Above: CICLOS created by Yaiza García; photographer Jesús Castillo (2017)
Each moment of our life contains strands of lived experiences that weave together to shape us into the person we are in this moment in time. Each of us are unique in how we perceive the world around us and in the way we express our truth; we are the author of our lives, we are the teller of our stories and sharing them with others empowers us to become better human beings.
The hardest stories to tell are those when we feel vulnerable, when we are the most human, where we make mistakes, when we are not proud of the choices we have made; those stories of heartbreak, of falling down, and getting back up again are often the most beautiful, in that we can use them to grow and find new ways of being settled and at peace with ourselves.
If we look at our life through the lens of a novel, filled with experiences that span our life, would you remove a chapter, or even a few pages? What would happen if one day you woke up and that really difficult chapter of your life had been erased from time? Would you be the person that looks back at you in the mirror every morning as you brush your teeth? I would say, probably not.
We can tease out threads from our lived experiences, to learn from them, and grow. We can even rewrite them in our own minds, to offer us alternative narratives or ways of looking at situations, which can be incredibly helpful if we remain stuck seeing ourselves as a single story. Yet, at the end of the day, taking away even the smallest of experiences would change who we are.
It’s that sunny afternoon in the park when I watch my friends eyes light up as they smile or belly laugh. It’s watching a butterfly sit on my finger eating a piece of banana.It’s how my toes feel as I dig them into the cold sand while I sit on a beach. It’s the peace I feel leaning against a moss covered tree in the forest, taking time away to write. And, it’s finding ways to connect with the energy that surrounds our being and brings light to our souls.
It is when we open our hearts to new experiences, living in the present moment, that we are given the wondrous gift of flow. My experience with flow, is that it is most felt by traversing each moment of our journey without any thoughts or ideas of what is to come or what we want an experience to be. When we stop chasing joy, magic finds us.