Busy Signals

I haven’t posted anything in a while. Stating the obvious, I know, so I thought I would write about being busy.

Do you remember when you were a kid? Do you remember the exhilaration and joy when school let out for the summer? Summer seemed to go on and on. A seemingly endless series of warm summer days filled with swimming, arts and crafts, bike riding, exploring and just plain hanging out with your friends.

Fast forward to adulthood. Set the scene: George Jetson is out walking Astro on the treadmill sidewalk. Astro sees the cat and jumps off the treadmill. Poor George is left scrambling as he gets whipped around and around screaming “Jane! Stop this crazy thing!” That is how fast my life seems to be moving as an adult. Hurtling along at breakneck speed until one week runs into the next and before you know it another year has vanished.

2288775081_e835759c7e_zIt seems that my life is filled with the busy-ness of “noise” – appointments, work, school activities, yada yada. Before I know it, it is Sunday evening and another week begins. I’ve tried to slow things down without much success. Kind of like that scene from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom – they are hurtling along in that little mine car, going faster and faster, and the brakes are useless. The frenetic pace was taking its toll on my well-being, physically and spiritually. I felt like I was so distracted by the “terrain” of life that I got bogged down in the swamp, way off course. Was my life nothing more than a collection of To-Do lists? 10519508175_f3ced9dfc2_m

How do I get back on track with fulfilling my purpose? How do I break out of this briarpatch, this sticker bush?

Not too long ago I went to a meeting and heard this guy I know talking about some stuff going on in his life. He turns and looks at me at one point and starts talking about how he doesn’t want to “lose himself”. Hmmmm.

Shortly thereafter I was having a conversation with Dad. We were talking about how I was coming along with my continuing legal education requirements (I need to earn some credits before I can apply to reactivate my law license). I explained that life was really hectic now. “You have to make the time. Make it a priority.” Words of wisdom from Dad.

Finally, the other day I opened a daily devotional book that I had not read for some time. When I opened it to the day of August 10 the topic was the necessity for regular prayer and meditation as part of my new way of life in recovery. BLAM!!!

So I have been doing my best to set firm boundaries for my time and attention. I am making a better effort at carving out quiet time for my spirit and working on my connection with God. The past few days I’ve noticed a softening of the edges of my spirit. My life is better balanced and it is sorely needed!

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The Nudge

(not to be confused with the movie, “The Grudge”)

If there is one thing I’ve learned over the past few years it is this: pay attention.  It seems relatively simple, right? I mean, how hard is it, really, to notice things.  But I’m not referring to noticing when someone is sporting a new hairstyle or donning a new outfit. That’s stating the obvious (although I’ve had lapses on even that rudimentary level). No, I’m talking about being aware and open to the subtleties in life.  Oh, they’re there all right but too often we blow past them in the rush of daily life (and doesn’t life seem to be moving faster and faster). I’m throwing myself under the bus on this as I too often move too fast in my daily routine to hear the whisper of Spirit or notice those around me.

Let’s be honest … we live in a very noisy world – cell phones, MP3 players, television, car radios, podcasts, car horns, traffic – and it doesn’t seem to be getting quiet anytime soon.  We also live in a very busy world; frenetic is probably a better word. We have school events, grocery shopping, work, appointments, social engagements, and the list goes on and on.  I am not immune to these demands.  Too often my day is spent hurtling from pillar to post and by the end of the day I realize that I have not paused at all.  That kind of 8256967824_ea9beda442_mlifestyle can easily become addictive and I have to re-learn how to be still. Being still is critical for me.  It is only in the stillness that I can hear the whispers in life.  Move to fast and I miss them.  Move too fast and I don’t pause to watch the birds at the feeder outside the kitchen window.  Move too fast and I fail to notice how blue the sky is today. Move too fast and I miss the beauty in everyday things like the way the sunlight makes the fresh snow sparkle unlike any diamond! If I don’t slow down and be still, inside I’ll miss the nudge of Spirit.  I’ll miss the important but oh so subtle whisper of direction for my life.  I need that navigator, that internal compass, in my life; without it I cannot kno607586749_17d626f0c2_mw which road to take in life.  When I am aware of the nudge and heed it’s leanings I am more peaceful.  When I am lost in myself I inevitably will miss the “bridge out ahead” sign and fail to take the exit ramp.  Listening for the signal allows me to feel the nudge of Spirit and that nudge moves me in the direction to which I should travel.

I got that signal, that nudge, at several crossroads in my life in the past few years.  I sought out the necessary help for my struggles eight years ago; had I not, you wouldn’t be reading this now. I went on that second date with Eileen; had I not, my life would feel an emptiness.  I hosted a teen orphan from Latvia and adopted another one; had I not, I would have missed the opportunity to see how unconditional love can conquer fear and I wouldn’t be blessed by my son and “daughter” today.  I started a writing career; well, we’ll see where that leads.

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So why write about “the nudge?”  You’re just describing a seemingly random series of events and choices, aren’t you? Here’s why … when I get that nudge I follow it’s lead.  Last week I watched a video. It was an interview of Sister Simone by Krista Tippett. During the course of the hour-long conversation many topics were broached – social justice, Pope Francis, being secure in insecurity and loving on the overlooked.  At one point the conversation turned to what prompted Sr. Simone on her path. Her response – she heard the whisper, she felt her heart move, she didn’t resist the “nudge” to her calling.  For the full conversation visit: http://www.onbeing.org/blog/live-video-sister-simone-campbell-of-nuns-on-the-bus-with-krista-tippett/7309#.VPdca-H8r2Y.

Then, two days ago I read an article authored by Anat Vaughan-Lee.  She writes, “We do not always know what it is or how to articulate it, but deep inside there is a longing, a longing to live according to a true calling. A calling that comes not from the personality but from a deeper part of ourselves …” She goes on to state that by heeding that calling we become connected to life on a much deeper level and our being, our soul, is at peace because we are true to our calling.  You can read the short article here: http://www.awakin.org/read/view.php?tid=1067. 13718646634_e591fff743_m

Where am I going with this? Simply this: when I pay attention to the whisper, the nudge, the pulling on my heart, the calling, I feel connected to life around me on a deeper level.  When I feel more connected I am more attuned to noticing and appreciating the Beauty and the Divine in ordinary things.  When I can see the Divine in others I am better able to see the Divine in me.  When I can feel the Divine in me I can glimpse the Grace and Love that is the Divine.  When I follow that nudge my purpose is in harmony with the will of the Divine. I feel connected.

And so I write …

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