Taking a journey to improve oneself sounds brave and noble and exciting. Striving for growth, clarity, and wisdom requires the traveler to pass through terrain that exhausts and frustrates and even depresses the mind at times. The explorer must remind herself that she is on a quest for betterment on a regular basis. The traveler stops at certain junctures to merely pause in what might otherwise feel like an endless,excruciating, puzzle, or perhaps a tedious, intricate scrutiny of self. What was the goal? Was there really a point? Somehow routines and daily rituals hide and camouflage the newly exposed landscape and lull the traveler into a past tense mindset. New practices lose the edge and old habits raise themselves like unconquerable zombies that pursue the weary traveler, snapping savagely at her heels and clawing at her in an effort to reassert themselves.
What is the point? She asks herself in confusion as she surveys the scene at hand. Am I not just who I am? Can I really escape what I know? She rests on the edge of a clear pool and sees her face reflected in the still, blue, shimmer. Silver is the hair now and the eyes are lined and heavy lidded but those eyes see the youth that was and came before and are open and alert for what will be. A smile plays across the lips. The traveler rises and feels grateful for the moment. The knowledge that she carries in her heart and mind is that she is indeed on a journey and that even on those days when she finds she has wandered in circles and is lost and winds up only inches from where she started, she has gained.
The journey does not have to be measured in miles. This adventure enfolds all encounters. No movement at all can still mean something has been learned. Old ways that no longer serve or even perhaps hinder the traveler by misleading and confusing can be teachers as well. They can highlight the new and remind the explorer of better ways to go, better things to choose. So the journey continues afresh each day and the lessons to be gathered are many. This traveler will put her feet on the ground again tomorrow and seek out new avenues to venture down. She will search for new ways to see.