The Path Is Changing

The world gives me a problem, and I need to find a solution. That’s the mindset I’ve used for a long time. When it came to people involved in a problem, I needed to find the right words or listen in the right way to help us agree on the same solution. But this paradigm requires the existence of layers upon layers of intertwined problems to solve. This paradigm is slowly breaking down inside my head. In order to have solutions, there must be a right path and a wrong path, a better future and a worse future. Instead, there is simply the present moment.

The present moment is neither good nor bad because it stands alone with nothing for it to be compared to. If you compare the present moment to the past or the future, you’re no longer in the present moment. This moment, that we are currently experiencing in our lives just is.

I tend to get annoyed or agitated with people when the separate me from a path that I’m comfortable with. I feel like they’re getting in the way of my plans. Being annoyed is proof that I had a desired destination in mind. The true reality is that this other person is simply part of my present moment. Everyone one of the characteristics that makes defines them is part of my present moment. The universe has brought this person into my present moment, and the moments that follow will be defined by how I engage this person. If I have a destination in mind, I’m bound to find this individual agitating and in my way causing me to feel agitated. If I’m simply in the present moment trying to be loving to this individual, I’ll be open to the many possibilities the future could hold, and I’m bound to be happy and loving.

I seem to have an control issue. I want to be in control of my future. When things are going the way that I want, I feel safe, but am I happy. There is a freedom and excitement that comes from living in this moment while unwrapping the future moment by moment. I’m not exactly sure where the boundary of responsibility requiring planning comes into play, but being attached to an outcome seems to lead to misery. Time to meditate.

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About Ryan Shelton

While I'm currently married to a beautiful woman while teaching physics at Padua Academy, these descriptors fail to capture the totality of my adventurous life. I have hiked over 1700 miles, traveled to 5 continents, managed a bakery, started a meditation center, counseled troubled teens, attended Duke, UNC, and Harvard, protected forests as a wildland firefighter, volunteered thousands of hours with Americorps, rafted the Grand Canyon, SCUBA dived on the Great Barrier Reef, and continues to find new adventures. I hope my writing encourages you to pursue your dreams and be the best version of yourself while supporting your communities to work together to solve the current challenges in our world.

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