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Mumblings & Musings February 2011

Joy When You Least Expect it

 

A couple of weeks ago, I found myself in St. Martin (a small tropical island in the Caribbean). I had a limited amount of time there, so I jumped into a cab with my daughter, Meadow, and asked the driver, "What's the best thing to do on the island?"

Without hesitation, he said we should go and watch the planes land at the airport. Now, if you only have a short amount of time on an exotic, tropical island, probably the last thing that you'd want to do would be to watch planes land. Right?

Our cab driver was so sincere, however, that we agreed to give it a shot. It was unlike anything I had ever seen or could have possibly imagined. The airplanes roar in and land just a few feet from the beach. If you're on the beach, it feels like you can reach up and touch them. The thrust of the engines is so powerful that the waves surge back to sea and mini-sandstorms whirl along the beach. (See photo of sign next to beach.)

Our delight was undoubtedly heightened because it was so much more than we anticipated. Although miracles can happen when we reach for the stars, some of the best experiences come when we least expect them. When I remember the unhappiness and disappointment I've had in my life, much of it has come from planning for a different outcome. The fewer expectations I have about the direction of my life and the actions of others, the more at peace I seem to be within myself.

In the so-called "New Age" we spend a substantial amount of time working to manifest our future by aiming high and expecting the best . . . and it's fun to do so. I know how exhilarating it is to visualize, affirm, or create a collage or a miracle box, as a way to help achieve dreams. I love doing these things. However, sometimes I wonder if we spend so much time manifesting our future that we forget the joy here and now.

It's great to have a dream and high expectations, however, if we don't learn to be happy in the meantime, we may not be aware when our dreams actually blossom. For me, the purpose of life is not about fulfilling my desires . . . it's about discovering the inner gifts of the heart, and experiencing and sharing joy. Be happy . . . now. Enjoy the path as much as the destination. Expect nothing, be open for everything. (And you never know, you might get to have the thrill of holding onto your hat, while watching planes land on a tropical island.)

Denise Linn

 


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