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Off to the Races or Maybe Not …

Longing to Linger

My eyes open naturally.  I take a look at my phone for the time, most often beating my 5 a.m. alarm by a few minutes.  I wonder if it’s because I anticipate all that I need to get done in my day.  I take time to wash my face, brush my teeth and then I sit to meditate, usually practicing simple open presence to whatever arises and passes through.  Sometimes I am captivated, other times I am just aware.  It’s nice to wake up with this practice because the essence of practice is in being, rather than doing.  And I, like others, fill a large portion of my day with a lot of doing.

I finish my sit and give myself a few moments to stretch and then it’s onto a little coffee.  Meditation wakes me up, but coffee is a helpful boost.    If I am lucky, I can squeeze in five to ten minutes of reading as I resist the temptation to start looking at my calendar to organize myself for the day.  6:30am and I off to the races.  Time to wake up my girls, help them get their clothes out and make the beds.  I’ll admit I am a bit fanatic about making my bed before I leave the house in the morning.  By 6:45am, I am in the kitchen getting breakfast ready, lunches made and often playing the role of drill sergeant to make sure my girls are ready in a timely way.  I don’t like playing the drill sergeant role, but some days its the only thing that works.  My morning quickly unfolds in stark contrast to my early morning.  In the midst of breakfast and lunches, I am trying to pay attention to various things both my girls and my husband want to share with me.  All the while, the voice in my head is seeking my attention as well for all the things I need to get to later in the day.  It’s a bit chaotic as you can see.

This morning, though, in the midst of this chaos, my husband, Herb, came up to and held me.  At first, I barely leaned in and instead I almost felt myself pull away.  The momentum to forge ahead was strong.   And then I paused.  What was I rushing toward?  Why was I letting momentum and pattern direct me instead of my best intuition?  I was spending my morning planning for future moments instead of taking in the moment right in front of me.  I turned to Herb, put my arms around him and paused in his embrace and attention.  Nothing spoken, yet so much received.  By pausing in the rush of his morning to turn to me, he helped me to do much the same.  My body and heart needed that even though my mind wanted to continue moving forward.

So like me, if you find yourself racing from one thing to the next today, take a moment to pause.  Be present to what is.  Look into the eyes of your family, friends or the person at the grocery check out.  Let them know you see them.  Allow them to see you.  Give someone a hug and feel it deeply.  Be still, even if for a few moments.  Life will wait for you, just as it did for me this morning.

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