The Prairie Sage; The Space Between...
Solitude Wyoming Winter Morning
Be Here Now
How To Be
You may have heard it before, the admonition to "Be Here Now." Or maybe some friendly well wisher suggests you just sit and do nothing. These things are easier said than done, in most cases. How does one be still, after all?
It is simple and difficult. First, you have to make a decision that you will pause. Even for just a moment. You must consciously choose to take a moment.
Once you have chosen to pause, do it. Close your eyes. Breathe deeply. Feel the sensations in your body; your feet on the floor, your back against the chair, the weight of your head on your shoulders. Pay attention to breath and sensation and nothing more.
As thoughts come into your head, acknowledge them, observe them, and let them go. Don't dwell. Return your awareness to your breath and continue breathing deeply. The mind will chatter and cry out for attention. Your body my ache and demand your attention. This is okay. Notice how you feel. Observe it. Then let it go and return your awareness to your breath.
You can be present throughout the day. Put your mind and awareness fully into the task at hand, express your gratitude for the task, and complete it, giving your full attention to what you are doing. Breathe and smile as you wash the dishes, fold laundry, write a report, make dinner. Whatever it is you endeavor to do today, do it completely with your full heart, your complete awareness, and your entire being.
Be Here Now, breathe and smile.
The Quiet Moment
“Music is the silence between the notes.” Claude Debussy
Christmas at last is behind us. Gone the frantic, frenzied activity of the week before. Christmas cookies have been eaten, presents purchased, wrapped and exchanged, expectations soared and plummeted. For at least the past week, people shopped with determination, hoping to get that exact right present to make everything perfect. Children counted down the days, from the minute they got out of school for vacation until Christmas morning. And now, like the unstoppable force of a hurricane, the damage is done, the storm has passed, and we sit in a quiet pause.
I love the week between Christmas and New Years. There is peace in not worrying about the holidays, and not yet starting a diet. This week is the perfect time to just be. Just be a mom, and have fun with my kids, sledding, playing in the snow and drinking hot chocolate afterwards. Just be a wife, snuggling with my husband, not worrying about the holidays, kids grades, or anything else. Just be myself, with all of my gifts, shortcomings, and peculiarities. They make me what I am today.
And tomorrow, I shall try again. But for now, I shall just be.
I will be with myself, in the solitude of a cold winter morning. I will be with myself in the chaos of children and marriage and family. I will be. And that will be more than enough. I will pause, and breathe, and thank my lucky stars for my beautiful life.
The Huffington Post offers some great suggestions for staying present. You can read the full article here: How to Be Here Now.
The article suggests three easy steps to stay present and to be here now.
- Use Conscious Observation: Observe objects without judgement. Look at them, feel them, and observe what it actually is, without any judgement.
- Count to Ten: Close your eyes, breathe deeply and count to ten. Repeat. Do this throughout the day, anytime you feel stressed, overwhelmed or disconnected.
- One Minute Meditation: Close your eyes, and for one minute, concentrate on your breathing. Thoughts will come and go. Don't dwell on them. Notice them and release them.
Human Beings, not Human Doings
We are, after all, human beings. Not human doings. This week presents a perfect opportunity to be who we are, where we are, now. Not to pile on more demands, desires or decisions. This short time will flee, so now I take the opportunity to be just me, and you have the freedom and the opportunity to just be you. Allow your soul the freedom to express the truth of who you really are.
Like the music of a symphony, our lives unfold before us. Not always harmonious. Not always in tune, but continually moving forward. If a symphony contained only notes, with no silence between, the ensuing cacophony would be deafening. Much the same, our lives slip onward. If we lived only in the noise, in the activity and machinations that surround major events, we would be exhausted, stressed out, tired and over-stimulated.
It is in these quiet moments, when we pause and take a deep breath, waiting for the next onslaught of activity, that our lives become beautiful. These quiet days or moments are the ones in which we realize the true blessings of our lives. In the silence, where the music lies, we can finally say, “Life is good”.