Monthly Archives: November 2016

Take 10 minutes Just to Be, and Reconnect

The brave yellow rosa rugosa is a golden beacon in the garden

The brave yellow rosa rugosa is a golden beacon in the garden

I was stopped in my rushing tracks this morning by a post about The Disease of Being Busy contributed by Omar Safi to Krista Tippett’s excellent On Being blog.

In his beautifully expressed piece, Safi talks about the plague of busy-ness which prevents us from truly connecting, both with ourselves and each other. When Safi asks a fellow human being ‘How are you?’…

‘…I want to know how your heart is doing, at this very moment. Tell me. Tell me your heart is joyous, tell me your heart is aching, tell me your heart is sad, tell me your heart craves a human touch. Examine your own heart, explore your soul, and then tell me something about your heart and your soul.’

This struck such a chord with me, as I know I’ve been cramming too much activity into my life of late, and not spending enough time on the things that are more important, including writing this blog.

So I at once sat down by my garden window and took 10 minutes to do nothing but look, and breathe, and reconnect with my calm self.

What I saw in those 10 minutes was all that I miss by rushing too much. The sky, fading from blue to a watery deep grey; the brilliant yellow slash of the rosa rugosa at the end of the garden; the way the beech husks make a dark bobbled pattern against the weave of branches. Two blackbirds darting in and out of the budleia. A single copper leaf falling from the magnolia.

When the timer went ‘Ting…’ I felt rested, calmed, in touch with myself again. I went to my laptop and began drafting this post.

Later, walking down the street, I passed the post-lady. Instead of tossing a ‘Hi!’ over my shoulder as I strode on to my important business in the corner store, I stopped and touched her shoulder. ‘You’ve changed your hair – and your eyes!’ (She has been a long-time user of raven hair dye and vivid blue contacts.)

She smiled: ‘I must be having a mid-life crisis, but I wanted a change.’ Her hair a soft chestnut, her eyes greenish-hazel, she was transformed. ‘You look beautiful,’ I said. She smiled, we parted. Connection made, hearts opened to each other.

Thank you, Omar Safi. Those 10 minutes spent in just being brought me back to an awareness that is so easily lost.

Please – try it for yourself, and see what happens.

Elizabeth Martyn: Beyond 60

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