Today I had a nice moment of full relaxation, calm, clarity, extreme gratitude and maybe pure zen. This is the kind of moment so many of us enjoy but experience so rarely. How do we create these moments for ourselves and our loved ones? What should we do to bring this experience to light?
My moment of pure zen, so ironically, occurred when I was sitting in traffic where FIVE red stoplights in a row (<1500 ft)delayed my travel. Let me explain—I’m not crazy.
I was riding my scooter home from the gym, just as I do a few times per week. I had just ridden down a semi-windy hill to encounter the second red light in a row. As I sat at the red light full of gym exercise-exhaustion-induced-endorphins, I felt pure happiness. It was just the best feeling of accomplishment, freedom, flexibility, and gratitude.
It was a Thursday morning about 11am when I realized my zen. Recap: I woke up from a nice relaxing sleep at 7:30a, I hung out around the house for a while, and I then rode my scooter to the gym about 9am. Upon entering the gym, I noticed the normal group of people who can work out at 9a on Thu, the gray-hair gang. I pushed through my work-your-body routine before hopping on my scooter to head home for a wide-open rest of my day.
So here I was sitting at my second red light with the sun shining and the warm breeze blowing from the ocean a few blocks away, and I immediately thought, “I can’t ask for anything more than this.” I looked at the cars (and trucks) around me and wondered how many of those people were having to perform a planned activity, or worse, a work-related activity.
To be fair, I used to have plenty of enjoyable days at work. Days where I accomplished something satisfying and some days where I accomplished something I was surprised it actually worked out. But the power of FI/RE is that you have so much control over your day/time/energy that it’s truly priceless. To have that power of FIRE when you are young-ish and healthy is exponential.
I’ve noticed I write “enjoy every day” quite frequently in posts or comments and I don’t know where that came from. That phrase was never in my lexicon, in any way that I can think of until recently. Yet, it has become the cornerstone of my current state of mind. A state of gratitude. A goal of giving part of that “enjoyment” to others as much as I can. Maybe enjoying and trying to help others enjoy is multiplicative in nature. That would make sense, right? Helping others because you feel good, may help you feel even better.
Side note: I notice I have a lot of enjoyment when the air around me is moving. It may be on my scooter, my bike, running, in a convertible, sitting on a patio with a breeze, a rooftop deck. I wonder if the energy from nature, the power of air moving, translates in some way to a higher state of enjoyment. Maybe that’s why people say “get outside, get moving.”
It is my sincerest hope that you find these moments of gratitude and zen in your life as often as possible.
*** Nothing in this article is to be construed as financial advice. I am not a financial planner, nor do I pretend to be. You should always consult your own professional when seeking advice.