Monday, January 7, 2013

Hope Ave

Next time you're on your way home, or to the grocery store, or picking up your kids, or on your way to work, notice for one moment that in your car, right now, is the only place you can be.  In your mind you might be somewhere else.  You might be thinking of dinner or what your husband or girlfriend might be doing.  You might have that account or client still on your mind. But the truth is you can't do anything about it in this moment.  So just be with yourself. 

I grew up near an avenue. Hope Avenue. It was the road we always took on our way to the highway.  Every time we went to the movies, we drove on Hope Avenue.  Every time we came home from my cousins' house, we took the Hope Ave exit.  I've never noticed the name before this week.  It has always been uttered as, "Hopav".  All the locals just know it as that: Ho-pav.

The other day I was feeling really anxious. I had just finalized my New Year's resolution (coming in a blog post near you soon) and was excited to start something new (again). Sometimes when I feel really anxious and want to express myself but feel stifled I develop what the Chinese call "Plum pit chi." I felt this stuck chi in my throat all the way home from work. Sometimes I even become aware of it, but the feeling is so strong I can't get rid of it. 

Then I came upon the "Hope Ave" sign.  I was almost home.  Something washed over me.  An awareness that my whole commute home was wasted on energy weaving in and out of cars, wanting to get home faster than everyone else, not being present.  I took the length of the street to do some r e a l l y  d e e p  b r e a t h i n g. I told myself that it's still okay to hope and to dream but throughout the journey I still need to be present every step of the way.

From now on, I would use Hope Avenue to remember to be present - on the way to work and at least at the end of my commute home. I know that if I am aware often enough, then I will become aware right when I get into my car and eventually at every moment throughout the day...and on every avenue.

What will you do to become more present every day?

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