The joy is in the journey. You’ve probably heard that before. What does that really mean? Especially when parts of the journey are challenging or just plain dreadful?
Something within me seems so unquenchably hungry to arrive somewhere, as if I’m incessantly hunting for a place of rest, of peace ... a place where I simply feel really good by no actual effort of my own. That hunger plays out as I look for a romantic partner, with the thought lurking just below my conscious mind that if I can only find the right partner, I will finally be able to relax and know that all is now forever well.
Of course, every time in my past when I thought I’d found the woman who just might be “The One”, it turned out I was simply beginning a new adventure of self-discovery that would often be mildly uncomfortable at best, excruciatingly painful at worst.
Perhaps one day I will meet a woman who makes it clear to me why all the others didn’t work out. Right now, however, I hear even that last sentence as just buying into the story of a destination again. More likely, I’ll meet an amazing woman I’ll want to build a life with ... and, well, therein lies that particular journey: building a life with.
I see this “it’s the journey, there’s no destination” story play out everywhere in my life. I certainly play it out over and over as a manager of music artists.
One of my artists just released their debut music video. I was there every step of the way. It started of course with making the music, writing the song and working with producers to record it. It took months, years really, building relationships with the best directors for the project, followed by months of detailed conversations and long road trips to scout locations, do photo shoots and heartstorm concepts for the video. It took months working with investors to get the money together. It took months working closely with the artist in myriad ways, simply to ensure the project was actually carried through. It only took a day to shoot the actual video. Then it took another few months of editing and feedback, editing and feedback, editing and feedback. Finally the video was ready.
The night I saw the final video for the first time, I was alone in my bedroom just before going to sleep. The director had sent me a private link. I opened it. When I saw this final vision of beauty streaming through the screen, the laughter, the celebration of life, this unfiltered expression of unconditional love for planet earth, well ... I was just flabbergasted (I love that word). All of a sudden, right before my eyes, I watched a completed, tangible video monument of human splendor and achievement.
As I strutted wildly around the room like an ecstatic rooster, high-fiving imaginary bros, I felt the elation of arrival. I experienced a moment of what simply felt like “successfully arrived at destination”.
Goal accomplished. I had just successfully created a worldclass music video that would add joy and light to the world while showcasing my artists’s brilliant music in a way that’s sure to get people’s attention.
Phew!!! Hallelujah!! Kingdom Come!! All Hail Ceasar!! Cinnamon Sugar Toast Delight!!
But as that moment passed and we actually released the video into the “real world” a few weeks later, and after YouTube views initially shot up then began leveling off, my euphoria quickly morphed into the awareness that not only had we not arrived anywhere, but in fact a new journey had just begun.
We live lives of never-ending motion ... motion that our egos hope is always “forward”, although if there’s no destination, how can we ever tell which direction we’re actually moving in? Perhaps you’ve noticed times when it seems like you’ve just gone “two steps forward, but one step back.”
Well, where are you going two steps forward to? If there’s truly no final destination - or at least, if once we reach a destination there’s only another journey there waiting for us - why are we so rushed to get somewhere? Anyway, there’s no guarantee you’ll ever get to where you think you need to be going, anyway. Life is far too unpredictable and fickle for us to ever know what comes next. Might as well enjoy this particular journey you’re on right now as if it could be the last journey you ever embark on. Because it might be.
One of the great challenges our planet is working to overcome right now, I believe, is our persistent, insistent belief that there’s actually somewhere for us to go. In the name of somewhere to go, some destination we’ve gotta get to, we tromp quickly along our path with little or no regard for the miracles and beauty along the way. Often in our haste we lay waste to our surrounding beauty and completely miss out on the everyday miracles pervading our world. Witness the plastification of our oceans, the gridlock of our highways (where are we all so desperately needing to go??), the voracious humanity-oppressing plundering of worldly riches.
It seems life on this planet is simply one of perpetual motion. Alanis Morissette, in her song, “Incomplete”, sings:
“I have been running so sweaty my whole life
Urgent for a finish line
And I have been missing the rapture this whole time
Of being forever incomplete”
There are so many delicious gifts in my world right now, regardless of whether I have the “right woman” to share them with. And after 6 years working with brilliant heart-centered artists, whether or not they ever break out of obscurity into ... well, “scurity” ... I can authentically say the wonder of that journey itself is perhaps the most amazing adventure so far in my lifetime; an adventure that will continue until one day I decide simply to set off on a different journey.
Give yourself a break. Keep moving if you must, but be aware that when you get there, you’ll just discover another journey waiting. Perhaps you think that one will be more interesting than the one you’re on right now. Could be. But there's no guarantee you'll ever make it to that journey, and along the way you might miss out on the incredible beauty and miracles all around you ... RIGHT NOW.
I love to remember this Irish saying (at least I’m gonna credit the Irish for it): “When God made time, She made enough of it.”
Breathe. Right now, you are exactly where you’re supposed to be. Enjoy the journey!
p.s. if you’re curious, watch that innovative music video at www.AshRuiz.com
About Bryan Reeves
Bryan is currently writing his first book, “Tell The Truth and Let The Peace Fall Where It May”, and continues to work with other visionary creators to produce and promote world-class transformational entertainment events, festivals, and more. Discover Bryan at ManagingTheMagic.com