Monday, December 20, 2010

The pause that refreshes

Your non-blogging blogger here to play catch up after a whirlwind weekend and mucho busy-ness.  I'm actually glad it's Monday - work will pose a nice distraction from all the presents I haven't wrapped, cards and little care -packages for local friends I haven't assembled and the grocery list for next weekend I haven't starting pondering, much less compiling.  Also from looking out the window for the UPS guy to deliver half of Amazon's stock that I ordered over the last week. 

First - may I say that I'm sick of bite-ass cold weather?  Atypically cold, might I add.  The kind of cold where you have to bundle up just to check the mail.  It makes every venture out a mother lode of hassle.  Yet when out "erranding", the stores are so frigging HOT (where's the font that has little flames rising from the letters?) one needs to peel off layers of life giving warmth within minutes of entering any place of business.  Then where to put said layers?  So one leaves the wraps in the car, padding self with gloves and scarf only(for purse tuckability), freezes one's ass off risking life and limb venturing 5K distances through parking lots dodging MFer drivers ripping around for the closest spots.  So this is Christmas.

Eventually it becomes necessary for this gal to intentionally slow down, get alone and unplugged, breathe in AND out, lower the shoulders, close the eyes and just be.  Feel.  Listen carefully for what is my favorite notion from a hymn (?) I recall from childhood - the music of the spheres.

I have no idea where I heard that term, but I love it.  As a kid I thought the music of the spheres was the sound of the earth rotating on it's axis.  But now it becomes the simple sound of silence - ambient atmospheric white noise which expands and deepens when I get quiet enough to listen.  It's the continuum of calm that IS, beneath the chaos, the dizzying activities, conversations, incessant thinking and compulsive doing.  Without occasionally tapping into it through sitting quietly focusing on my breaths, I find myself stick necked, overwhelmed, irritable, tense, and wishing I could wake up on January 2.  How crazy is that?  Actually wishing away days of my precious life and all therein.

Meditative silence affords me the opportunity to regroup, renew, restore.  Without leaving the room.  Maybe even get in touch with my heart.  And soul.  Today.  Not in January when the chaos is over.

Quiet time, meditation - this is an essential components of self care for me that gets mindLESSly shoved to the back burner unless I literally put it on my planner.  My life is booked into incremements of 30 minute to 3 hour intervals of activity, meetings, getting together with friends.  I'm an activity junkie on top of everything else.  And when at last I have a little time - I flip on the boob tube to HGTV or the Cooking Channel - anything that keeps me from settling in with self.  Or the universere.  Whatever or whoever presents when I get quiet enough to see and hear.

My MO of chronic doing becomes yet another form of escape from the dark interior of Leslieland that really isn't so dark.  Just rarely travelled because I avoid it like the plague.  A non-caloric version of stuffing thoughts and feelings.  Fears.  Fill in the to-be-avoided-at-all-costs blank.

This week I intend to find more quiet.  I feel calmer just thinking about it.  I want to bundle up and walk in a local park for as long as I can stay warm and listen to the music of winter nature and the sound of my shoes on the path.  A whole different sound from other seasons.  Self care comes in many forms.  What works for you?


  1. It is indeed the pause that refreshes. I've been on a similar kick recently and it surely does help. I kinda sorta feel like I'm inching my way back to normal, one breath at a time.

    Have a wonderful week, Leslie.

  2. I get you... I have often thought about The Legend of Sleepy Hollow... wishing I could just go to sleep and wake up later, thin, done with whatever. Not really, but sorta. Yes, I get it. I am ready to be done with the holidays too. Actually, I forgot it was Monday until I read it here!

  3. So, you know we're under the same cold, right? The whole paragraph about said cold and bundling and shopping pretty much described my Saturday. But it made me laugh, too!

    What I could use right now is being able to get out for a run for as long as I want without something pressing me to hurry up and get home! Just to run free. Maybe by New Year's.

  4. I love guided meditation and I use some DVD's that are awesome and really relax me. I need a little alone time as well, can only stand being around lots of people in little doses!

    Baking use to be my choice for relaxing and de - stressing but then I would get stressed later after I ate said baked goods! Sigh!

    I gave up all the baking for mediation, 0 calories and my thighs thank me!

  5. Yep - it has been bitter cold here making it hard to even think about getting out of bed, let alone go outside. I like your idea of the quiet, which is why I relish my morning time by myself.

    I can read blogs, drink my coffee with sugar free eggnog coffee creamer (so excited I found it!) and look in my back yard and watch the squirrels scamper around. Perfect way to start the day in my book!


  6. ...But you're growing and improving, and I love to see how much you grow. you r amazing!

  7. I got a whole "ahhhh" vibe reading your unplugged description. Thank you for the relaxation!

    I've had a hard time unwinding lately - I'd say reading does it for me...and I haven't been reading hardly at all, so that probably explains (part of) my stress levels being higher. Wednesday. I will read on Wednesday. :)