“Empty time is a powerful medicine that can make us more joyful and resilient, but it’s strangely hard to swallow. In our culture, the very word empty has negative connotations: loss, need, desolation, hopelessness. Our ambivalence toward doing nothing creates what psychologists call an approach-avoidance response: We yearn for a powerful source of liberation that is right under our noses, and we’ll do almost anything to avoid it.”
~Martha Beck, “Making Time for Nothing”
To read the entire article…
“Overconnection is my major occupational hazard. My job is all about soulfully linking with others, and this is truly as much fun as I’ve ever had with my clothes on, but after doing this with many people for many hours, I often feel as if I’ve watched ten great movies back-to-back: dazed, frazzled, longing for silent solitude. I’m not up to gracious separation; I need quick-and-dirty ways to save my sanity, right now.” ~Martha Beck
To read Martha’s humorous but wise advice on disconnecting:
No matter where we dig or climb,
we come upon the fire we left untended.
Carl Jung had a dream that he was cutting a path in the woods, unsure where it was leading, but working hard at it nonetheless. Tired and sweating, he came upon a cabin in a clearing. He dropped his tools and approached the cabin. Through the window he saw a being in prayer at a simple altar. The door was open and Jung went in. As he drew closer, he realized that the being in prayer was himself and that his life of cutting a path was this being’s dream. Continue reading
Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there someday.
~Winnie the Pooh, A. A. Milne
Smile, breathe, and go slowly.
~Thich Nhat Hanh
Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.
Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast—you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.
It’s the pausing and the stopping, perhaps going backward and losing some time, not being able to do everything we’re supposed to do, that serves the soul. That’s the enchantment that feeds the soul.
~Thomas Moore, The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life
Some of the secret joys of living are not found by rushing from point A to point B, but by inventing some imaginary letters along the way.
~Douglas Pagels, These Are the Gifts I’d Like to Give to You
There is precious little hope to be got out of whatever keeps us industrious, but there is a chance for us whenever we cease work and become stargazers.
In the midst of the modern-day harried holiday season, we can all use reminders to stop and just breathe for a minute. So for the next little while, I’ll be posting quotes du jour that focus on slowing down, savoring moments, and appreciating what’s in front of us. Here’s wishing you a happy/merry whatever-you-celebrate…and hoping you’ll actually get to enjoy it!
When feeling urgent,
you must slow down.
I learned this, over and over, during the many crises of cancer. Unless someone is bleeding or can’t breathe, unless there is some true physical requirement to act swiftly, a sense of urgency is a terrible illusion, a trick that happens, again and again, because life inside our skin and outside our skin are forever different.
It is as hard as it is humbling. When feeling like I can’t sit still, I need, more than ever, to sit still. Continue reading