"We choose the paths we take. Some are clearly marked and others are less so but the culmination of the paths that we have taken shape our story. Choose the path that brings you joy, peace and clarity” – Cam Goede
I do my best thinking outdoors, surrounded by the stirring encouragement of nature. Whether it be hiking a winding forest trail, standing in mist-shrouded awe at the base of a sparkling waterfall or aimlessly wandering a lonely beach, moments of consciousness and self-awareness often find me here.
This morning while strolling the beach, remaining ever vigilant in my pursuit of interesting rocks and elusive emerald sea glass, my thoughts turn to choices: paths taken and the way our lives are formed by them.
Whether as an individual, a business or even a government, choices create direction which in turn become a cause set in motion. Paths taken (or not taken) establish a course and propel us towards something, some direction or destination. Paths or choices stack up to become a story, our story. We follow some paths without even being consciously aware that we have done so, and yet others are followed only after gut-wrenching soul searching has taken place.
Even minor choices, although seemingly insignificant in the moment, can like a pebble tossed into a pond produce ramifications not even considered a possibility at the time.
Understanding this creates a new awareness surrounding even mundane choices. Selecting the salad or fries as a side, returning that one last phone call before wrapping up the work day, visiting your dad or staying at the pub with your pals for one more pint, each is a choice.
Rising early, reading regularly, exercising more, these are all choices and they each initiate paths that go somewhere. How we treat everyone that we interact with as well, decisions like these all create a cause set in motion regardless if they are enacted by an individual, business or a government; nothing happens in a vacuum.
Some paths are precarious and fraught with danger while others are level, straightforward and hazard free. Some are clearly marked while others are challenging to navigate. Many paths are easy to follow, but they are often equally easy then not to follow. It’s easy to walk or eat healthy food every day but it’s also easy to not do so. It’s always important to remember that not following a path is still a decision.
Choices, paths, direction and destiny, a lot to ponder, especially without the benefit of a LOT of coffee.
Certainly, a throng of profound thoughts for a Sunday morning on the beach. I return feeling like I have gained a little bit of understanding, a minuscule lesson in the overall scheme of things but a grain of knowledge nonetheless. Plus, I have a few new interesting stones and pieces of sea glass to serve as a reminder.
“Don’t compare your path with anyone else’s. Your path is unique to you.” ~Ram Dass