Crossing the border

Shawshank-Redemption-001

“I find I’m so excited that I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it’s the excitement only a free man can feel. A free man at a start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain. I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope.” – Red in Shawshank Redemption on his way to The Mexican beach of Zihuatanejo, on the Pacific Coast.

What a beautiful quote from Shawshank. Red (Morgan Freeman) has stepped into the unknown. He’s excited about the uncertainty and the friends he’ll meet along the way. In a sense, he’s woken up – and crossing the border from darkness to enlightenment. Love it.

In 2003 a surf trip took me down the west coast of Mexico. I spent some time in Zihuatanejo and thought about the moment in the book where Red walks barefoot down the beach and sees Andy working on the boat.

Get busy living, or get busy dying.

 

 

The experience of right now

We only experience right now as Emily Dickinson explains below:

Forever — is composed of Nows
by Emily Dickinson

Forever — is composed of Nows —
‘Tis not a different time —
Except for Infiniteness —
And Latitude of Home —

From this — experienced Here —
Remove the Dates — to These —
Let Months dissolve in further Months —
And Years — exhale in Years —

Without Debate — or Pause —
Or Celebrated Days —
No different Our Years would be
From Anno Domini’s —

Fill the vessel 

Here’s a tip on breathing.

Try this the next time you take a couple of deep breaths to relax or wind down from exercising.

As you exhale, imagine you are filling a vessel. Inhale deeply into your diaphragm and then slowly exhale. Relax your jaw and shoulders. Feel the floor holding you up. Wriggle your toes. Relax.

The room. The first exhale fills the room. Imagine your breath as a white mist filling every nook and cranny of the room

The house. The second exhale fills all the rooms of the house. Bedroom, bathroom and kitchen touched and infused by the mist.

The neighborhood. The third exhale fills the neighborhood. Down alleys and into back gardens.

The city. The fourth exhale fills the city. Imagine it happening on a map. Imagine the mist swirling through the city streets, between buildings and under cars.

The exercise will slow down your breathing and it’ll turn the practice into something more than exhaling carbon dioxide.

No Mind Left Behind

Whether it’s a morning run, an evening yoga session or a walk around the block to ‘clear your head’ – remember to bring your mind with you. We have a tendency to leave it behind thinking about money, relationships, plans, the past day and all the things we have to do.

You know the look, you are talking to someone but their eyes are somewhere else, they aren’t engaged because their mind isn’t there…it’s somewhere else thinking through other stuff.

When your mind is with you and in the moment then it’s ‘all in’ and engaged.

Next time you walk out the house and grab your keys, remember to take everything – including your mind.