“Stop focusing on getting to the scenic point of the trail. Everything is scenic”

I wrote the words above after a hike in Sedona, Arizona.  I’ve been learning to be more present and this hike really simplified the practice of presence for me.

I expanded on the quote later that day…

“Step by step I take notes along the way.  Stopping to see where I am, how I feel, who is around me, and barely look back.  If I do look back it’s to see the view from a different perspective but not to retrace my steps.  I look in front of me as I take the next steps and trust that what’s around the corner - a rock, shrub, or canyon - is just as beautiful, interesting, and purposeful as what I am walking on and seeing now.

I reach a summit I wasn’t planning on and allow myself to accept it and experience it.  I give thanks and reflect on the steps taken so that I carry only what serves me (and the greatest good) and leave behind what does not.  Stones, rocks, dirt, dried and broken flora, that all stays on the path.  What I carry with me from the trail is the same as what I arrived with: me.  It’s always simply me — mind, body, and spirit.  My legs do the walking (thank you, beautiful legs).  My eyes do the seeing (thank you, beautiful eyes).  My ears do the hearing (thank you, beautiful ears).  My mind does the healing and the dreaming (thank you, beautiful mind).  And my healthy heart does the work that helps it all come together (thank you, beautiful heart).

This practice of being in my now, in our now, isn’t just on a scenic hike…it’s in our everyday.  Step by step, trail by trail...practice makes perfect."