I decided to take a walk tonight and I was blessed enough to capture this amazing view. Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words so I will just let this one speak for itself.
Have you ever felt really strong about something but didn’t exactly know why? I helped my son with some writing assignments this weekend and felt myself thinking about how angry the assignment made me feel. There I was, walking out in nature this morning completely missing out on the serenity because I was knee deep in my own mad. Why did he have to write essays making connections between his assigned reading and another book? Why did they he to explore the connection of the book to to his own life and the world? Why was I feeling so darn mad?
Tonight I went for another walk. I noticed two stars parallel in the sky. I couldn’t help but think that was my own marriage. My husband was one star and I was the other but we seemed worlds apart. The bills, the struggles with the kids, stress, jobs, chores, emails all made us feel further and further apart. Like it or not, that stuff gets in between and before you know it you are trying your best to fight your way back.
I got it then. My anger and my overreaction to a silly assignment became visibly clear. I am an over thinker. I have lost the art of reading to read or walking to just enjoy walking. I analyze my steps or I replay conversations searching for something deeper or something maybe that should have been different. My brain has been trained to find meaning in a world that sometimes doesn’t really require any. My brain can no longer shut itself off or find quiet in the softness of my shoes as they hit the pavement. I cannot even look at the stars without thinking something profound. Perhaps we should stop requiring our kids to think more and allow them to just be more. Imagine just reading a book to enjoy the escape from real life. Imagine taking a walk without setting a goal to reach 10,000 steps. Imagine your mind not being the roadblock to pure happiness and utter enjoyment. Imagine a few moments of no thinking and total mindfulness lost in the beauty of the forest or in the words of a book. Imagine looking up and enjoying the beauty of the stars with no thoughts running through your head. Imagine a world with less thinking required and more being. Imagine!
Sometimes I don’t realize how toxic something is until I step away from it. Like it or not, some people’s purpose is to poison the spirit and hopes of others. Social media is filled with them. Some we know and others we don’t but even the most positive of the bunch can be deflated after a bombardment of poison. This is a reminder to step away from your phone, the internet, email. Take a walk outside and breath in some fresh air. We all need a mental break sometimes, a place to escape the negativity that constantly tries to tap on our door. Don’t answer it. Stand tall and be whatever positive difference you can make in this world.
Nature offers an escape from the noise. The reality that we are all connected cradles me as I sit on the grass. We create an energy that is sometimes too painful to endure. I sink back. My sigh is like the whisper of the gentle breeze that tickles my skin. Let them go I say to myself as the sun illuminates the ripples on the water that are racing toward me. I imagine they are my thoughts running through my mind and I watch them flow by me. I stare as the creases on the surface glide past my weary body. There are children yelling in the background. All the noise hitting my soul as it longs for some quiet, some peace. Solitude is a rare gift. My husband wraps up the sandwich that is leftover. Every crinkling sound reminding me of the agitation in the world I desperately try and leave behind. A fish jumps in the distance. There are two ducks floating on the surface of the water as the current moves underneath them. Be like the ducks I tell myself. Float above the chaos. Find your place of peace and ignore what is happening underneath the surface. I am reminded that peace is not a destination. I center myself and I close my eyes as the warmth of the sun rejuvenates my desperate skin. I am calm and I rejoice in this moment. My reminder goes off. There’s somewhere else I need to be but I will take a piece is this place with me. I sigh again as I walk to my car only this time it is a sigh of relief. I am grounded again and ready to waltz back into the crazy with grace. I breath it all. Yes, I am ready.
Sometimes we are fortunate enough to catch a moment like this. We don’t plan for the sun to come up each morning, we don’t force it, we don’t will it, we can’t resist it. It just happens. The beauty of life unfolds all around us. It’s not about our plan. It’s about noticing every blessing, every gift. The miracles pulling on our pant leg begging for us to notice, reminding us we are not in charge. You can’t force love. You are love. I am love. Let it in and use your precious life to shine like a beacon. Be a place of hope and peace for the lost souls who need a place to call home. Have a blessed day and enjoy the beauty of this precious moment.
I decided to take a small break as I got down on my belly on my paddleboard today. I just rested there for a moment, eye level with the water as it danced and sparkled from the reflection of the sun. I was at total peace as that board slid effortlessly across the water. It occurred to me how different I might feel if I was submerged in the water and swimming along. In life we have a choice to fight the circumstances placed in front of us or to just go with the flow. I’ve spent years fighting and battling things I would never be able to change. It was exhausting and discouraging and sent me into a depression I’ll never forget. When we learn to breathe and relax something magical happens. When we trust that we are safely on the board untouchable by what lies beneath, we find the balance we need to glide on through. Resistance is a tough thing. The more we try and fight it the more resistance we create.
Today try and float. No struggle. No resistance. Just flow.
To say I have a problem with barn swallows is a bit of an understatement. I have been at serious war with them since I have moved into this house 6 years ago. Last year I finally found a way to outsmart them. I put duck tape over all my doorways and on top of my fan and light fixtures. Success, no bird nests. A few birds may or may not have accidentally caught themselves on the tape but I am not a savage, I spared their lives.
I’ve been recognizing the need to just walk away. I mentioned earlier my new task of unbecoming who I am. There comes a time when you have to throw in the towel and step away. I am quiet by nature. I am one with the quiet and noise makes me feel absolutely crazy inside. I realized after spending too much time on homework once again, the incessant amount of noise my son makes while attempting to do work is excruciating for me. Part of me knows all too well that if he would just sit quietly and do the work, it would take him a lot less time. He just doesn’t stop. If he’s not humming or singing then he’s probably talking out loud to himself. I decided to go for a short walk just to get away from the noise. I got about three houses down when I heard the screaming. There is a boy, high school age, who lives in that house. He too is always making noise. I realize even though we are all different, we each have a unique set of challenges. The boy is autistic and I often see and hear him standing by his mailbox waiting for the bus. He screams all day long and he always seems to be outside. It’s easy to think we are the only one in the world who gets frustrated or has to deal with problems but I was reminded tonight, that’s just not true. The important thing is how we deal with those problems. We can react the same way day after day or we can find a new solution along with some healthy coping mechanisms. Stepping away helps to see the turmoil that is going on inside. Sometimes it’s necessary to be a spectator in your own life. Only by standing to the side and observing from a distance can we really get a glimpse of the whole picture. There are some things we cannot change. We cannot fix everything we think needs fixing because to someone else, it may appear that nothing was ever really broken. So my advice tonight is that when you are feeling like you don’t have any control, step away and go for a walk. Put some distance between you and whatever it is that is driving you crazy. Give yourself permission to take a break and breathe in calm and exhale the rest. You are stronger than you think so start thinking differently.
Last night, like so many others, I sat outside with my daughter and watched the moon. I don’t normally spend a Sunday evening out under the stars and I must admit, it was kind of nice. I could feel the first hint of fall hidden in the chilly night. There is something about being outside that fills me with a sense of peace. As a kid, I was out there all the time but life is much different now than it was thirty years ago. All these distractions keep us away from what our souls need the most, a little time to be in nature away from the hustle and bustle of the noisy world. I hope you took a few minutes to sit outside too. I couldn’t help but think of how connected I felt to all the others who were out there somewhere doing exactly the same thing. That connection is powerful and it is palpable if you are paying attention. So how about you? Did you spend some time looking at the moon?