And so…the adventure begins.
I’m sitting at a picnic table in Crater Lake National Park in my home state of Oregon this afternoon. It’s the start of a 3-week summer road trip that will take my wife and I away from the busyness of our day-to-day lives.
We’ve spent the last five days with our 12-year-old black lab, hiking, roaming, biking, napping, disconnecting from routine, and reconnecting with what’s important.
If I’m honest, the first few days of this trip have included moments of peace and quiet followed by spells of anxiety, thinking that I shouldn’t be taking this much time away from home.
And then I take a look at my surroundings and I’m consumed. Consumed by a much different sensation. Consumed by fresh mountain air. Consumed by a quiet hike along a river. Consumed by the beauty all around me. And consumed by…space.
Gaining a New Perspective
This morning I was reading from ‘The Obstacle Is The Way’ where the author concludes that one of the best ways to become present is to unplug.
Unplug from the ordinary. Step away from the normal routine to gain a fresh perspective.
My three-week adventure is on its fifth day and my perspective is slowly beginning to shift. For the most part, I’ve been removed from technology. I haven’t even been able to get a cell signal for the better part of the last several days.
While this trip is just getting under way, my perspective is changing to something much different. It seems that I’m more present, more able to see things as they really are.
And here’s what I already know:
Real reflection requires space and time. At home, I’m in my routine and trying to be as productive as I can. But this much space, this much time away, far removed from any demands save for a hike, rest, eat, and sleep, changes the way I think.
Determination and focus have been my allies as I’ve spent the first part of the year growing my business and getting things done. But determination and focus look different at different elevations.
My determination this week has been to absorb my surroundings and enjoy the experience.
My focus has shifted from sharp to softened and interestingly, it creates a different type of awareness. A softer focus allows more information in. It expands and amplifies everything, including how I want to live my life, how I want to serve, and how grateful I am for the opportunities I have.
Sure, everything about this trip ties to my broader mission as a husband, as an adventurer, but the mission today and yesterday and the day before was simple and had only to do with taking in the beauty of the mountains, lakes and rivers, one glance at a time, to reach a new campsite, or take in a new view.
What’s interesting to me, is that I’m not forcing anything to happen here. That isn’t the point. Instead, I’m allowing things to unfold one moment at a time. And I’m betting that I will count this among one of my most cherished accomplishments.
Question: When was the last time you unplugged from the ordinary and how did it change your perspective?