My 48 Minutes by Christopher Garcia, New York City, New York 

While I may be on the verge of turning 50, I feel like a young kid who is awed and amazed at the life that he is living. This year will see my husband – my best friend – and I celebrating five years of marriage and, God willing, I will have 13 years of sobriety. With each new day, I am given an opportunity to work with some brilliant people who truly engage me as we work together to make this world just a little bit of a better place to live. Each member of my chosen family makes my life richer, filling me with deeper experiences and providing me with truly authentic relationships. I am living the life I was meant to, one day at a time, rejoicing at the many paths that life now offers.

Close your eyes and ask yourself, “Where is it that you want to be? What do you want to leave behind? What do you want to take with you?”

These are the questions that are asked of me at the beginning of every spin class, which happens to take about 48 minutes. These are now the questions I ask myself whenever I ride my favorite dune path in Provincetown, Massachusetts, which also takes about 48 minutes.

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These are the questions that I focus on as I navigate the crowded subways and sidewalks of the concrete jungle in which I live. Millions of people, all rushing, all driven, all distracted by devices – unable to enjoy the magnitude and glory of the world around them, unable to be mindful of what’s around them and what surrounds them. Hailing from greener spaces, I still walk with my eyes wide open, marveling at the seemingly endless life and energy that connects us all. I too push through the maddening crowd in a rush to claim my seat and to transport myself, not physically, but mentally and spiritually to another place in my mind. A place of peace, of solitude, of beauty.

Close your eyes and ask yourself, “Where is it that you want to be? What do you want to leave behind? What do you want to take with you?”

Because I want to be there, I push my legs to start moving and I close my eyes. Even though I can no longer see, I visualize clearly. Gone are the rows of bikes, the smells of the gym, the beat of the music and all the other people. All I have now is the sound of my breath and a darkness which opens to that dune path, the one that leads me to serenity. I embrace the journey, not because of where it ends, but because of the odyssey along the way. The muscle exercised isn’t necessarily a physical one, but rather spiritual. Each inhalation brings me closer to the fragrance of the woods, rich with pine, honeysuckle and sea salt. Each turn of the wheel lets me imagine more acutely the heat of the sun on my face and the ocean breeze.

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Close your eyes and ask yourself, “Where is it that you want to be? What do you want to leave behind? What do you want to take with you?”

Behind me I leave the fear to follow the path in front of me. The path that was there before me, the path that is there for me.

In 48 minutes I can be in my office, or in 48 minutes I can just be.