Friday, October 14, 2016

Be Still

Granny Thunder, that's the name of my bicycle.  It was my Mother's Day gift a few years ago, Jessica named it for me.  Her bicycle is "Purple Thunder" obviously it's purple...mine is Granny because it looks like a granny bike!  I ride it almost every day because it's the fastest transportation to my parents house around the curve and three houses down.  It seems I'm always in a hurry or crunched for time, last week I had my first accident because I was in a big hurry!  Let's just say I'll be fashionable with a bandaid on my big toe for a lo-o-ong time.  Being still is the last thing I have time for.

Busy-it seems that we all wear it like some medal we've earned.  We're busy with the house, busy buying groceries and cooking meals, busy with church work, busy volunteering, busy caregiving, busy running the kids, busy with extra curriculars, busy with this, busy with that...we don't even slow down to enjoy a meal because we've got to get to the next place.  We're in a constant state of worrying about or hurrying to our next "thing."

I was crazy blessed to spend a couple of months working on a committee for a ladies retreat on prayer.  It really motivated me to devote more time to my prayer life.  While I've successfully added in dedicated time for prayer, it's almost become yet another "busy."  Now don't get me wrong, my prayer time has enriched my life but I still feel like I need some time for "me."

"Me"ditation--last year I was looking for a devotion book, something to help me with my busy.  Several friends recommended, "Peace is Every Step" by Thich Nhat Hanh, I began reading it exactly one year ago today, I absolutely loved it!  The deep breathing technique, focusing on your breath as you breathe slowly in and out through your nose.  For a couple of months I worked at just breathing, I guess you could call it mediation for a few minutes each day, then I got too busy.  Clearly I missed the entire point of "mindfulness" in the book.

My journey toward "be still" continued when a friend selected the book, "How to
be Here" by Rob Bell for our Thursday morning time.  What a great book encouraging you to really learn to be present in the moment.  His analogy of each day being like a cursor at the beginning of a blank document on your computer, full of potential and possibility just waiting for you to be, up to you to create.  It continued my mindshift toward "me."

Last week our Pastor began a new sermon series on STRESS!!  Along with it, he is offering a bonus class on "Mindfulness Meditation."  He gave us a glimpse by sharing Anderson Cooper's 60 Minutes Special.

Wednesday evening we had our first session.  Almost 20 people showed up on a dark, stormy night, pretty incredible considering just a few short months ago our congregation frequently had less than 40 in attendance on any given Sunday.  Twenty people hungry for help in reducing their stress, looking for a way to lift the dark veil of depression, believing that their bodies could heal from chronic pain...twenty people tired of the busy and ready to give this mindfulness thing a try.

For me, I am so excited to be learning to meditate.  You can read the books but having someone actually share their story of meditation with you, someone who has studied with a Zen Master, someone who has had the dark lifted, someone who has seen the benefits in their health makes a huge difference.  We were challenged to spend just 10 minutes each day in mediation.  Ten short minutes to just breathe, what a gift!  "Me" ditation time coupled with a renewed prayer life, I look forward to seeing what happens in my life.  Be watching...this crazy blessed girl is believing that this time mindfulness will take and I can take a step back from the busy and truly "be here now" for my family.

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