The past week I immersed myself in feeling. I'll tell you my version of how to do that in a minute.
It sounded like a pretty terrible thing to do, if you ask me. But I needed it, and along the way I discovered. I am slightly more accustomed to the quiet, to what I feel and why I feel it. I am more calm. And chances are much of this Zen feeling will wash away with the sound of my Parker crying alarm tomorrow morning and with the rush and whirl of Monday. But I also know some of it will stick. That's what matters.
There is no miracle cure or fix to get a perfect life. If perfect is our end result- we're screwed anyway. According to Socrates, The unexamined Life is not worth living.
Why? Maybe he felt that the answers to life actually live within each and every one of our own lives. A person cannot find happiness unless they find their own purpose and drive in life. Unless they understand what the do and feel and why. I absolutely believe that we all have gifts and strengths and it is our duty to share them with your version of the world. Maybe your gift is creative- the art of cooking or painting or sewing or building or fixing. Maybe you are good with words, both listening and talking . Maybe your gift is Teaching- which makes you AMAZING in my book. You work for the love, clearly not the money. You love our children. You infuse learning with a sense of wonder and fun, which then helps them view their own lives in the very same sugar coated way.
We live in a time where instant gratification is the norm.
We don't know an answer, we don't wait to go to the Library, we ask Google for an instant response. If we need to speak with a Friend, we don't go next door or pick up the phone, we send a quick text and get a quick reply. We can use pitocin to speed up labor during childbirth. When we want to watch a television show, we can upload it from Netflix or select it from our DVR and watch it immediately. Want a new book? Order it for your Kindle or ipad= instant words. You want food? You can go to a drive through and eat within minutes. When we want pictures, we can upload them, view and print immediately.
Who has time to cook rice and wait? Instant rice and instant oatmeal have been precooked and dehydrated to be made more rapidly. If we want coffee we can quickly brew our own single serving. When you want money, you don't have to wait until the bank opens, you can go to an ATM. Technology and advancement is important, necessary and key to our society, but with it often comes the causality of waiting, not-doing and just good old fashioned feeling.
And somewhere along the way, we forgot what it feels like to wait. We don't remember how to sit around and do nothing. The period of time nestled between beginning and end has grown shorter. And therefore our patience and ability to wait in silence has weakened. Waiting and not doing can become almost painful. We know two speeds, fast and all done.
So how do you immerse yourself in feeling? Good question. It's painful at first, and even during sometimes. You remove whatever you medicate yourself with. For me it was my phone, chocolate at night and Bravo TV. Now none of that stuff is bad when used in moderation-when you use it to unwind. But I tried to use it to escape. And it never fully worked, so I just kept using more of it.
This past week I worked to hear my one true voice. The me who knows what I know. Who knows what she likes and doesn't like. Needs and doesn't need. Sometimes Life's clutter gets in the way of that voice.
Today I immersed myself in Nature. I went kayaking with Friends down the San Joaquin River. It was the perfect ending to my Inspiration Diet week. There were times I had to wait patiently today while the rest of the group caught up and I got to practice not being in a hurry. At first I would wade and wait- my eyes turned back on the clearing hoping they would catch up. And then I stopped waiting and I started BEing. I watched the water flicker in the light. I heard a symphony of birds and the crackling of the leaves on the banks. I felt the cold water splash my legs with each dip of my paddle. I felt adrenaline with the onset of each new set of rapids. No phone, no camera, nothing but me. And the more time I spend with Me- the more I realize she's not so bad. I'll Show and Tell more about the weekend tomorrow.
Kids are amazing at the in between.
We went shopping over the weekend, in our usual hurry to get from store to store before a child explodes. Parker went to sit by the fountain, and then took off his shoes like wading in the water was a perfectly logical thing to do.
At first, I stopped him, but then I thought, Why not? And so we waited and waded and time stood still.
Swinging is the ultimate act of in between. There is no end. There is nothing to accomplish.
Back and forth and back and forth and back and forth.
Dogs are great at the in between too. They are masters at BEing and they are comfortable waiting forever for the slightest of rewards.
On Thursday mornings the boys do Behavior Therapy outside of the house. After I drop them off I go to a Starbucks that isn't my usual. The first time I went, I paid, got my coffee and took off for the street right in front of me. I heard a horrible scrape from the bottom of my car and had no idea what was going on.
The Drive Thru actually follows left, but I was so focused on where I wanted to be- that I forgot where I was.
Today, let's just try to focus on today. Take our time. Focus on where we ARE, not where we want to be. It sounds like a good way to welcome a Monday.
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