Imagine you have travelled to an island alone. You have inside information that there is treasure buried on the island, and you have with you a hand-scrawled map of where the treasure is located. You spend many days trying to discern the map’s clues and follow the signs, digging in various places where you believe the treasure may be buried. Once or twice you’ve found a small pearl or a semi-precious stone, but these only tantalize you, and your agitated desire for the treasure grows stronger and stronger. But you never seem to find the treasure.
Then one day you just stop to rest. And as you do so, you look around you. You find yourself on a high promontory overlooking a sparkling, crystalline blue-green sea. Gentle breezes touch your skin lightly and lovingly. You feel the warmth of the sun. Your body is pleasantly relaxed, and the clear fresh water in your cup tastes wonderful. You smile to yourself, and you realize: this island is so beautiful! You know you’ve been missing the real treasure as you scrambled furiously to find the imagined one.
This seemingly far-fetched scenario isn’t really far-fetched at all. Most of us continue to scramble as if the treasure that will fulfill all our dreams and desires lies over the next hill, if only we can get to it. It lies buried in the degree we want, the raise or promotion, the person we think will magically transform our lives. We struggle to get there, but never seem to arrive.
What if the treasure is already here?
You will only know for sure if you can pause, rest, breathe, smile, and look around you.