Everybody needs beauty as well as bread. Places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.John Muir
I am interested in is taking timeout today, wherever you are fortunate to be. I was emailing with a friend today and she was discoursing a fairly exhaustive (and exhausted!) list of midlife realities and responsibilities. We agreed there is no “there” as in a place you reach in age, vocation, weight, location, or life stage where you can put your toes up and enjoy the sunset for any extended period of time. Life keeps coming. (We hope.)
This is why we have to carve out our own peace for ourselves. Find the time and make space amongst the busy-ness and craze. After all, that is what God needed after six fairly busy days; why shouldn’t we?
” By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the day seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” (Genesis 2 : 2-4)
“But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:6)
We need to do the same. I hesitated to include the second line of this quote because I think it lends itself to misinterpretation. For me, I don’t happen to think you get rewarded by God for praying to Him, that prayers get answered for the best pray-er. I happen to think the act itself is the reward. In other words, the practice of presence is the gift. But, you have to make the time for it, wherever you are.
Put the phone away; become present. Even if you are on vacation. Especially if you are on vacation. No technology. No work or unnecessary emails. Definitely no social media. Maybe no unnecessary outreach. That is a hard one for me. Instead, go in. Use the breath as a tool.
Practice: Three things to remember when you breathe.
- Breathe in and out from your belly
- Breathe in and out from your nose.
- Breathe out a bit more than you breathe in.
If you want a real treat, put your legs up a wall. This will stretch your back and your hamstrings. (A position most easily approached by lying in the fetal position on your left side, rear and heals near the wall, then roll onto your back and extend legs up.) Put a washcloth over your eyes, and your hands on your stomach. Adjust until your comfortable, not overstretched; lay here and breathe.
If you are on a spring break of sorts and beauty surrounds, take 10 minutes to be there, alone, with your breath. If you are not, still, make this happen at home, today.