I recently took a journey partway across country. I drove through about 4 states, each place living a little differently than the next. As you stop along the highway for coffee, one can get a gist of how people feel in the current climate of overall life. No two people live life exactly the same, but as groups we do gravitate towards certain norms. While it’s easy for us to believe that everyone sees life the same way we do, once we get outside of our surroundings we can throw the script out the window. Each town, city, and state have set in place their own view of happiness. Some of it we may agree with, some of it we may not, but different strokes for different folks.
Many of us seem to be looking for the Magic Formula, which basically is: 1) Having a nice place to live. 2) Having enough money to afford what we need. 3) Feeling good about ourselves and loved ones. 4) Seeing a Greater Picture to life. I’m sure, as always, you can add a point or two to this list, to make it more personal….but overall this seems to be what many of us desire. The journey to fulfill this “Magic Formula” can take numerous twists and turns, and as I learned on my recent trip, the different faces showed the stages at which people are at on their journeys.
At one rest stop I saw a man and his wife in a large recreational vehicle, or motorhome, taking a break, so I approached them and asked if I could take a look at their “home on wheels.” As the door opened his smiling wife invited me in, and to my shock, inside was basically an apartment fully equipped with shower, kitchen, bedroom, and livingroom. I could not believe how much could be put into one of these vehicles. The man whose name was Bob, said to me, “This is my baby.” I asked him why he feels that he wants to drive around like this. He responded, “Ah ha! This is my freedom. In this vehicle I can go anywhere. All my life I was told I had to stay within the confines of my small town. What I’ve learned about life with this traveling home on wheels I could never have learned in any University.” “What have you learned?” I asked. “Well, Jennifer,” he responded, “I have learned that people basically are good. What’s screws them up is pain. If they think you’re not going to hurt them, they will more than oblige you.” To me, Bob, and his wife Shirley, in some way, have found their Magic Formula. The joy that was written on their two faces was incredible. Also, upon my travels, I visited a local hospital. I witnessed a family being there to support a relative who was having surgery. As they waited for the operation to be completed, the sweaty palms and nervousness echoed around them. Suddenly the doors opened and the surgeon approached them with the news….”Everything went well.” The look on the doctor’s face that she had been successful with the operation and relieved that everything went according to plan, showed me that she too had found her Magic Formula. For her, this is how she feels fulfilled and contributes to other people’s lives.
There are thousands of stories like these, where we set out to fill the void and embrace the answers to our questions. “Why is my life important? How can I make a difference? What makes me feel fulfilled?” we ask ourselves. What we eventually learn is that most of what we need from life involves other people. Life is meant to be shared. It’s a continuing process, this Magic Formula. Once you have discovered it, you must continue to practice it. Bob and Shirley, the motorhome people, continue to drive off each month to seek out new places to visit. They fully believe that the more they explore, the more they grow. The surgeon goes home feeling she has done the best job she could, even if things don’t always work out exactly the way she wanted.
The Magic Formula incorporates the body, mind, and soul. Each are a vital link to the other for growth and awareness. Every day do something that will contribute to the wellness of your Formula.
Â© 2000 Jennifer Avalon