Today, I am going to tell you a story. It takes place in a mountainous woodsy area, somewhere like Colorado, perhaps. It may be a true story; it may be not. It doesn't really matter. The importance of that is up to you. But, it is early morning and there is a vast glassy lake. A gentle fog has settled in over the water and its banks. The sun has not yet risen so it is almost hard to tell where the lake meets the fog and where the fog meets the air. The horizon is blurred like a sloppy wet brush disrupting the precision of a painted stroke. You...are seated on a park bench beside the water. There are other people scattered infrequently around the lake. It is quiet and everyone is taking in this experience in their own way.
Some people are truly utterly present. Let's call them the Be-ers. They are aware of breathing in the fresh air, their lungs filtering the new as they exhale the old. These people are aware of the sheer calmness to the lake. Yet, when a sleepy frog slides back into the water, the be-ers do not miss a ripple. They hear everything their ears can tune into and the rustle of leaves is not lost on them. They are so present to their surroundings, they can close their eyes and still see everything. They acknowledge passerby's with a subtle nod of the head respecting the quiet space of each human soul that walks by. Life is good. Really good. And even if something unexpected were to happen, life is still good because that's all life knows to be. When it is time to leave, the be-ers take the lake with them.
There are other people at the lake. Let's call them the movers. They are there as early as can be to get in their morning run. Some of the movers are be-ers as well, enjoying the repetitious contact of each foot upon the ground. They hear the crunch underneath their feet and honor the breeze that encourages them on. The other movers are not so present. They are there for the run and the checkmark on their to-do list. When the run is over, they will not be able to tell you what they saw along the way except for the large obvious things like the lake. Their thoughts were on getting home and showered and moving on to that next place to be. They are so happy to have a place like this to move in rather than running on a cement street in a city but their mind has not connected the vibration of this place with the beat of their heart. When they finish, they get in their cars and leave the lake behind.
You are still sitting on the park bench. You take out a journal and begin to write. You write what you see, what you hear, what you feel. You write today's goals, tomorrow's goals, and the next day's. You write what you should do and what you really will do. You write random thoughts and poetic verses that you may someday return to and work into a poem. You just write.
In this story, true or not, the fog is lifting and what wanders out from amongst the trees surprises even you. A bear cub trailing behind its mom meanders out of the denseness that covered them before. How long had they been sitting there watching you? The people around you will react differently. I suppose it may have more to do with their proximity to the bears than anything else. Some will stay frozen in the moment to admire nature at its finest. Others will begin to create more space between them; while other people get excited and will continue forward to see how close they can get. Some will be frightened, others nonchalant, and others at peace. You add this all to your journal. So, how is it all these people at the same beautiful spot in a place somewhere like CO, can all have completely different reactions and observations and experiences? Isn't it true we all come to every place bringing our own stories?
So, what happened with the bears? Did they attack, did they leave, did they stay???
Quoting Paul Harvey, "And now for the rest of the story..."
This morning my son's bus came early and he missed it. Driving him to school in the morning traffic cost me a good half hour; time I had planned to use on coming up with my yoga theme. I glanced at the 6 presets on my AM radio. I decided to click through each station for about 10 seconds and grab what word stood out to me. I heard lake, park bench, journal, bear, people, excited. But, in those six random words, I made a connection and created the story I wanted to.
You are going to cross paths with a lot of people today. Probably most will be strangers like those you barely glance at while walking around the mall. But each person has a story. And like those 6 words, it is extremely likely that you have a connection with everyone you pass, if not for the fact that our humanness links us all and our spirits are connected beyond even that.
Be present. Notice people. Smile at them. Feel united (yoga means unity). Write your story.