• Ilin Shieh

Take Care of the Minutes

"If you take care of the minutes, the years will take care of themselves." -Tibetan Saying

I was streaming Rick Hanson's lectures when I heard him refer to the saying. And it feels so relevant to my day-to-day routine. Especially the part where over-analyzing comes in - projecting into the future, and feeling paralyzed and anxious as mind dissects and conjectures.

In work it seems easily so, and in the mundane it's no different. I was having a hard time deciding whether to go to yoga or go hiking this afternoon. If I go yoga, I miss the outdoors. If I go hiking, I deal with crowds on trails. Such dilemma. Within the back and forth of the internal battle, life happened, and I found myself walking on my favorite hiking trail.

The reminder to simply take care of what's in front of me and some inspiration kicked in. For the next two and a half hours I hiked with a steady gaze 45 degrees in front me on the ground. An inward gaze. Not pushing people away, but honoring what I want this hike to be - a connection within me that spans vertically in this moment. I wanted to just take care of this moment, take care of me in this moment, one step at a time, and give myself the permission to release the social mask. To notice the pull towards people-pleasing when all I wanted was to take me in, all of me.

A woman let me pass her, I said thank you. A man said hello passing me by, I said hello back. A boy with a tricycle zoomed by me, and I smiled. Another man started chatting, and I listened and responded. When a vista appeared, I took the queue and took it in. Gaze inward.

It was a really satisfying hike. A hike where I noticed my surroundings intimately within the radius of only a step or two away. And it was as close to equanimity as I have ever experienced. Resting in the honesty of just this step while being open to expansion, and neither were in conflict. Curious for the mind, nourishing for the soul.