Want Less Fear, More Joy? Take the Next Step

I stepped off the train into a blizzard. As I stood there trying to figure out where to go, I heard the conductor’s cry of All Aboard!, and knew I would soon be left to fend for myself. Yet fear never entered my consciousness. Instead, fully immersed in the moment and its requirements, I took the next step.

This has become my mantra recently: Take the next step. Take the next step. It brings me into the moment where action lives. The future is where fear lives: The Unknown. The present offers reality and choices.

That day last month in Colorado, I took the next step and located the bus stand. I took the next step and boarded the bus. I took the next step and dragged my 80 pounds of luggage (thank goodness for wheels) across a highway in snow so thick I could barely see the approaching cars. Then, because it was too early to check into my hotel, I took the next step and found a restaurant where the owner let me come inside and wait even though he wasn’t yet open for business.

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Tired but happy as the bus pulls away.

This perhaps sounds like a horrible day, but it wasn’t. Everything came together in divine order. The bus pulled up the second I located the bus stand. The kind owner of the restaurant let me wait inside in the warmth. If I had thought about this ahead of time, somehow known what might have happened, it could have caused fear and stress. I’d have worried how I would get from the train station to my hotel in a blizzard. Instead, taking each step in the current moment, it wasn’t a fear-based experience; it was life—and it worked out.

There is a lot of fear about the future these days with the current political climate, the Earth and its climate, and a general degree of anxiety in the people I meet. But that is living in the future where fear resides. In the present, we can look at our situations (What activism calls to you? What would you like to change?) and simply take the next step. And then the next. And in the process affect change from the present and a place of conscious action—instead of a place of fear.

So, what’s your next step?

Below is a video I took wearing a Qlippie clip-on camera when I arrived in Winter Park. The wind was fierce, the windchill about -6, and the 8,753 altitude had me huffing, but wait for my laugh of pure joy when I see the bus pull up just as I locate the bus stop. 

Read more about Colorado by rail:

You Won’t Want to Miss These 4 Great Places to Eat in Winter Park

My New Favorite Travel Accessory

A Lesson in Breeding Mason Bees

An Amazing View on the California Zephyr

Notes from the Train: The Good, the Bad, the Glorious

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