“Don’t look at your feet to see if you are doing it right. Just dance.” — Ann Lamott
So this little tidbit jumped out at me today. I was reading a blog post about writing. Yes, writers write about writing on WordPress. And it’s pretty darn inspiring sometimes. The challenge of the blog post was to just write. Just start typing and don’t stop. Don’t edit. Just get the words out onto the page. So that’s what I’m doing.
I love this quote — “don’t look at your feet.” I am so guilty of this, always wondering if I am doing it right. Is it perfect yet? No, silly. You’ve got to stop worrying about that. Ann Lamott’s quote is kind of like the “Just Do It!” slogan of the writers world.
I am a runner. I love to be out on a trail somewhere, just chugging along. I’m not a very fast runner. I’m usually pretty happy if I can log a 10 minute mile during some portion of my workout. I don’t concern myself much with speed. Running is a great way for me to find some peace and clear my mind. But guess what I do when I run? I stare at the ground. I watch my own steps. Recently, I have started making a concerted effort NOT to do this. When I catch myself, I straighten up my posture, raise my head, and look at where I’m going. The view is beautiful! The leaves on the trees are changing colors. The trail is carpeted in yellow and brown. Walnuts, acorns, and a rare Osage Orange litter the trail. Squirrels rustle above my head. The river churns by. Ducks chatter to each other. The earthen musk of what the river reclaims wafts up from the river bank.
I wonder how much of our lives we spend like this, worrying about every step we take. We can get so caught up in what we are supposed to do, who we are trying to impress, and what we are trying to accomplish. We impose perfection on ourselves. We have turned exhaustion into a status symbol (as my current favorite writer says). We are in such a rush that we miss the Now. We hurry past the current moment, racing to get to the finish line. News flash: God is not standing there with His stop watch to congratulate you on finishing fast, or perfect, or with the most stuff.
When I look back on the most meaningful and joyful times of my life, I see my family and friends. I remember special holidays, and trips to new places, and exciting new learning experiences. Its not about how clean my house is, or what’s in my wallet, or what’s parked in the driveway.
Maybe it’s because of this mid-life spiritual epiphany I’m going through. I realize that it’s so important to slow down. Rest. Play. Laugh. Dance. Breathe. Invite balance into your life. Take time to savor the simple joys that we so easily take for granted. Step back and re-assess once in a while. Like an artist has to step back from his painting; that’s when you can see and appreciate the beauty in what you are creating. You might trip over your feet once in a while. So what? Dance with abandon. It’s so much more fun than dancing with perfection.
© Vulnerable Path, 2014