The gift of slowing down.
(Originally published on www.sfk.org in 2018.)
The “Meditating Mind” is a clear, calm, quiet mind.
It’s a sacred space that can be carved out inside a person’s being to help them tune out life’s outside distractions and focus inward toward the voice of their soul.
As this meditative process of slowing down occurs, a phenomenon takes place, for inside the “Meditating Mind” develops the ability of the meditator to pick up on light-filled messages around them: the unseen details of their everyday life.
These important details exist all the time, and yet, because everything in our lives moves so fast, these sparks of light can pass us by, vanishing as quickly as they arrived.
It is said that in each second, each of us is surrounded by 2 million pieces of information!
That’s A LOT of sparks of light that our universe has to share.
Taking time to breathe.
To be present.
To honor ourselves.
What would your life look like if you were to slow down? Try it for a few minutes, right now.
As I write this I’ll try it myself for a few minutes:
First I soften my eyes, I listen around me and hear a birds slow, quiet “chirp ….. chirp …… pause ….. chirp…..” outside my bedroom window. I find myself longing to hear more chirping but it’s so faint it has disappeared. It’s early morning. My eldest son breathes heavily as he sleeps next to me. My blankets are fluffy and so are my pillows. I notice the colors of my bedding: they are the same luscious cream tones as the smooth writing paper in my journal and I’m hypnotized noticing how the hue is exactly the same as it melds into one. My husband’s alarm rings. Twice it sounds. He rolls over and turns it off as I hear the buzzing, I feel I’m surrounded in the presence of all my familiar early morning sounds. I look ahead and try to listen even harder into this moment, asking myself, what else is in it? I see my beautifully messy closet that holds so much of my life. And at this point my eldest sits up and stretches, his eyes open for a split second and then he goes back to sleep again. This time his tender arm spreads wide and decides to elegantly flop across my chest and I close my eyes to enjoy the warmth of his gentle touch, trying to remember how he ended up in our bed in the first place. I hear my youngest softly cough from his bedroom down the hall and I’m wondering if he’s coughing as if to say to the world “I’m awake…” I open my eyes, resisting the urge to stop writing and check if he’s really awake as I’m realizing that my fingers are aching from the intense grip on my pen. At the same time I look at my pen and long for a different one. I’m happy this pen has served me, and I look at it and realize it’s okay but find myself thinking that it’s just too basic and simple and I actually want a fancier pen. Now I recognize that this is a new desire, one that I’ve never had before, and I’m happy to have had these few minutes to slow down. At the same time, I realize my thoughts have started to become much faster than I can write. And I see now my real desire is not a new pen, but rather to release my tight hold, to slow down once again, and as I do I can hear the birds slow and melodic chirps and again I relax….
All this from slowing down for about 5 minutes!
What will you see when you slow down? What will you experience during just a few quiet minutes that often passes you by?
You can start to incorporate this short and powerful exercise, this “open-eyed meditation” into your life for even just a few moments of presence, for it’s these moments when you can slow down to discover the sparks of light, as they weave together and form your life.
What is your gift of slowing down look like? Share in the comments.
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