By most standards, I’ve lived an adventurous life: horseback trekking in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan, rock climbing in Thailand, spending over a year dancing salsa in Colombia…
These big, outer adventures happen because I keep a mindset that welcomes new experiences no matter where I am, so the moment I read the news that Independence Day fireworks were scheduled for our local beach here in South Florida, I felt called to go. I knew it would be an adventure!
I have a vivid childhood memory of sitting joyfully in the bed of a pickup truck with my cousins in rural Massachusetts, eating ice cream, and watching as fireworks lit the summer sky above the pine forest. I can still hear my aunt oohing and ahhing with each explosion.
For Buddhists, the sky evokes the vast, spacious nature of consciousness, while mandalas represent the cosmology of the Universe. Peering into the heavens and “merging” the mind with the sky can elicit a sky-like quality of awareness. When fireworks throw luminous mandalas all over the heavens, such meditation occurs naturally. The mind clears, and the psyche kaleidoscopes into open awe.
Since I also formed beautiful memories of this holiday ritual during childhood, I can easily tap into the inner child wonder of it all.
Going for a firework adventure this year led to these six meditative insights:
Center and Let Go
Just as the sand mandalas of the Tibetan tradition are steadfastly assembled, with careful attention to detail, then dissolved in a whoosh, fireworks offer us an organized expression of sparkling beauty, followed by nothing to hold on to. The image centers us in the present moment, then asks us to let go. With non-attachment, we get to keep moving and avoid getting stuck.
For ten minutes or more, hundreds of packages – painstakingly designed and assembled by mysterious hands – shoot into the air and explode with color and creativity. Each one is unique, a surprise. The glimmering diversity cries out: “Be prolific! Bring all your inspired ideas into being! Life is short. What are you waiting for? Create!”
Let Your Life In
To hear what a firework teaches, you have to put down your phone and get direct. Take your experience in through the eyes, the ears, the lens of the mind, the lungs breathing, the reverberations in the bones. Don’t try to capture a copy for later. Pay full attention. Let your life straight in as it unfolds. No filter.
Give Yourself Adventures of Discovery
We recognize childhood as a sacred time, so we give children rituals to bless their lives, tapping them into self-discovery and the amazing world around them. We sing with them, tell them stories, and count the stars. We show them how to hear the ocean in a shell. We take them to see fireworks.
Adulthood deserves reverence, too. Bless your adult life with regular holiday rituals and adventures of discovery. Reinvent traditions. Do things you’ve never done before. Use your imagination! Psst… When there’s a fireworks show in your neighborhood, go!
Do What You Yearn for Sooner
What yearning keeps calling to you? Stop ignoring it! This is your true self asking you to cooperate. Do what you yearn for sooner, and like a firework, be quick about it! Don’t hesitate! If the way is dark like the night sky, trust that when you light the fuse of your own yearning, the path will appear.
Choose Something Glorious and Go All In
Choice is the secret sauce of being a human. Choice gives us the power to change, to face our fears, to forgive, and to connect.
Choose what inspires you the way a firework goes all in and showers the world with breath-taking beauty. Don’t hold back. The spark you have inside of you is sacred. Let it become a bright gift to the world.
In the end, the best thing about having an adventurous spirit isn’t the adventures themselves or even the memories they create; it’s the way exploring opens us up to insights about ourselves, others, and the world.
When you do something different, it shifts your seeing, so plan an adventure today!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Delana Thompson helps spiritually-inclined entrepreneurs express their hearts and expand their influence with authentic copywriting, project management, and professional delivery of their online content. Her clients include teachers and practitioners of meditation, yoga, ayurveda, shamanic healing, astrology, and fine art. When she’s not writing marketing emails or designing landing pages, you’ll find Delana salsa dancing, practicing meditation, planning a trip, listening to a podcast, speaking Spanish, or missing all her faraway friends. Visit Delana on LinkedIn to learn more about her business.