While camping during her 50 state journey, Vesterfelt in her book Packing Light writes, “one sense, its depressing to come upon our own insignificance like this. In another sense, it’s exhilarating.” To me this quote shows how one can change their point of view and focus to see things in positive or negative ways. While she gazed out at the Rocky Mountains Vesterfelt was awed by the beautiful landscape that has lasted much longer than human civilizations and will continue to last beyond her existence. Her mixed emotions came from the beautiful peace that this thought created for her, while at the same time she was shaken by her small roll in the world.
I have been hearing about meditation a lot lately, and to me what is important about meditation is the way one can use it to change their thoughts. The practice is not designed to give you “a peaceful mind” but rather meditation is used to help build your focus, to build your awareness, and to help you then control your thoughts. Vesterfelt’s quote about her mixed emotions and thoughts shows how one can interpret the same event in multiple ways, and if that is possible, then meditation and learning how to control your thoughts, and ultimately reactions, can shape how you view the world.