I go through life with a very curious nature. Going for a walk along the seawall at Ambleside this morning was relaxing and refreshing. I took a brisk pace and had my music set to calming as I paced along for a few kilometers there and back. While walking, I try to just appreciate the view and calm the mind from the daily routines. Ambleside is one of those beautiful places along the coast that allows one to walk, see people and admire a view of the waterfront. The coast has a rocky shore and the waves come crashing in. One can smell the salt in the air.
It is not uncommon for me to stop and look at something and think about it and have a thought emerge… and today was no exception. In one part of the walk, there are a series of stone stackings. These stone stackings are placed where someone has painstakingly taken stones and stacked them upon each other. Some of the formations are small while others are quite large. Some are just flat stone upon flat stone while others become intricate designs. All balanced and formed for us to enjoy.
My thoughts go towards CARPE – this was my signature piece from my TEDxSFU talk on discovering the extraordinary in the ordinary. The stones are nothing significant; however, stacked together, it is a message for me. CARPE is what I do to find significance and meaning in the every day. Many see stones, I see a story. A recap:
C – Curiosity. This is what stops me to look at the stone stackings further.
A – Appreciation. Appreciating things for more than what they are means walking off the path and getting closer to it.
R – Reflection. While walking I think deeper about what I have seen and start adding some deeper thoughts and meanings.
P – Perspectives. I have my perspectives so looking at the stones allows me to bring my thoughts together so this is specific to me.
E – Experience. Cataloging this as an important future story
After my stop at the stacked stones, I begin my walk again and started to think of the patience and skill required to stack these stones on top of each other. There is no rushing this process. You have to balance and without moving, make minor corrections and keep on adjusting while holding on so that it eventually sits precariously positioned on another rock. So that is pretty impressive but now, how do you take the fragile stones that are stacked and build upon them so they don’t topple over? More patience and care are required.
The stacked stones remind me of our lives and careers. We always focus on the top stone and how it got there and how it sits carefully on the others. Let’s put ourselves as the top stone. We are perched there based on our experiences and people who have helped us. We sometimes forget that below us are more stones and those are the ones that hold us up. Each of them is balanced carefully. We are not a single stone but a collection of many stones and they are stacked to make us what and who we are. Our lives are pulled together. We may be the top stone, but we need the others to make up who we are. Stones represent strength and those around us are the strength that we need to help make us who we are.
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