The Winding Path
Is it always
Males take roads
I will do a path
A huge, monumental road
Intimate, warm, friendly, softer
Without guile or grasping grief
Of softness, hope
My path, simple, swampy
Signifying loneliness and loss
We will meet on that path
Not loveless or lowly
~ Rifka Krummel
3rd cousin of Sarah's grandmother
I sit and ponder, out under the sun, the breeze billowing dry and browning leaves through the air. It’s too early for Vermont’s spectacular autumn colors to wave their flags just yet. I am pondering how different it is to choose a path instead of a well-traveled road.
Not a new ponderance, I know, but my cousin’s words tug at my heart, and I know that I too long to choose a meandering path instead of a solidified concrete road.
My sense is that this is a common challenge for all of us, and especially those in leadership positions. It would be easy, and perhaps naive to think that we: a) already know all the answers, b) should simply follow the road pointed out to us, or c) should not choose the lonely, sad journey of a sinuous, undefined path.
Not being educated enough or not being informed doesn’t mean that deep inside we don’t know the answer. Of course, we have to learn to ask for support, guidance, and mentoring and we have to learn how to receive it - without feeling powerless. What we know might not be found in the relative, mundane soil of our experience. Rather, what we know is residing in the deep place where the blood coursing through our veins is mirrored by the pulse of a rain shower, the rush of a mountain spring, the lapping of waves on the lake’s shore.
When we pause and feel, this is when we know.
What would it feel like to just be? Can you let your mind rest simply in this very moment? Can it be as simple as feeling the body breathing? No matter the obstacle - perceived or otherwise - this is a very simple human act: that of just being.
Once you have landed here, what would it be like to feel? Sensing deeply into our experience allows us to tap into the underlying awareness that is already always there, but which we forget to pay attention to.
Once we begin to taste that presence, there can be a sense of appreciation, a sense of knowing.
What does being present have to do with choosing a winding path versus a straight and narrow road? I think it’s about tuning in to what we really want. When we learn to be present, we are giving ourselves the gift of allowing choice. We begin to trust that we know, and trust that we will make the right decision - even if we make a mistake. Mistakes, after all, are just the stepping stones of learning along the way.
It takes tremendous bravery and courage to choose the unknown, but this is a much more genuine path to take.
Let me know when you begin walking your winding path, I look forward to seeing you out there.
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