So, what do you like to do to relax?
In 2020 there was a lot less encouragement to relax! Headlines blaring, news about the pandemic and politics running like a stampede. And we all talked about it, of course. Always another update... And words like “shelter in place,” “social distancing,” “quarantine” took on different meanings.
What else was there, though?
Did you ever find your way to some quiet?
Maybe it was learning to cook, maybe it was making chalk art on the sidewalk with little children, maybe it was getting more sleep, maybe it was spending time with a musical instrument.
Maybe it was even meditation, returning to a very special, quiet place: your body.
Quiet might have been more elusive, but it was right there for all of us.
And it’s still available! Right now.
Could you use some stillness and connection today?
Do you have a favorite nature walk? Do you have a place that’s just for sitting still and resting?
Do you have a few minutes to close your eyes and feel whatever is there right now?
Life is such a banquet! For the mind and senses, it’s a river of stories and choices, of relationships, a river of the unpredictable. It’s so human to indulge and get our hands dirty with projects, to get busy with family, and plunge into rich conversation with a friend. And of course there’s a place for all of that.
It just makes it a little more elusive to return to our bodies, and experience the goodness found there, the quieter possibilities that don’t have their own Twitter accounts, that don’t call you on the phone.
Our inner lives are the most reliable, though, especially when nothing else seems to be working.
Let me suggest something to you. Create a time in your daily or even weekly routine when you can sit and feel your body.
You can do something like this:
Think inside, “how do my toes feel?” And bring your attention to your toes.
Then move up. “How do my calves feel?” And go to the back of your shins with your mind’s eye. What do you feel there?
Continue this scan all the way up your body.
I have a friend who has a saying about her yoga practice, “sometimes there are issues in my tissues!” And isn’t that true sometimes?
But when I check in with my body and pick up a fear or negativity, I get the chance to let it pass.
Bringing my attention back to gratitude I feel for life always helps lift me out of momentary hard feelings.
And then I get the chance to feel the quiet serenity that is the larger force inside me. I remind myself of the wonderful work I am fortunate to do, the creations I’ve gotten to bring about, the creations that lay ahead.
My body is always ready to teach me a lesson: that life is so much bigger and better than any hard feelings darting through my consciousness for a moment.
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