- There is a path. It looks like this:
All the places we go when the path gets too rocky and exhausting and brutal and beautiful are dead end detours. If you take these detours you are not bad, but you are wasting your time and energy. Come back to the path. There’s no other way.
- You will never find your perfect life “balance” on the path for the same reason you will never find a unicorn on the path – because these things don’t exist. Forget unicorns and balance. If you were perfectly balanced- you’d never have to take any ones hand to steady yourself, and that would be a tragedy. There is no solid ground on the path – so don’t hold your breath till you find it. Breathe deeply and keep moving forward awkwardly. You can make it down the whole path imbalanced and flailing. When you fall, give thanks for the opportunity to rest. While you’re down, send love to every other path walker who’s down with you at that moment. Then get back up. Or crawl. Crawling is encouraged and respected. Path running is fine, but crawling is much better. Crawlers travel with their eyes close to the ground – so they never miss an inch of the beautiful, rocky path. Crawlers get less glory but learn the most about the path’s terrain.
- Your fellow travelers are your teachers and students. Your relationships with them will be the hardest part of path-walking. To avoid humbling oneself into the role of student and courag-ing oneself into the role of teacher – many try to walk the path alone. But the path was not designed for solo treks. The path was designed to teach Love. Whenever you introduce your true self to a fellow path traveler and listen and speak and learn and stay with her for a while- that is called Love. Walking With and Staying With messy fellow path travelers for any length of time is Love. Love is the most brutal and beautiful part of path traveling. Participate. Learn from and teach every path traveler you encounter. Exchanging love with fellow path travelers is how we gather the wisdom and strength we’ll need to overcome the next obstacle on our path. Note – You do not teach by teaching- you teach by loving. Be humble and courageous.
- You always have enough strength and courage and wisdom. You always have exactly what you need for your daily trek. Sometimes you won’t believe this- because you will encounter stretches of the path that are treacherous and terrifying, but if you give up in the middle of those stretches – if you sit down permanently in them- then you have to live there. Don’t live in the dark, scary parts. Trust and keep moving. There will be a clearing soon and you will feel the warm sun again. The One who created your path is outside of time, so your life is an epic movie that has already been scripted. Maktub - it’s already been written. You’ve already made it. So don’t plan or worry – your job is to Trust Your Path and participate fully and notice as much as you possibly can and keep on moving.
- Don’t ever become proud or ashamed. Don’t become proud that you are further along than many travelers or ashamed that you are far behind others. Your position on the path relative to other travelers has nothing to do with your strength or stamina or wisdom or cunning. We are all in different places because we all have different entry points to the path. Where you are and where everyone else is along the path is none of your concern or business. Let that go. You are exactly where you are supposed to be, always, and so is everyone else. The portion of the path you wake up to today was written for you. Everyone is EXACTLY where she is supposed to be. You are not your own or anyone else’s path-planner. You are just a traveler. You just keep moving. Trust the Path. Follow in the footsteps of a billion other mighty travelers who have walked and run and crawled the path before you. Fear not. Carry On, Warrior.
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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