This morning I took a 30 minute walk around the neighborhood near the office.  My body needed the exercise. My mind needed the fresh air. My spirit needed to spend some quiet time and I intentionally left my phone in the car.

It never fails when I quiet my mind and remove distractions, I discover the most incredible things inside ME. Why don’t I meet myself like this more often? I fear I have grown too accustomed to the artificial satisfaction of distraction and tendency to place false faith in the story and promise of others. The time I spend without the distraction of events, emails, phone calls are my finest moments of clarity, of consciousness.

During this quiet time today my thoughts drifted to several beautiful vistas. Sometimes this discovery process begins with a simple observation of my environment other times a quote repeats in my head. As I strolled past other walkers I graciously bade a good morning – it felt good to acknowledge my fellow man. I passed reminded me somehow of Kaua’i. It’s interesting however that the house itself looked nothing like those in Hawai’i, but there was something about the quiet spirit of the home that brought me back to the warm tropics. Reminiscing of Hawai’i and my last real vacation I realized taking a vacation has less to do with escaping our current day to day habits and has everything to do with the longing for the time with our own spirit. We escape the routine, the habits, the familiar environments so we can focus on what is left – oursselve. This morning, I didn’t need to physically be in Hawaii to feel its peace, its community. I owned it already. Inside.

Another gift of this morning walk was discovering a home decked out for Valentine’s Day. Now how many people even decorate their home for Valentine’s Day let alone three weeks early? What struck me most was an 8 foot inflatable teddy bear holding a heart and saying I LOVE YOU. He was there for me today. I was meant to run across his red-pillowed message. He reminded me that I was loved and to spread love this day and every day. It filled me with love.

Today I created sacred space to discover LOVE in the most unexpected places.