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Maybe We’ll Never Arrive

“Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.” ~Matsuo Basho

Once, one of my friends shared a line of wisdom that summed up the dance of wholeness and aspiration I often find myself absorbed in:

“Everything is quite all right; our worth secure and true. Everything’s not quite all right; we’ve worthy work to do…”

Part of the longing and neediness I tend to feel comes from a rift between who or where I am, and where I believe I should be to be “successful.”

My life has been colored by this dichotomy: the strange see-sawing dance between achievement and room to grow.

I’ve struggled endlessly with the concept of my “potential” and the frustrating feeling that potential will always add itself on to the top of any ceiling I break through, creating only more upward space in which to aim, aspire, and yearn.

And yet, any spiritual practice will allow us to see that we are whole, complete, and perfect just as we are in the very moment.

For me, yoga has been a bridge between these two places—where I am and where I want to be.

It encourages me to be grounded, to deepen, to see and experience my wholeness, to accept myself for all my facets—just as I am. It allows me to be a work in progress, allows my life to be a journey, and my emotions a process.

I have utilized yoga and meditation as a tool of self-love, one that then immediately opens into compassion for others, and an expansive sense of self. I live my day with more love, more serenity, and more grace, when I actively dedicate time and energy to tapping into a calmer sense of being.

Yet, there is always something under the surface, stewing. The promise of what I could become. Like a bud that is meant to blossom into a flower, I feel that I am not yet feeling the depth and breadth of the sunlight on my petals.

I have a sense that there is more to this life, that great things are possible. And I am unsure how to unleash whatever is blocking me from tapping into that creative and magnanimous source. Or, if like the butterfly still growing within the safety of the cocoon, if I must still be patient before it is time to fly.

When I neglect my spiritual practice, or cease to pay attention to the serenity that it provides, I often still feel a nagging itch of insatiable curiosity that lingers—a little voice belonging to a seeker who is more in love with the search than with the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

I wonder if that seeker is an engrained part of my personality, or if she will ever find a contentment that she will be content with!

In sum, I have no answers, but only questions I invite you to explore with me:

1. What does it mean for you to be “fulfilled,” “accomplished,” and “successful” in your life?

2. What do you desire in the depths of your heart? Is it within your reach, or even possible that it already resides within?

3. If you take this moment to breathe, to be, do you feel content, settled, and satisfied to be you just as you are?

4. Are you at peace with being both a bud and a flower at the same time?

I always wonder, if I reach all of my dreams, will I really sit at the top of the mountain and feel I have “arrived”?

Do we ever really arrive, or aren’t there just peak moments where we get an astonishing and breathtaking view before tying up our boot strings, and heading off towards the next adventure…

Photo by Mapless in Seattle

Avatar of Jeanine Cerundolo

About Jeanine Cerundolo

Jeanine is a workshop facilitator, personal development coach, writer/poet, and Kripalu yoga instructor who lives in New York City. With former experience in social work and education, she  believes that much lasting change in our world begins from the inside out. She blogs at ZestforTheQuest.com. You can reach her at JeanineNicole(AT)ZestfortheQuest(DOT)com or on Twitter @ZestfortheQuest and learn more at www.jeaninecerundolo.com.

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  • http://www.davidsfinch.com David Finch

    Jeanie, first of all, you had me at the title. The thought of “not arriving” is an internal battle every success driven individual cannot fathom to embrace. When you’re destination driven, not arriving equals failure. Learning to enjoy the journey is a process that challenges me to redefine my thoughts about success. 

    When I begin to look at success as an outcome to an internal happiness, everything I touch and do at that moment is a success. In your words learning to be “at peace as a bud and flower” is OK. As long as I’m moving. growing and learning.

    Thanks for the time you spent to share your story. 

  • http://www.smiffbib.com/ Kerry :)

    ” Yet, there is always something under the surface, stewing. The promise of what I could become. Like a bud that is meant to blossom into a flower, I feel that I am not yet feeling the depth and breadth of the sunlight on my petals.” … WELL SAID… and maybe exactly my issue :(

  • rio

    Thank you so much for this article. It felt like this was written for me. “Maybe we will never arrive”…and maybe we already have and we are exactly where we need to be at any given moment. 

  • Dianna

    Many years ago, I felt that I was not a “success” at much of anything.  Then one day I realized that I was allowing myself to define success by the world’s standard.  I changed the definition of “success” to accommodate my life and reality.  Since that day, I have blossomed and succeeded at so many things.  I am successful in my own way and by my own terms and definition.  No one can take that away from me.

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful insight.

  • http://twitter.com/Jennifer_Boykin Jennifer Boykin

    I loved your piece!  This is so brilliantly illustrated:  “I’ve struggled endlessly with the concept of my “potential” and the frustrating feeling that potential will always add itself on to the top of any ceiling I break through, creating only more upward space in which to aim, aspire, and yearn.”

    I copied a link to my readers at https://www.facebook.com/LifeAfterTampons

  • http://www.zestforthequest.com/ Jeanine Nicole

    Thanks for your comment, David! Yes, I agree that success is a job to do from the inside out. I believe there are moments of “arriving”, but that fulfillment doesn’t come from having captured a dream, but is rather born and is continually evolving in every moment of the process of creating and pursuing the dream. Thus, success might actually simply be those moments when we can awake to the Wholeness and Completeness that is present even while we are still in Progress. And, knowing that even when we get what we think we desire, satisfaction won’t come unless we allow ourselves to celebrate in that success! Hope that makes sense :) 

  • http://www.zestforthequest.com/ Jeanine Nicole

    Thanks so much for sharing, Jennifer! =)

  • http://www.justdailyliving.com/ Kathryn Trombly

    Jeanine,

    What a lovely piece on a subject that challenges many people.  I love the questions and find myself asking lately, how can we love who and where we are today, while still giving ourselves the room to grow and evolve by following the path that our dreams guide us toward?    

    Because I’ve found that the harder I chase after my dreams the greater my dislike for the present multiplies.  And all this intense focus on my dreams, on crossing some finish line that may never come only robs me of my delight, peace and awe for the amazing things, incredible people, beautiful landscapes and wonderful experiences that are created today.

    Lately I’ve begun to think that it isn’t about the realization of my dreams that I live for, but the realization of who I am that I discover everyday.

  • http://www.zestforthequest.com/ Jeanine Nicole

    Well said, Kathryn. Your summary of the process is perfect and much appreciated! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and insights :)

  • Greg Robson

    Thank you, after the day I had today that has given me a pause for reflection. That’s one of the many things I love about this blog. The right article always seems to drop into my inbox when I need it most :-)

  • Vin

    Dreams are an illusion. We live in constant fear of the reality of the present moment, therefore we hope for a better future. We live in a society that conditions us to want more, better, faster, louder, bigger. If anythjng, we’be overachieved. Now don’t get me wrong, our advancements in an array of areas are luxuries worth having. But once we get used to them and accept them as normal, we again become discontent and continue to look ahead. I suggest to consciously think in a more primitive mindset about what we actually need to live happy lives. Hopefully you’ll see we have more than we need and we shows be grateful/content with where we are. Obviously not speaking for those less fortunate in the world with less than they need.

  • http://www.madlabpost.com/ TheMadlabPost

    Good questions, especially the first three, as I’ve been trying to answer them over the last few months. I’m afraid that the fourth one, however, is a big fat n-o….I think.The tango might kill me, so I have to find peace as one or the other.

  • M_srika

    JUST BE is a wonderful concept. Thanks for articulating it so well.

  • Cecilia

    I think it is all about the journey and not the destination itself.. it is about longing for something that yet hasn’t arrived to our life. I think it is more about seeking than actually having something or experiencing something.

    Sometimes that belief makes me not wanting to do or get some things because I know once I get it or I have done that thing there will be something else out there that I want or want to do.. It is an neverending search because the opportunities out there are endless!

    I do believe though that we can feel contentment with what we’ve got today in this precious moment; by training our mind… but some of us might just want to feel that excitement of seeking for that special thing; whatever we believe it is?
    Great article! :)

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/U7UP4EY3UX2EWKDC533XGMMMTE Anosh

    Nice article..