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May 21, 2014

Finding Meaning in Life’s Turning Points.

gold water rock path sunset

There really should be a road map for 20-year-olds.

I imagine it would look like a crazy Picasso painting with no clear images or direction; specks of beauty, vibrantly disguised amidst meandering shapes, any of which could be deemed a “turning point.”

I have always believed in turning points: those pivotal moments in our lives that stand out as life-changing and memorable; those moments that take us from one state to another: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

However, perhaps not all turning points are as definitive as this. Can we always pinpoint a specific moment on the road map of our lives that has changed things for the better or the worse?

Lately I have been thinking about a turning point as a mental shift that has no particular result. It is a feeling, that is now practiced everyday.

Thus, perhaps every moment marks an opportunity for a turning point to occur; to experience that physical, mental, emotional and more than anything, spiritual shift.

True turning points occur when the mind starts to map with the heart; when intention is dominated by love and happiness; that feeling, when you know, you’re heading down the meandering path of life, with every turn offering a point to shine, to grow, to see more.

It’s not in the midst of an “a-ha moment” that true growth occurs; rather, it is in the awareness and the action that precedes the emotion.

It is an entirely new way of being.

I’m starting to think that our lives are just a series of “turning points”—points that never truly end, but rather, constantly evolve. My very best friend asked me the other day what I felt “the” turning point was in the different attitude I have adopted—positive, hopeful, optimistic, happy. I laughed to myself, and said, “ I don’t think I believe in turning points anymore. I think that life itself is just a series of constant turning points that evolve to the extent that we decide to actively participate in our own lives.

In fact, I’m still in the turning point, and it feels amazing.”

“Well then what has changed?” Nothing has changed. Everyday is a practice. Everyday I actively stop searching for these pivotal and defining moments in time.

Instead, I wake up and I notice what makes me happy. I notice what makes my laugh, my smile, my spark come alive, and usually, I notice these things in the midst of the tiniest of moments; those moments that from the outside view, are nothing special, but to me, all the more worthwhile.

The turning points are those moments of observance when I can bring myself back to a place of inspiration, balance and positivity; when I can embrace the art of simplicity and when I can let go of trying to figure out the map of my life.

The greatest thing we can ever figure out is that we are never going to have it all figured out.

Life is paradoxical this way; when we stop searching for the “a-ha moments,” we begin to see that much clearer.

We begin to notice that a turning point is nothing more than a confirmation that wherever we are, in this moment and in every moment, is exactly where we need to be.

 

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Editor: Renée Picard

Photo: Markus Gann at Pixoto

 

 

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Lauren Cohen  |  Contribution: 2,120