There is no map for this pilgrimage we are on; there is no fixed path. And that is a good thing, because following the paths that others have set for us, the paths that the system confines us to – that is the cause of the problem. Sharon Blackie (If Women Rose Rooted: The Journey to Authenticity and Belonging)
Look for a new, but known, starting point beginning right where you are. Embrace that point of awareness. When you go from the point where you find yourself, the cells move into action and seek a new starting point. Gregge Tiffen (The Journey Continues: Time Travels – July, 2010)
I’ve experienced a flow of thoughts, words and ideas as this week’s post emerged. ‘What’s the focus?’ I wondered as my pen rolled across the journal where I often write the first stab. ‘Ease and (self)care’, ‘your experience of this summer’ came the response.
Huh? Say What? I’m not doing much this summer. I’m just reading, resting, and taking care of myself, restoring. In a flash, I see that IS the focus. Not only the importance of these ‘Three R’s’, but also of the choices I make/we make in how we live and experience each and every day. Am I (are we) living authentically or simply following the dictates of the world intent on leading us astray?
Each season holds different experiences for us. Some prefer one season over another. I have my favorite things about each season. This summer, I’m aiming to begin each day from a point of awareness about something I love: the cool morning air on my skin, the sounds and smells of the woods as they waken to the new day, the brightness of rocks cleaned by an overnight rain shower. I can sometimes taste the very life these woods represent to me.
My decision to close the bed and breakfast marked the beginning of a new way of experiencing summer. With no guests and daily chores to attend to other than my own (and Luke’s) life maintenance, I’ve declared this a summer of ease and care: ease, care of self, and care about our world. My declaration wasn’t a goal or planned. It gently emerged from sitting with (and in) the question ‘What’s next?’ and from my willingness to accept not knowing.
A longing to read, a need for rest, and my sense that personal restoration is important for each of us in these chaotic times are my summer friends. I’m reading more (and more deeply) than ever in my life. I’m napping and allowing myself to sit quietly gazing at the woods. Rest and reading are restoring in their own ways, and to them I’m adding soaks at the hot springs, nourishing local food, massage, and – perhaps most important of all – a commitment to no rushing, no pressure, no worry. While keeping abreast of current events, I’m putting my attention on the countless positive messages and actions that are occurring around the globe 24/7. This I what I want the Universe to magnify.
Some might call my summer a ‘vacation’. I’m experiencing it as engagement in deepening a new way of being, experiencing, and expressing me: taking the energy of each day, directing and using it to create the day with ease and care.
So, ‘What’s next?’? For now ‘This’. And, that is quite enough.