of The Writing Incubator, on-line writing community. www.andreahylen.com