They walked right through my screen door.
I assured them I had done it myself, and I knew how to fix it.
It’s a retractable screen door. This means that instead of stopping forward progress as a regular screen door would, it pops out of its tracks, and before you know it, you are on the other side, looking at a still closed door.
It can be quite disconcerting, especially if you have never seen a door like that before. The poor guys didn’t know what to think, after all, they were just there to set up my internet connection, and hadn’t expected a shift of perception like that!
How did it happen? Their job done, they were ready to head for their truck, and that is where they were looking. They didn’t stop to be where they were first, a necessary pause, because if you are looking beyond, your eyes don’t see the screen and you can walk right through it!
It shows the need to be where we are, before we can get somewhere else.
This week I had to go somewhere I had not driven to before, so I had to look up the directions. I used the map in my phone. I put the destination in, but it couldn’t tell me how to get there until I added the starting point.
Once I did that, I had a choice of routes to take. I could choose the fast, the scenic, the side roads, or the highway; I could even avoid traffic. None of that was possible until I was aware of the starting point. I had to know where I was – first.
It’s a good lesson for daily life.
It is important to establish our base line of where we live, what we want, and what we have, before moving forward. Without this pause of self-awareness, we can plunge ahead and get lost in the process, or create unnecessary problems. Some are simple ones to repair, like the screen door; others will be harder like broken families, health, or dreams.
Other times, if we are not being self-aware we can stagnate.
Not knowing where we stand, we never can effectively move towards the expression of our unique self into the world.
People of all ages often tell me that they don’t know what they want to be when they grow up. I laugh and say, “We are all learning about that!” Because, in order to know where we are going, we first need to know where we live now.
The reason I have walked through the screen door more than once, or tripped over something directly in front of me, or knocked over objects I didn’t see, was because I was not looking where I was, I was looking away from me, and not out from me.
Imagine an athlete jumping a hurdle, or a dancer leaping across the stage, or bird beginning its flight. What they all do is first establish where they are, gain strength and awareness by grounding themselves, and then they jump, leap, and fly with power and grace.
It is no accident that every artist knows that it order to begin to create, they must first center themselves. It is no accident that meditation, and the eastern arts like Taiji, lead us to the center of ourselves, before teaching us how to see into the infinite.
Yes, we have to walk in the direction we want to go, but our awareness must first rest on where we are standing.
Where we are is where we must be first, and then we can drive, jump, leap, or fly with abandon.