I am doing my own version of "Eat, Pray, Love" this morning: I am eating breakfast in a fun, new place and praying that my arteries can support the love I feel for the croissant with egg, cheese and pesto sitting in front of me. I love this little diner. And while it would be nice to fly to Italy for breakfast this morning, right now I lack the freedom (and the cash) to pull it off.
It was a different story for me 10 years ago. In the fall of 1997, after 10 years of practicing law, I boarded British Air for a two-year trip around the world that would put Elizabeth Gilbert's journey to shame. Unfortunately, I forgot to write the book. Oops.
Oh well. I learned some valuable things from that trip. But here's the most important: You don't have to fly to Italy (or Bali or India) to have your own "Eat, Pray, Love" experience. In fact, my noisy little breakfast spot provides the same formula.
In 1997, I was burned out, tapped out -- over and out. My life best resembled a root-bound plant: an organism whose root system had wound so tightly, it couldn't absorb any nutrients or grow. Maybe you know that feeling? Just existing day to day, unable to see any of life's wonderful gifts, lost in a storm of doubt and uncertainty?
Like a root-bound plant, sometimes we need to be taken out of our routine, shaken up a bit and repotted.
Does that mean you should to buy a plane ticket to Bora Bora? Sure, if you can afford it. But a trip to the other side of the world is not necessary. We can just as easily shake ourselves loose at home. Maybe it's something as simple as taking time to try a new breakfast spot, taking a class in something you know nothing about or traveling to a new and undiscovered place -- in your own town. It's about jarring our routines, altering our perspective. When we give ourselves a little room, new growth will inevitably come.
To change our path, we have to change our heart. And the best (and I believe only) way to do this, is to reconnect with the life force that emanates through all of us.
I once read that "you should live where you pray best." I could pray best on a ranch at the base of the Grand Tetons in Jackson Hole. But since the Lord has not provided me with the winning lottery ticket necessary to purchase said ranch, I will need to find a good place to pray -- at home.
I do think there is something to the idea of finding the right spot to pray. It's like trying to find wireless service. The little diner where I am sitting shows wireless service with one bar. Have you ever tried to surf with one bar? Images take forever to load, videos stop every two seconds, and without warning you lose your connection.
Unless you find the right place to pray -- a quiet, protected spot where life won't come crashing in -- it's like you are surfing with one bar: You take forever to get centered, thoughts from the day start and stop your focus and without warning the phone or the doorbell rings and you lose your connection.
For every transformation, be it a career change, a new relationship or a loss, we need an internal change to fuel the external change. And that change is best achieved through finding the right place to pray.
Stephen Stills had it right: "Love the One You're With." The miraculous things in life aren't found "out there." They are the things we have "right here" under our noses.