Imagine walking down a beach and what you see are a crisscross myriad of footsteps. You stop to look at some of them, footprints, footprints of children, footprints of those who wearing shoes, footprints etched deeply in the sand and others that just skim the surface. The waves move in to erase the canvas of footprints.
You put down your foot into the wet sand and you too leave an impression in the sand, your mark on the world an ephemeral mark as the water rises and sweeps up the sandy beach erasing all that was printed there. You notice three footprints – your footprints etched onto this large canvas and they tell your story.
The first footprint is the mark of your values. What is it that you value? What do you care deeply about? Write those values down? Oh, by the way, money is not a value. It is a tool. What are your values? Now that you have them written down, rate them in terms of desired importance in your life from 1 to 10. The value of one indicates that you are not even close to living out this value and a ten is saying out loud that this value is fully being realized. Are you able to live your values?
The second footprint is about your smile. We all can smile but do we? Do we practice smiling? Or, are we not able to smile because of the way we feel about ourselves or others. We have shutdown and stopped smiling. What makes you smile? When was the last time you were able to genuinely smile? You know the kind of smile, the one that is fueled from deep within. It is not the smile we can put on our face, this is a smile that erupts across our face without denial – it appears and you can’t erase it – it is alive. When was the last time you had one of those kinds of smiles?
The third footstep is a hunger for our personal truth. Dante writes, “Midway upon the journey of our life I found myself within a forest dark, For the straightforward pathway had been lost.” This footprint seems to be floating up and out of the sand and before long the print is lost. To seek the right path, to seek our personal truth requires that we be honest with ourselves. How can you find the right path?
Align your attitude with your values. Smile from within. Seek the right path – honestly.
“Our feelings of dissatisfaction, unhappiness, loss of hope and so forth are in fact related to all phenomena. If we do not adopt the right outlook, it is possible that anything and everything could cause us frustration. Yet phenomena are part of reality and we are subject to the laws of existence. So this leaves us only one option: to change our own attitude. By bringing about a change in our outlook towards things and events, all phenomena can become friends or sources of happiness, instead of becoming enemies or sources of frustration.”
“The Dalai Lama’s Book Of Wisdom” (1999)