9:51 PM PDT, July 12, 2008, updated at 7:23 PM PDT, July 30, 2008
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step."
This quote is from the Tao Te Ching, a book I find most helpful on my own spiritual path. Rarely are we required to drop everything and jet off to the other side of the world. Yes, it does happen on occasion, but most often we get some warning and preparation time. But every journey we take, including a sudden, unexpected one, begins by taking one small step in the direction of the door. There is at some point, an agreement made to undertake life's journeys--both the mundane ones as well as the whirlwind tours of the entire globe. Most often we have multiple opportunities to change the journey, to get off the path we're on and onto another. Every bit of progress we make along life's path is made in small increments. Even if you tend to jog or sprint toward your goals in life, each footfall comes in increments of one step. In the end, it results in a journey from one place to another, from where you are to where you end up. Maybe we make it to the end of the journey and find that we are exactly where we wanted to go in the first place. Sometimes we end up somewhere entirely different, yet all along the way, the small incremental steps we made led us to our ultimate destination, wherever that ended up to be.
Where you end up is not nearly as important as acknowledging that all along the way, you made choices that led you to this place rather than another place. Wherever you do end up is not necessarily where you have to stay, since in each moment we can choose to take another step in a different direction, down an alternative pathway. If you don't see a pathway open to you that you like, you can always choose to forge a new trail. That's what pioneers do. Anyone can become a pioneer. You just have to be brave enough to take one step and then another and then another.