I find it hard to slow down. Are you like me?
I have made various efforts to--most notably Centering Prayer, which requires 20 minutes or so of sitting still, eyes closed, focused on nothing but one word--or, at least, coming back to it, after my brain continues to run through a list of things to do, runs ahead of itself. Each day presents new challenges to this contemplative practice, but I keep on--the rewards are too great in my life to give up, and I feel compelled to create that moment for God in my everyday life.
I was just thinking that, when I stay home this summer preparing for the baby and creating a curriculum for a new 1101 class, then my life will have significantly slowed down, and that I will probably have trouble not having three proverbial pots boiling at once! Perhaps I should enjoy this as the calm before the storm--the baby will certainly take a great deal of my attention, after all, and then I need to remember the other factors in my life: my husband, my friends, writing and expanding my mind. I need that--I need the opportunity to always think and consider and dream--I do not want to grow static in my own sense of self. We’ll see. If you’re like me you struggle with this too, but that’s just a part of it all. I have always tended to have three pots on the stove of my life, and think that if I don’t, I’m not productive enough.
Which of course is bollocks, to borrow a fave Brit term.
Real life is about enjoying the thing right in front of you: morning sunshine as I write has my attention at the moment. In fact, I suddenly want to stop grading and move out into the sunlight, maybe play with the dogs? OK--I know, focus is necessary. But is it really necessary to drive and text as I see so many students do around town? (Or walk and text, talk and text, shop and text....). Or is it necessary to answer the phone when you’re in the middle of something really interesting? Even being online on social networking--maybe hours are not necessary. What about the real, genuine moment? Maybe for you the moment is enjoying some music--really listening to it--not as background but as the foreground of your attention. Or relishing your food rather than eating it on the run. Or talking a walk, swimming, whatever exercise you like--and being into it, not thinking ahead at the next meeting or the list of to do items that must somehow get done. Life can be busy, and demanding, but we get one to live, and I am reviewing right now how I will adjust and live mine--I hope--in balance with all (well, maybe most of) those demands.
In the spirit, I’ll finish--and you can get up and go outside!