If Heaven had a flavor ... it would be coffee.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Walk Mindfully

I recently read the book A Year by the Sea, - thoughts of an unfinished woman, by Joan Anderson.  In it she writes, "I've promised not to instruct or ask my husband what he is going to do with the rest of his life...I'll listen to his thoughts and ideas but hesitate before offering opinions...Falling into old patterns would only serve to diminish our spiritual growth."  It is a rare person that will live by that philosophy, but how our lives would swell if we did!  It took Joan a year of living by herself on Cape Cod to realize that she could be with her husband and still be selfish enough to take care of her soul.  Too often couples neglect their individual selves - forgetting to nurture what it is in their souls that inspires them and gets them piqued.  For some it can be seeing the dried up paint brushes in the basement, or the dusty guitar in the back of the closet that makes them yearn for other times.  It is important to grant each other space to grow, room to explore new interests, and individual time to have "aha" moments - a moment of clarity, a defining moment where you gain real wisdom - wisdom you can use to change your life.

 Getting entwined with nature is one way to nurture yourself.  Thomas Merton once said, "You can't be neurotic in front of a bunch of trees."  Take a walk in a direction you've never gone before, hike up a hill you've seen for years yet never taken.  Joan says in her book, "Be still and listen to the primitive squawk of birds and breathe, breathe deeply of the moist, clean air and be open to whatever comes your way."

When One is freshly informed, and has a serendipitous experience,
     one's mood is changed, one's heart is changed.  That is why
taking time to see, hear, be present to images and language that
     arise from new experiences have the power to change one
                              from one way to another.

-Women Who Run With The Wolves

Grief is a partner to change.  We feel a loss when change is taking place, whether it's a wanted change, or an unwanted one.  It can bring sadness as we see the past fade behind and we feel the familiar is gone.  With it is fear of the unknown - Will I fail?  Will it hurt?  Will I be okay? We allow too many days to go dull and permit too many parts to go unused.  Each day's adventures can teach us how simple it is to be involved and uplifted by nothing more complicated than the unexpected.  Keep your senses alive by using them - smell the pines, feel the wind, hear the brook, taste the berry. 

It takes strength to acquire independence, and the risk of being estranged from the life you've always known.  Life has it's own laws and we need to be mindful to walk carefully through it so as not to bring it a disservice.  So it should be with those who move in and through our lives.  Dig deep and collect moments, don't sit still.  Life is a work in progress. 

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you change is hard but affords the biggest breakthroughs! Keep sharing.