What lessons are to be learned on a canoe trip

Being very interested in tai chi I asked my tai chi master/teacher about my canoe trip. He asked me what am I going to learn. That would help explain WHY I’m on this journey in the first place. I didn’t understand what he meant at the time. I thought long and hard and didn’t find any answer at the time.
I have been on this trip for about 16 or 17 months now and on reflection am beginning to realise that indeed I have learned a few things along the way. They are probably lessons that I should have learned over the course of life anyway. Sometimes lessons need to be learned the hard way.
Among the lessons I have learned are that,
  • Slowing down is good – Stop, Look and Listen – Life is not for rushing through.
  • Sometimes it is necessary to just say no.
  • People are surprising and are not always (if ever) what you think they are.
  • I have an Inner Strength I didn’t realise was there (we all do I think).
  • Take it day by day.
  • Stillness is essential.

One thought on “What lessons are to be learned on a canoe trip

  1. Life is purposeful even when it is hard or should that read 'Especially when it is hard' ?? Tonight, I have been thinking back to what my Tai Chi master said about me asking myself what is being learned by this trip. In a previous post I mentioned a number of potential answers to that. However on further reflection I don't think I need to be on this canoe trip to learn those particular lessons as they are very self evident This reflection was prompted by various discussions in a philosophy class. Certainly the things that disturb you or make you think are providing learning, self-realisation or self-awareness opportunities. Is everything that happens to you a chance to learn. Undoubtedly it is. When I talk about life being hard I'm specifically referring to bad things that happens in life. I think there are worse things that can happen then a cancer diagnosis (this of course is all relative to the type of cancer and the prognosis). This is very much a philosophical question but what can a canoe trip such as the one I am on possibly teach me? I think there is some further reflection required here. More than eighteen months on the trip so far and I still don't know where it is going nor why I am on it. Are the answers to where and why important? I think I may be better served by concentrating on just rowing for a while and mulling this over a bit more. Action seems more important at present.

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