Tag Archives: mindfullness

Walking a Labyrinth

There’s a labyrinth outside my window at work. Not a maze of hallways or buildings but, a meditation path. It sits there unused and observed like a work of art.

My friend and I walked it a year or so ago on an especially stressful afternoon. “Let’s take a break, get out of here and go walk around that labyrinth thing” We did walk it – fast. We stomped around the intertwined gravel path complaining about our day at work all the way in and all the way out.

Turns out that’s not the best way to walk a labyrinth. I found a better way at a different labyrinth far away from work on the edge of a desert.

Left my phone on a bench nearby.

Stepped in, breathing timed with each slow step.

Lay my worries, stress, fears behind me in the gravel as I stepped.

Foot, step, crunch, breathe, let go, shift, place a foot, step, crunch, breathe, shift, let go.

Lost by the changing direction of the maze.

Just stepping and breathing, stepping and breathing.

In the middle with a lighter burden, I paused and felt tears (surprised at myself) as I looked over the desert beauty; felt the breeze and sun.

Then I turned to walk out by measured degree.

Foot, step, crunch, breathe, hope, shift, foot, step, crunch, breathe, promise.

Slowly, turning, winding.

At the end one last step out.

Buoyant.

05700D07-3FA2-4235-B638-A8E2B34259FC
Advertisements

Learning to Sit Still on a Spinning World

When I was first a mom I was astounded on a daily basis by the experience. Not to mention, exhausted. The now 15 y/o then wanted to nurse constantly.  For hours on end, day and night we would sit together – him happily suckling and me? Well, honestly I was bored. There was a certain low-level trapped feeling; a feeling of being stuck yet again sitting tethered to the little creature. Don’t get me wrong, I loved breast-feeding and we made a great team. It did however, take a while to settle into the experience. That settling came when I learned to enjoy those moments of enforced peace.

There is great beauty to sitting absolutely still and giving into the process of nursing. I had to relax and let the world spin around me – the clothes unwashed, the dinner cold, the business of life unattended to. And in those moments of peace I would often think my clearest thoughts.

Again I find myself forced to sit still on a spinning planet. Forced by an injured leg, to let go of the multitasking productivity the working mother in me prizes. My family laughed at me last night as they scurried around on their good legs and I sat on my hurt bum watching them. They laughed because I mentioned that having my hamstring tendon torn is a lot like breastfeeding. Huh? No one stayed around long enough to hear why; but I kept thinking about this idea. My life is so full of mothering and work. So full of electronic medical records, blogging and Twitter. So filled out by friendship. So full that I lack, almost completely, time for quiet reflection. Now, in a space without the ability to scurry I am left sitting and relaxing. A novel experience? No, but one that is nice to return to.

I am reading Twila Tharp’s book The Creative Habit. She has taught me much about my own developing creative habit. One of the first chapters talks about the squelching effect on creativity of background noise. Noise both literal and figurative. She suggests turning off our computers, our music and skipping the newspaper for a period of time to understand the effect they have on us. That was hard advice to swallow; I have always worked with music playing. I started to drive my 20 min to and from work without the radio. At first the silence was a bit uncomfortable but as the days passed I found that my mind was productively wandering. Bits and pieces of my days were knitting themselves into coherent stories as I drove quietly along.

Breast feeding, healing and silent driving. Less tweeting, less laundry, simpler dinners. Soon I may be positively Zen-like sitting here watching them all run around. Hopefully I will at least, synthesize a few blog ideas while I watch.

©