Wednesday, February 2, 2011

So, January Happened...

It did. And I'm still alive, promise! And it was pretty great, as far as January's go actually. I just happened to stick by my New Year's resolution, which was:

Do Less.

So, sorry friends, but that included blogging, as I worked on weeding through all my extracurriculars, passing on student interest groups to the first year medical students, finishing up wonderful projects, but promising not to sign up for more, napping exactly when I wanted to, and just generally deciding not to stress.

The resolution is part of my desire to nudge all aspects of my life to fall more in line with my ideals. I often fall prey to the fact that because email and androids and instant netflix streaming and 24/7/365 hyper availability of everything in our culture allows us to "do more", it means we should. And we pack in so many things that all we're able to do is rush from one event to the next, checking things off to do lists, but never really nestling down into anything and taking a look around.

So, I'm sitting more. With myself. With my thoughts. With those I love. And I think it's a lot more soul-satisfying than resolving to go to the gym every day or never eat chocolate cake again.

Here's a beautiful blessing my friend gave me over the holidays from John O'Donohue that I think says it perfectly:

When the rhythm of the heart becomes hectic,
Time takes on the strain until it breaks;

Then all the unattended stress falls in

On the mind like an endless, increasing weight,

The light in the mind becomes dim.

Things you could take in your stride before

Now become laborsome events of will.

Weariness invades your spirit.

Gravity begins falling inside you,

Dragging down every bone.

The tide you never valued has gone out.

And you are marooned on unsure ground.

Something within you has closed down;

And you cannot push yourself back to life.

You have been forced to enter empty time.

The desire that drove you has relinquished.

There is nothing else to do now but rest

And patiently learn to receive the self

You have forsaken for the race of days.

At first your thinking will darken

And sadness take over like listless weather.

The flow of unwept tears will frighten you.

You have traveled too fast over false ground;

Now your soul has come to take you back.

Take refuge in your senses, open up

To all the small miracles you rushed through.

Become inclined to watch the way of rain

When it falls slow and free.

Imitate the habit of twilight,

Taking time to open the well of color

That fostered the brightness of day.

Draw alongside the silence of stone

Until its calmness can claim you.

Be excessively gentle with yourself.

Stay clear of those vexed in spirit.

Learn to linger around someone of ease

Who feels they have all the time in the world.

Gradually, you will return to yourself,

Having learned a new respect for your heart

And the joy that dwells far within slow time.

"And lately I've been satisfied by simple things
Like breathing in and breathing out " -Natalie Merchant

No comments:

Post a Comment