Hit Pause to Reset
The world moves at a pretty quick clip, doesn't it?
Consider the blistering pace of your own typical day: what calls you rise in the morning? We all hope for a kiss of sunlight, peeking through the gap of our curtains...gently moving us into the new day. But more than likely, we're jarred out of sleep by an alarm, a phone, another beckoning electronic need.
Hurry hurry shower, gogogo coffee, brisk stride to the car.
They're great, don't misunderstand. They serve a purposeful function, shuttling the world to jobs and classes and field trips and road trips.
But they're also part and parcel of our jarring, "hurry up" world.
Part of living a more gratifying, purposeful life is acknowledging when it's time to slow down- and that often means abandoning the instruments that we associate with that "hurry up" life.
Next time that pace feels blistering, drop out. Pull over. Park that car and put on some flats- and take a moment to see- really see- what you've been missing.
You can drive down the same street a hundred times, and still fail to witness the very best it has to offer. To know anything intimately, you must. Slow. Down.
Take a stroll- down a particularly old block, if possible. Look at the fascias, the masonry, the names stamped in concrete. Meditate on the scuffs in doorways, feel the energy of those who passed that same threshold. Admire the doors, handles, glass. Walk, look, see, feel. Experience.
Below your feet- every so rarely, small panes of purple glass. "Were these always here?" One wonders. Indeed, they were- but remained unacknowledged from a seatbelted position in the hurry-up world. Once crystal clear, streaking natural light into freight areas below ground a century ago...oh yes, there they were- translucent cracking color- your entire lifetime. Time...sunshine....manganese. With patience, a new, beautiful, unexpected, and unplanned treasure is revealed. It's a gift, isn't it? Delight in it! Savor the discovery. And then...walk on.
Find the first church with an unlocked door. See the sunlight streaming through stained and lead-laden glass. Kneel. Breathe. Pray. Even if you don't sense your god- or any god- is there, visualize the prayers of everyone who prayed there before you. See those wishes, hopes, needs float above you, rise like incense. Inhale their trust and faith. Engage in this amazing communion.
And then- walk some more.
Walk until you know your free minutes have ticked away. Better yet, walk until you feel as if you're breathing deeper...walk until you sense something on the breeze. Jasmine? Daphne? The ocean? That freaking delicious caramel corn from the candy shop downtown? Walk until you remember what you are a piece of- an inheritance. A beautiful, important segment of a tapestry woven of all those people before you and the many to come. Slow down. There's one you. In her place and time, after all those spirits on the sidewalks, calling you to see, to savor,to enjoy. The alarm doesn't have to screech; the pace doesn't have to injure. Be grateful. Live purposefully. Talk to your ghosts.
After that clarity?
It's ok to get back in the car.