It’s pretty difficult to avoid rushing in today’s world. It doesn’t leave much time for deeper reflection, yet that is precisely what would minimize all of our rushing around! Slowing down, paying attention to this moment, allows us to stay focused and highly engaged in what we are doing. Rushing means we are living full-speed-ahead in the future, and what we try to “get done” in the present suffers from lack of attention. Take a deep breath, and smile. It’s like setting the ‘pause’ button until you’re ready to press ‘play’ again. And, when you press ‘play’, keep on breathing and smiling then, too!
Often, people come to me in emotional turmoil – life can be so hard at times. When turmoil arises it’s because we’re focused on thinking about, and thereby amplifying, current problems. If we could practice shifting our focus to the feelings in our body just as they are – without filtering or rejecting them – we would start to see a greater space for choice in our thoughts and attitudes. Seeing that suffering can coexist with beauty and joy, there is less of a polarization in our thinking, and we become more creative with what is going on.
These days can be emotionally challenging, with many people feeling agitated, edgy and short-tempered. As we approach a very emotionally-charged new moon phase over the course of the week, take some time off social media, and all the various devices that distract us and have us rushing into an imaginary future.
Here is the sublime Mary Oliver’s poem “Wild Geese” for some gentle inspiration:
“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.”
With much love and light,