Monday, March 8, 2010

The Good Long Road: Overcoming Obstacles


My brother, Kyle, came up with this name for my blog. In fact, he set up the blog for me when I was embarking upon the journey of my Run for Peace just about 3 years ago.

It is an appropriate title/theme, for the blog and for life, I suppose. For it is a good, long road. At times, it seems, that it is a very, very long road and that certain stretches are particularly treacherous with road blocks all around that constantly block the path. It is at these times when I find that I most need to remind myself that Peace is Every Step, no matter if that step is small or even backwards. I have to remind myself that I do "Run for Peace" or, as the case may be, walk/crawl/dig/scramble and fall (flat on my face - particularly when I might forget that peace is every step.) I must remind myself to always keep the Peace part front and center. If I falter and if I lose my way and if I am not promoting peace with each step and each action, I must learn to stop and breath and find the center point again -- the point that allows me to regain my focus.

In running, if you aren't breathing properly, it doesn't really work. You might be fine for awhile, but eventually you will have to stop, your side will hurt, your lungs burn, your breath will get shorter and shorter and you won't be able to run anymore, sometimes it gets so bad you can't even walk anymore. Life is like that too. If we don't breath. If we don't center ourselves. If we don't cleanse our bodies and hearts and minds by bringing new oxygen in and releasing the bad, the old, the used, the negative, we won't get very far. We'll find that the road is neither good nor long because we're just walking in place or standing still while life passes us by. Often, we expend a lot of effort, but go nowhere. So, we certainly can't navigate or climb over or go around any obstacles -- the breath is all wrong and the energy is not there. The road just feels long, not good.

Just long. I'm trying, though, to look harder and to breath deeper. To realize that next to that roadblock, or the several roadblocks that keep getting in the way, there might be a single, beautiful red rose or an orchid that is starting to blossom or a tiny ladybug crawling along the path. These simple pleasures--a baby boy sleeping on your chest, a friend who listens, a stranger who offers a smile, a cup of tea or coffee made with extra care--these, along with a few cleansing breaths, can give a new perspective and can grant new energy, so that the roadblocks, though they may still be there, don't look so intimidating, don't seem to big, and might even begin to look like opportunities for creativity, for new ways of thinking and doing, for new partnerships that will get us past them.

Yes, the road is long. Yes, it can get clogged. It can be treacherous. It may even seem impossible. But, the road is also good. That fact just may not be so obvious. And it's okay to stop for awhile and take a break, take a breather, and mourn the challenges, before putting our running shoes back on and logging another mile.

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