Has anything pleasantly unexpected happened to you lately? Why not? If your day is starting to look and feel like the movie “Ground Hog Day” then maybe you have closed yourself off from the new and possible. Just holding open the possibility that something new and wonderful could happen today—might be what’s needed to crack open that door to a miraculous possibility that never before seemed feasible.
A great example happened for me, Thom and Kloe just this morning. As many of you know, this is the 14th year that we have rented the same cabin in Idyllwild. Technically, we have lived in this home for over a year—spread out over 14 years. Because we have spent so much time here, it is like putting on a favorite t-shirt every summer. Just being here is relaxing, calming, and peaceful. Even having Kloe here for the first time is simple and uncomplicated.
But—because this is the first year of sharing our mountain “home” with Kloe, we’ve also opened ourselves to dozens of new experiences. As an active puppy she not only likes to take long hikes, her energy level requires them. While our previous dog Chi, who was significantly older than Kloe, was happy with slow, meandering walks, Kloe would be happy going straight up the mountain and back down in no time flat. In addition, because Kloe is also very social, she loves to go with us when we go into town to eat. While fairly patient and quiet for a puppy, she introduces us to everyone around us (dogs included) and has expanded our social circle by dozens.
Best of all, we made a major discovery just this morning. Because Kloe needs to go outside frequently, we began taking her down to the end of our street on a daily basis. The end of the street was a dead-end and in all the time we’ve been coming to this house (14 years) we’d probably only gone down to the end of this street once or twice just to see what was there. Not much. However, because of Kloe we have gone down this street so many times in the last couple of weeks that we began to notice that other people, some with dogs, were also driving down and then parking at the end of the street. Why? Good question.
It was Thom who noticed that instead of turning around and driving out, some of these people would get out of their vehicle and head into the woods between two of the houses at the end of the cul-de-sac. After noticing this a couple of times he happened to ask one who told him this was the beginning of a great trail.
Wow! All this time we’ve been here it never occurred to us that one of the best trails in the area was right at the end of our street. I’ve read a couple of the local guidebooks about local trails and this one isn’t even covered. This morning, Thom, Kloe and I headed into the woods where we’d seen others go and we were treated to the unexpected and delightful surprise of not just a nice hiking trail, but several amazing rock outcroppings, trees, sprinkles of wildflowers, a babbling brook and even a couple of small waterfalls!!! Wow!
The amazing thing to me is the reminder that this beautiful hike has been there the last 14 years—literally in our backyard—and we never knew it. Not only was it the closest hike in Idyllwild, it was one of the beautiful—and we had never even guessed at its presence. It makes me wonder–what other possibilities and unexpected surprises are just hanging around waiting to be discovered?
Of course, without Kloe in our lives and her need to walk we may never have found this treasure right near our doorstep. Without being open to new locations and a willingness to stretch our comfort zones–not to mention our muscles! —we may never have even been looking to new possibilities. Plus, without Thom asking others why they were going where they were going, we might never have heard the answer. And if we thought we knew every possible trail in town, we wouldn’t have ever considered that we didn’t know what was right in front of our face.
One of Thom and I’s favorite quotes is, “No one knows enough to be a pessimist,” by Wayne Dyer. In other words, even when you can’t see a possible solution to a situation in your life, that doesn’t mean that something amazing doesn’t exist. It just means that you have noticed it before or there hasn’t been a reason for it to show up in your life yet—or, and this is an important issue, or you haven’t been open to something new in the first place. Want something good to happen in your life? Maybe it is time to look around, ask a few questions and then follow that path that might be right outside your door. Who knows? It could be the best thing that’s happened all day.
“Before you can do something that you’ve never done before, you have to imagine it’s possible.” –Jean Shinoda Bolen
“The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.”—Emily Dickenson
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