The Ecuadorian people in our new community are so much calmer than my former neighbors in the United States. They work hard and have many challenges, just like everyone, but seem to be able to maintain a joyful spirit despite any limitations.
My type-A, achievement based American outlook is always focused on the future. That voice in my head says things like, “What else can I do? What should I try next week? I need a five year plan….” I’ve been taught to always look forward so that I can try harder and grow stronger.
No wonder I can get stressed out and tired at times.:-)
After nine months in Ecuador, I’m thankfully starting to learn a new outlook. Here in the Andes, people focus on today. If they have enough money, friends, and resources for today, they feel fortunate and blessed. They let things unfold rather than obsessively plan for the distant future.
While everyone here works hard and has future goals, they spend less time focused on the future. I’ve been told by friends here that the future belongs to the Divine so it does not make sense to worry about it. Instead, they tell me, enjoy this day, work hard, laugh harder, and love your family. Tomorrow will unfold like it is supposed to without your help.
This outlook is so freeing!
And guess what? Nothing terrible has happened. Without my desire to plan and control the outcome of every situation, I have a lot more time and energy for living my life.
Can you borrow some of this relaxed Ecuadorian outlook in your busy life? Try shifting your focus to today whenever you get caught in a whirlwind of planning, anxiety, and to-do lists. Take a deep breath and notice just how much good you have in your light in this present moment.