Early spring sunset over the wetlands of mid-Michigan
I feel so blessed to live in a state with four seasons. It is this turning of the seasons, each with its unique splendor, that helps me stay present. Each day there is something new to notice and appreciate.
This week despite cooler temperatures, tiny crimson leaves are unfolding on the maple tree in our yard. The grass is greening ever so slightly. Canadian geese fly overhead, honking their way home to Canada. It is these small indicators of "holy newness" heralding spring that invite me to stay firmly rooted in the present moment because I don't want to miss a thing.
In observing the well-time cycles found in nature,
*Excerpted from Awakening the Spirit Within.
On any given day, in any given moment, what brings you back to center, to the magic of the moment so you can create memorable “Kodak moments”?
Moments like these are often triggered by an event that stirs the heart: a tender word, an image, a musical score, a sunset, a child, one of nature's creatures. The list of what can "make the heart quiver in response" is long and varied.
No matter what that trigger is you can be grateful for it. Grateful that you were awake enough to pause and pay attention. In a pivotal moment of noticing, you return from living on auto-pilot to a place of wide-open awareness. And if you are truly paying attention, you may be lucky enough to embrace timeless beauty or boundless compassion—the privilege of being human and walking upon this precious earth.
Doing something you absolutely love naturally "raises your vibration" and lands you in the lap of well-being. You've probably noticed this yourself. When you are engaged in something you truly enjoy, there is no sense of time or struggle. Perhaps even conscious thought is absent. You are just "being" in the moment.
Because each of us is unique, we'll have different activities that raise our vibration. From mountain climbing to sun bathing to tending the garden, we can each find and regularly engage in activities that root us in calm.
Take time to ensure that you know what activities or hobbies immerse you in feelings of timelessness, purposefulness, and inner peace. Then, give yourself permission to engage in the—regularly. Remember that you are a "human being," deserving of leisure and enjoyment, not simply a "human doing."
When was the last time you allowed yourself to simply "be" with yourself, doing something you loved?
It is healthy to slow down, to give yourself well-deserved R & R—rest and relaxation. Author Robert Gerzon explains in his book, Finding Serenity in the Age of Anxiety, that our bodies are not intended, nor constructed, for such fast-paced living.
As a passenger on the train of life, you may often move through your days at breakneck speeds. And when you do, this speediness is felt in your mind as racing thoughts, stress and anxiety. It manifests in your body as health disorders —heart arrhythmia, headache, neck and shoulder pain, digestion woes, and more. When you slow down, you immediately feel better; your body and mind tell you so.
The only thing we really need do is slow down and listen—intently, deeply—and trust our body's wisdom. We'll instinctively know what to do or not do to be well. But first we must slow down enough to listen. Are you listening today?
is a touchpoint. a resting place, a "remembering" of who we really are and how we can best live—kindly and compassionately with ourselves and others.
Janice Lynne Lundy, DMin
is an educator, interspiritual director/guide and retreat leader who has been pointing people back toward the Sacred for more than twenty years. She is the author of several spiritual growth books, including Your Truest Self, My Deepest Me and Portable Peace., and is the co-founder and co-director of the Spiritual Guidance Training Institute.