An invitation to rest

As I travel back and forth between cultures, I am most impacted by the hurry and pressure that I sense when I return to North America. We each live in a world of our own choosing. Yet, to many of us, it feels like we live driven by others. We live involuntarily under pressure and stress. Our deadlines kill us! The longing of our heart, the dream of our fantasies is to “get away”. We speak of the ideal of an early retirement. A break from the crazy reality most of us live in. We long for rest. We long for peace.

I can not be in tranquility when I continually trigger my fight or flight reflexes! When I distrust those around me and expect “something bad” looming in my future, I am forced to act. Soon I am running with no clear destination – but I am in motion and busy juggling things that are flying about in my life. How do I stop?? Why can’t I realize my yearning for rest?

I find it hard to acknowledge fear! I have many words for it. I can speak of achieving my goals for financial security – which is another term for fear, or speak of the importance of not missing out on an opportunity – which is also fear.

I am constantly being invited to choose fear as the foundation of my present moment.  And the crazy thing is that most fears are actually a lie, a fabrication that I have never really taken a close look at!!

Or – I can choose to breathe deeply and look at my present moment, the experience I am passing through and ignoring as I run.

Have I breathed deeply of the crisp fall air? Felt the luxury of a warm sunbeam? Have I stopped for a moment to wonder at the beauty of the changing seasons, the glory of a reddened leaf, the sky that looses its haze and turns “crisp”? Have I stopped to see the glory of the sunset, or tasted the wonder of clean refreshing water? Have I marvelled at the complexity of the engineering that has given me safe transit and beautiful highways, soaring buildings and sparkling reflective glass? Have I stopped and seen myself – a wonder of experience and dreams and possibilities?

Have I looked into the eyes of a child, and seen the vulnerability and curiosity that explores our shared world? Have I stopped by a play area and heard the delightful laughter, the joy of children giggling and playing? Have I taken time to hold someone’s hand and just “be” with them – to feel warmth, to slow down and breathe?

A deep breath and a moment to consider, why do I choose to live at a run? What fear have I not examined that is robbing my life of my present moment?

It is my moments that build my future. If I don’t take time for them, in the end I will have things, but will never have me and never have been intimate with you!!

Author – Bill Tidsbury