Wondering While Wandering: Musings from a Modern Elder.

August 6, 2023

Wondering While Wandering: Musings from a Modern Elder.

May 29, 2023

Wondering while wandering can be a beautiful and profound form of presence. But then my mind starts whirling and worrying about things as if some destination needs to be quickly established or I have lost my direction; my purpose, indeed my very meaning.

I have less money than many but lots more than most and yet my mind whirls and worries about money. I have achieved, by many measures of the world, great successes in a 40-year tech career and yet my mind whirls and worries about whether I've done enough, been enough, been appreciated enough, been respected enough, been admired enough. Enough already!

And, now after a 40-year grind, I'm resting and mastering my mind. When I learned, and then began to deeply observe, that my brain (all of our brains) evolved with the primary mechanics of identifying things to fear in order to survive threats, I became intensely curious to know more in the hopes to understand, if not master, my mind. When I learned that these same evolved brains can't distinguish between physical threat and psycho emotional thoughts (worry) I began to explore meditation and mindfulness (thank you, Sam Harris) in a way that transformed how I view and more importantly how I experience my mind.

And then I began to love and respect myself, my mind, for who and what I am. A beautifully and wonderfully evolved sentient being with a brain that is functioning perfectly as it evolved to function. A perfect act of nature. Not at all surprisingly I embraced this beautiful recognition as I was wondering while wandering...in nature.

As I wandered through the forest, in awe of the beauty and diversity of nature, I realized that the forest, and all that is living in its ecosystem is perfect. Everything is living and being exactly as it evolved to be. In a vast, stunningly beautiful and amazingly complex ecosystem, there is death and decay, there is new life and exquisite color in a complex system of interdependent life that researchers have discovered communicates in ways never before understood.

And then I recognized that my brain, my perfectly evolved brain, is acting exactly as nature intends. I now respect my brain deeply for how it serves me to keep me safe but also for how it causes me to suffer. And in both service and suffering, I have come to admire it for its complexity, its power, and its connection to my body, indeed, my being. Most importantly I have come to respect the naturally evolved way my mind defaults to fear (3 to 1) as a mechanism to protect me. So now, when I feel fear, I observe it, identify it and channel that fear into awareness. And it's that awareness that affords me the capacity to overcome and to love. To love me and my beautiful brain, and to love all the diverse and beautiful brains that I commune in nature with every day.

So when you can, take time to rest and pursue the mastery of your natural mind. But most of all wander, without purpose and observe...deeply. Because you will find awe as you wander and it could make you wonder about the beauty around you and the beauty within you.

Bob (aka “Curious Robbie”) is a MEA ambassador and spent 40 years riding the waves of exponential advancements in technology culminating with a 25 year run as a CIO for a major US based law firm. He thrives at the intersection of emerging technology and people with a deep passion for connecting people to purpose within a corporate culture.

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