In the Moment by Katharine Emlen

From Worry to Peace of Mind

I recall clearly riding my tricycle, as a child, and accidentally riding over a bee. I am not sure how old I was, perhaps four or five. I got off my tricycle, kneeled down on the ground and put my eyes as close as possible to the bee’s little body. I stared with wonder. In my heart, I knew that the bee was alive. Yes, his little body was crushed. But I knew he was alive. I kept asking, “What happened to his life? Where is his life?” I recall a moment of innocence and wonder as I asked where the light of this little bee had gone. I was compelled by curiosity, inquiry and the desire to explore life.

Several years ago, in 1993, I was going through communications training with a linguist. Our first meeting went on for three or four hours. During our meeting, he posed several questions in an attempt to identify what I saw my purpose of life being. After much dialogue and many questions he finally asked, “Could you accept that your purpose is in the inquiry?” My response was a clear and affirmative “Yes!” I then shared that my hero when I was five year’s old was Christopher Columbus. The path of the explorer was there from my earliest memories.

Looking back, I notice there is something consistent that shifts my experience from worry and anxiety to freedom and peace. A love for inquiry, learning, and sharing moves me forward to new investigations of life.

Recently, I awoke at an early hour with worry, a little anxiety, and thinking of a certain person. Then I caught myself and said, “This won’t do Chuck, get up and ask some questions, explore what there is to learn from this person and experience.” I got out of bed, ready to explore, ready for a new discovery. This brought me peace.

The spirit of inquiry, exploration, searching for new lands and new understanding is inspiring. Some may be convinced they have the one and only path to truth. For me, life is a vast geography to explore—with infinite possibility.

I think often of a photographer. It is not the role of the photographer to convince. You share what you see. What people see in your photographs will be unique to who they are.

It’s important to cultivate a state of mind where we can declare without reservation that life itself is a joy. Perhaps that is one of the joys of spiritual development—a love, curiosity, and exploration into the true nature of our life.

Joy and fulfillment is in the on-going inquiry and discovery of the richness life has to offer. And for me, the inquiry is most meaningful within the context of sharing with others. Joy is in the exploration—not in the final destination. There will always be new lands to explore and new possibilities to uncover.

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