As a tribute to 2019, I have created a special audio gift for you. Before you enjoy it, let’s talk about something of extreme importance…
Every day, every moment, we each have the opportunity to take intentional steps on our life’s journey. We are presented with choices, chances, and surprises along the way, but all the while, we move onward – either with intention or simply out of reaction. One way or another, life moves on whether we want it to or not.
This very idea reminds me of a beautiful poem, one of my favorites by the great Walt Whitman, “Song of the Open Road.” I have always been fascinated with the imagery, and it creates the most wonderful metaphor for the way we can approach each day of our lives and every new adventure we encounter.
The poem begins:
“Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road, Healthy, free, the world before me, the long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.
Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune,
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms,
Strong and content I travel the open road.”
Sit somewhere quiet, with a cup of tea, and marinate in this for the hour. It is social meditation. I suggest tuning in with your eyes closed to stimulate deep listening.
Just think about the possibilities here! This is the embodiment of both intentional travel and openness to new experiences. This takes vulnerability, of course, but that in itself is an act of courage. Approaching the “open road” of your life, or of each new opportunity, comes with inherent uncertainty – but this where the power of Whitman’s words truly show themselves.
He says, “I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune.” This is the self-reliance required to bravely walk down the open road without knowing where it may lead, but what might you encounter along this road?
There will certainly be obstacles, successes, losses, people of all kinds that both help and hinder your progress – but all along the way, if you maintain openness, compassion, and vulnerability, each of these experiences will change you for the better. We are changing all the time, whether we want to or not, so open eyes and a welcoming spirit will help us direct this change in the direction we want – and yet, the open road retains its mystery. We WILL encounter the unknown and unexpected, including the changes that happen to our minds and bodies.
We are reminded, then, to embrace all of the world and life might throw at us – and to embrace these experiences without fear, without bending them to our own agendas or desires. We can simply be, moving forward in self-trust and love, and embody the good fortune we seek.
This beautiful image of the open road inspires me and has led to moments of immaculate understanding… And I think it can do the same for you. In this video, I’m exploring what this Whitman poem means to me, how it has influenced so many of my actions and some of the writings I’ve done as I walk my path with patience, curiosity, and contentment. Please, let them guide you to explore the open road in front of you.
As always, thank you for letting me be part of your journey.