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What if there is no Island?

I don’t know about you, but one thing that I find extremely difficult no matter how hard I try, is being present. Maybe it’s our fast-paced society of always rushing from one thing to the next. Nowadays, the simple act of taking time to actually slow down and relax is viewed as “lazy”. Or maybe it’s my “go-getter” personality that keeps me always on my toes and reaching for the next thing I can accomplish. Whatever the reason, I find it extremely hard to chill out and just be. Anytime I do accomplish something I’m working towards, I tend to have a feeling of “okay…now what?” Perhaps, you do too?

Recently, I came across this metaphor of “the island” and it immediately resonated with me. Think about it. We spend the majority of our lives swimming in the “ocean”. We are always trying to get to that next thing. We swim for that next job, next promotion, next vacation, next new house, next meal, next step that we believe is going to get us to where we want to be: the island. We truly convince ourselves that once we get whatever that “next thing” is, we will reach that island and be truly happy. Once we get there, we won’t have a worry in the world and now we are able to truly enjoy life. We act like Dory from Finding Nemo and just keep swimming, swimming, swimming.

But, what if I told you there is no island? What if there isn’t a perfect place waiting for us that once we reach it everything will be okay and easy? Or what if we do reach our island/goal and still are left feeling unsatisfied? How about, instead of frantically swimming for the island and driving ourselves mad with this anxiety, we work on choosing to find the magic in small moments each day?

Life is always going to be filled with bumps in the road, most of them unexpected. It sounds bleak, but it really is true that we aren’t guaranteed a tomorrow. Of course we should always be striving towards bettering ourselves and woking on some sort of goal. But don’t tie your happiness to achieving said goal. So as we swim towards our “next thing”, let’s make sure to take a moment every now and then to flip over, lie on our backs, and just float.

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