Until about an hour ago, I didn’t realize how much I tend to stay inside the lines as I color my life. Walking my dog Katy a bit ago, I expected that we would tread one of our old familiar paths through our neighborhood. Katy, on the other hand, decided to shake things up a bit, maybe because life has already been completely upended for us lately.
Right out of the gate she scribbled our path towards the north, instead of following our beaten path to the south. No problem, I can Zenly trace our path in reverse. As we squiggle our way 2/3 of the way around the block, Katy abruptly scribbles a new path to places we’ve already been. . . . . “No way”, I recoil inside. “We can’t go back! We’re too far along our journey to change course now.” Everything inside me said, “We have to stay in the lines, as we color our way along our path.” . . . “Says who?”, whispered a wise, adventurous voice inside me. “Who says you have to stay within the lines?” Life is more beautiful, fulfilling, and meaningful, if we allow the colors to spontaneously flow and meander where they will, without containing them with artificial boundaries. Sadly to say, I had to initially work at being at peace in following Katy outside the lines. The Katy nose knows, intuitively, or so it seems, like I needed this Zen lesson reinforced through practice, as she surprised me with another mid-stream turn a quarter way round another block. This time, I gladly followed my joyously bouncing Katy as we scribbled and scrambled along a new path.
Embracing the unexpected, coloring outside the lines, being open to new possibilities . . . an opening to peace.