Just like many of us, Amsterdam crowds so much into such little space, yet in such a charming way! I took this photo with a wide angle lens, positioning myself carefully to capture what I considered the essence of Amsterdam: the bikes, the bridges, the canals and the quaint canal houses. Capturing the big picture was what I remember thinking about.
Looking back at it now, I am struck by how there is a balance, a calm and a sense of order within this crowded scene. Notice how the chaos and the crowdedness lie all around the outside. The houses, each different, each jammed in against its neighbor, line up against the sky. The crowded mass of bikes squeezes into the frame from the bottom.
In the center of it all is the still, quiet water – the gently flowing canal. Look! There is calm and quiet in the middle of the crowdedness!
Is this a photograph of Amsterdam, or a reflection of the life that so many of us lead? Pause and reflect for a moment. Is your life as crowded as the houses and bikes along this Amsterdam Canal? Are you rushing through each day, squeezing in activities and tasks as tight as the canal houses? Are you so busy doing that you lose track of being? Your being?
Get in touch with your center. Activities like walking, quiet meditation, or journaling will help you do that. What are your values? Who are you, besides the roles you play? Don’t force these answers. Just quiet your mind and stop the chatter. In fact, it isn’t a mind thing at all. It’s more of a feeling and a knowing that comes from your heart, not your mind. It’s not something you have to find, because it’s been there all along. Open your heart, to yourself as well as to others, and your true Self will reveal itself to you.
Take a good look at your life, the energy you generate, and the people you surround yourself with. If your life were a movie script and you were the lead role, what would you say about it? What would you change? And most important, what could you do right now, and every day, to rediscover the joy of living a life that is guided by the calm and the peace that is in your heart?