Last week my family spent the week in Maui. I captured this image as I canvassed the grounds of the hotel. It epitomizes much of essence of this trip. Observing a quiet peace at every turn.
The places where we intersected with the locals I learned so much about this philosophy: Be here now. Many of the natives did not where watches. No one seem to be in a hurry. Whether it was the man at the art gallery or the woman surf instructor, a “go with the flow” attitude existed in their demeanor. I believe I noticed this more because I’ve adopted the total opposite philosophy: I am always taken aback when something goes in the unexpected direction. It throws me off. Sometimes I get upset. I jump to the wrong conclusion. I worry about outcomes. And these life-stealers consistently steer me into a fruitless direction. When an unexpected course works out, I am hard on myself. I become upset about how much time I spent worrying about fretting about an outcome that never happened. Whether it is wringing my hands about the past or making predictions about the future, I cannot seem to really feel the now.
Right now I keep thinking about the pathway to obtain true contentment. I believe some of the locals know what it is. An instant where it hit me the most occurred as I talked to the paddle board instructor. Two factors increased my anxiety: I prefer activities firmly on the ground and I am not a great swimmer. I relayed these concerns to the instructor and his response was this: “It is just water.” He laughed as he said it. His reaction seemed extreme. In my head, I said to myself, “What do you mean it is just water? Try telling that to someone who can’t swim very well.” To be honest, his laissez-faire attitude made me mad, but after reflecting on this interaction, I learned that is where the essence of be here now exists.
Worrying about the water or my lack of skills emphasized how much I am unable to live in the moment. I chartered the outcome even before trying. Fighting against the mystery of experiencing, I am unable to embrace the present.
The picture I took will serve as a constant reminder of how good that peace feels. I need to figure out how to get there.