MAKE AND TAKE TIME FOR REFLECTION
For me, it is the hardest one of them all. I have places to go and people to see and things to do and deadlines to keep. When I was 11, I played Alice in the local library production of Alice in Wonderland. The only line I remember is, “I’m late, I’m late for a very important date. No time to say ‘Hello,’ goodbye. I’m late! I’m late! I’m late!” Even when I am on time, I always feel like I am behind – late, late, late!
Waiting is agony for me, especially if I don’t have my phone or a book or my computer to keep me company. When I am on a webinar or conference call, I check my email and Facebook during the “in between” times. In between when I am paying attention, that is. Sometimes, I feel like I have lost my ability and patience to be still. To be at rest. Quietly reflecting.
What is that all about, anyway? When I write it down, it sound absurd! It would be like only driving my car at 70 MPH. That pace of life gives adrenaline way too much power. And, it leads to burning out. I know. I burned out once, and I promised myself I would never go back there. I can still get to the “sort of crispy” point, then have learned to pull myself back in. Hey, at least now I stop for yellow lights!!
Since my chemo days, I have tried harder to make and take time for reflection. Tried. Have not always succeed, even though it is one of the Secrets, and therefore pretty important to me! So, I set a goal that actually gets kicked off today. Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Christian season of Lent. I signed up for a retreat program through my church, based on St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises, and as part of the retreat have committed myself to 40 minutes of prayer and meditation every day between today and Easter. I am excited to find out what I will discover.
Reflection. For me that means prayer and meditation as ways of connecting and communicating with my God, my Creator, my friend, and the places inside myself where that connection is strongest. To listen, to be curious. To share my dreams. To deepen my commitment to achieving those dreams.
For others, this reflection time might involved art or music, dance or nature.
My reflection time allows me to focus on my dreams. Talk to God. Talk to myself about the why and the how, leaving the when and where to a later time. Reflection time allows my body and brain to decompress and rest. Expands my thoughts and lets my creative juices take the place of all that deadline-driven adrenaline. Balances the different parts of me – the inside with the outside. Reflection unlocks my heart to let it be heard… and to it be fed.
Some people think that refection or meditation or prayer is boring. For as much of an adrenaline junkie as I can be, I really love becoming lost in the flames of a fire or the sounds of the ocean. Watching the changing colors of a beautiful sunset – or sunrise. Letting my senses stretch and hear, see, smell, taste and feel a little more of what is going on on the inside and the outside. Inviting my soul to connect with my brain and my feet and my calendar and the rest of my life. Listen, listen, listen and learn.
No matter what your faith tradition, today is a good day to commit to making and taking time for reflection. Start with a big enough, while still manageable, goal. Build the time gradually. If reading, audio or video materials help, between Google and the library, you can find just about anything you need for free: find blogs and YouTube videos, poetry books, art books and classical music.The last section of the Can Do Chronicles has an area with quotes and prompts for meditation.
My prayers go with you on your journey….