I was sitting in my garden the other day. For once I went out there with no agenda. I didn’t even have a book to read. I just wanted to sit and enjoy the afternoon sunshine.
So I sat down and looked around the yard at the colorful flowers. Ahhhh. In less than thirty seconds, I noticed the clumps of grass pushing up between the stones in the patio. It would just take me a second to pull those up, I thought. I felt my body start to move. No, just sit here.
A few seconds later, I noticed the bird feeder. The seed level was getting low. It will just take me a second to fill that up. I felt my body start to shift. No, just sit here.
I leaned back and looked up at the clouds drifting by. Hmm, those hanging baskets need water. It will just take me a second to grab the hose....
And so it went. Wow, I thought, this relaxing business is not easy! I’m just going to anchor my body in this chair and not do anything. Just be. My breath deepened. My muscles untensed.
A few seconds passed. I wonder what’s for dinner. Let’s see, what do I need from the store?
related posts: You Are Here; Sit! Stay! Heal!; The Hidden Life of Minds
10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place (and Staying There) is a program to help us develop habits to grow a joyful spirit. Many of us sabotage our happiness by habits that we might not even be aware of. Identifying and changing these habits can build a reservoir of well-being to enhance our happy times and sustain us during challenging times.
Monday, September 3, 2012
Ants in My Pants!
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oh, I thought that only happened to me. Ha.ReplyDelete
Galen, it's nice to visit you again. (I've been away.) It's hard to live simply in the moment and just be. I had a similar experience when I went outside to gaze at the sunset. Minutes later, my husband was scolding me for picking weeds. When will I learn?
Myrna, Glad to have you back! Ha, you are a weed picker, too! Really, when will we learn? Thanks for commenting.Delete
You figure out how to solve this, Galen, and you'll solve all the problems in the universe as well, lol.ReplyDelete
Susan, It would have a ripple effect, wouldn't it?! Thanks for commenting.Delete
Oh, been there and done that for sure, Galen! When we are so used to getting things done, it can be so difficult to just be still with God.ReplyDelete
Martha, "Be still and know that I am God." Who would think this would be so hard?! Thanks for commenting.Delete
Turning off our brain for even a few minutes is so tough. I have this same experience whenever I try to enjoy our backyard. There is so much I could do to make it better for when I sit and relax.Oh, wait. I'm supposed to be relaxing now! It becomes an endless loop of improvement for a time that never comes.ReplyDelete
Bob, I've given up turning off my brain, but I was hoping I could at least turn off my body for a few minutes--ha! Thanks for commenting.Delete
Oh Galen - I hate to tell you this but I think I've swung too far the other way! When I was working in an office far away from home, I always was on the go, planning what I had to pick up or attend to and when, in order to get it all done. Now that I've been home for a couple of years, it's hard to get off my behind and get motivated! Anything that's a chore (which, let's face it, is most things) gets a ho-hum from me anymore!ReplyDelete
Julie, Oh, I can be lazy, but somehow I'm still doing things when I'm lazy, like reading or watching TV. But I can see that you are my new role model! Thanks for your comment.Delete
This is why we celebrate Labor Day! We are human BEINGS, not human DOINGS! Happy Labor Day! =)ReplyDelete
Kim, Always a good reminder! Thanks for your comment.Delete
one time for 40 days of Lent I gave up doing nothing else at breakfast but eating breakfast...so much harder than it sounds!! but I learned a lot...ReplyDelete
Annmarie, That is a terrific idea! I can't wait for Lent! Thanks for your comment.Delete
You are right it is hard. That's why we wander off to the lake or where ever our little spots are to have a better chance of just living in the moment without carrying out little duties to take up our quiet moments. Oh I know we can still relax somewhat, and think deep thoughts while watering the garden or refilling the bird feeder, but it's the still motionless movement that requires work!ReplyDelete
Karen, Like you, I do a better job of relaxing when I'm away from home. I'm going to really pay more attention to this and try to notice when I'm just being fidgety and when I really need to attend to something. Thanks for commenting.Delete
I thought it was just because I was always behind in my yard work. I can't sit still either when something could be weeded or watered. It looks like everyone has this same problem. Next time I need a relaxing moment I will sit and ponder your post instead of weeding.ReplyDelete
Ha! I will, too! Let's see if that will work for us. Thanks for commenting.Delete
I am the same way, but we just have to love ourselves right where we are. Love ourselves for caring for the garden, too. The garden and the birds love your care and attention. Love, love, love!ReplyDelete
Jodi, Yes, we do. Just the way we are. Thanks for commenting.Delete
This post reminds me of a quote by Theodore Roethke that I repeat to myself when I have trouble being still - "A mind too active is no mind at all." :-)
Suzanne, Great quote! A good description of my mind much of the time. Thanks for your comment.Delete
I am so much like you Galen :)ReplyDelete
I guess most of us must be because we never really learn to enjoy being in the moment, being in the present, and just being for that matter.
Each time there is sometime you want to give yourself, for doing things YOU want to do, there comes another wave of thought about things you need to do and takes you back to where you left off. Wish we could change that, which again I know lies completely in our hands.
Thanks for sharing and making all of us realize the importance of taking some time off for ourselves. :)
Harleena, It is a constant process, isn't it, coming back to the present moment? I am going to try to spend more time consciously doing nothing. Let's see how it goes. Thanks for commenting.Delete
Ha ha ha ha ! That sounds like me, all the time. And well - I have to confess I give in to the urge - um - all the time. Love this post. Short-sweet! I really should learn to chill! Hugs, Galen. Welcome back.ReplyDelete
Vidya, Your response made me wonder about cultural conditioning. Is this "have to do something all the time" thing something that we are taught, or is it our nature? In Western culture, or at least in some parts of it, we have the "Protestant work ethic" based, I think, on the saying "Idle hands do the devil's work." It is not only a waste of time to relax, but it's downright immoral! Are there cultures that value stillness and relaxation? Thanks for commenting.Delete
Great blog! Sometimes I have 'the itch' ( so the Dutch say) and no rest in my legs ...ReplyDelete
Jedidja, There is actually a condition called restless let syndrome. I think I have restless body syndrome! Thanks for your comment.Delete
Don't I know just how you feel, Galen? It's so easy to run about doing a lot of things and so hard to relax and let it go. Aren't we human beings just something else? ;)ReplyDelete
Corinne, So true. When animals don't have anything to do, they do nothing. Turtles sit in the sun on a log. Lions snooze in the shade. Spiders wait patiently in the center of their webs. We are something else indeed. Thanks for your comment.Delete
I think it's only possible to completely relax when we've checked off every item on our "to do list". The problem is, it's an ever growing list that never ends!ReplyDelete
Kara, I love checking things off, but you're right--new things are always added. Thanks for commenting.Delete
LOL! I can certainly relate many of my meditation experiences to be like what you have described.ReplyDelete
Thumbs up to this post. It put a big smile on my face :-)
Evelyn, Glad you can laugh along with me! Thanks for commenting.Delete
I'm with you, working to learn to be still. Great post!ReplyDelete
Alecia, It does seem like work, doesn't it?! I think it should be an effortless letting go, and maybe one day it will be, but clearly not yet. Thanks for commenting.Delete
This is absolutely he process you go through to practice Zen sitting. If you are going to sit, just...sit. Another way to view it is being still to be present, in the moment. It can't happen if you are "tasking". Allowing your thoughts to appear, but not to anchor. That's meditation, contemplation, reflection. I have quite the struggle performing it, as apparently you did.ReplyDelete
Mikey, When I'm meditating in a sort of formal way, then I expect thoughts to arise, and I make the effort to bring my attention to my breath and let them pass. I really didn't realize that just sitting in the garden doing nothing for a while would be so much like that, in the sense of requiring effort! Thanks for your comment.Delete
A story we all can relate to Galen:)ReplyDelete
I was able to just 'be' while traveling around Central America recently. NOt concerned about getting anything done. I could do that on an extended vacation so why not in everyday life:) ? Trying to just 'be' more often than 'doing'.
Thanks for sharing.
Vishnu, That's a good example. When we are away from home and our usual routines, then it's easier to shift into the present and just enjoy it. Now you are back and hard at work! Thanks for commenting.Delete
You always make me smile...in our house we both have ants in our pants. But if we see a job it is usually one that need to be done by the other person. Sigh!ReplyDelete
Barbara, Then I guess you can both relax while the other person discharges their duties! Thanks for commenting.Delete
It seems that thoughts of relaxing turns into "things to do" sometimes :-)ReplyDelete
Cynthia, So true! Thanks for commenting.Delete
Yes, this relaxing business is not easy! But I think it gets easier with practice!ReplyDelete
Sandra, That's great because it means I get to practice doing nothing! Thanks for commenting.Delete
That sounds like one of my meditation bouts LOL.ReplyDelete
Riley, Mine, too, but I wasn't expecting it when I just meant to relax! Thanks for your comment.Delete
Hello. I found your lovely blog by way of Cloudia of "Comfort Spiral." This is such a wonderful blog. I so can identify with this post. True, we all need to sit, be mindful. Great post. Fantastic blog. Cheers!!ReplyDelete
bobby, Welcome and thanks for stopping by! I'll come over and visit your blog, too. I hope you will stop by again. Thanks for commenting.Delete
I keep changing my profile, I did it again today, but it looks like one has to click again on the MY WEB PAGE phrase on the left hand side of the profile
I use Word Press and comment luv and many of the blogs I comment on just do a direct link to Patricias Wisdom.
Have you read WHEN WOMEN WERE BIRDS by Terry Tempest Williams? My August review of that book is up for an award, if I can get some more commenters...It is a fabulous book and I think many of your readers would enjoy it very much.
Every month I try to read and comment on 200 blogs - I am always discovering new folk's writing and I love to read...I have just taken 2 weeks off of reading blogs and do not know if I will begin again or just set the bar lower. Nearly 5 years and I am trying to evaluate whether this is meeting my needs.
Thanks for you good update, I have no idea why my info keeps disappearing and there is no link to my blog from my name?
Patricia, It worked this time perfectly. I clicked on your name and went right to your blog. Before, when it went to your profile, there was no "My Webpage" link on the left side--I looked! So let's see if this boosts your comments. 200 blogs? Oh my. I couldn't keep up with that. But I think you are looking for income--yes? I'm doing this for fun, so I don't spend the time that I would if I were trying to make a living from it. Congratulations on your award nomination! Good luck!Delete
I have just come in from sitting. I like a little peace like an after dinner mint :)ReplyDelete
After 8 weeks in recovery from my wee bit of body work, I have found I have changed my habits quite nicely with only 2 vacuuming adventures during the stretch...
...now something else has happened...I do not feel like writing or putting anything on the blogs. I think my words do not make a difference...It is not that I do not have anything to say, rather that I am still listening to so many but no one is returning the favor. Just one on one - will this be enough?
Patricia, Sometimes my urge to blog ebbs and flows, too, so I understand that. You have mentioned several times in comments that people don't seem to comment back on your blog. I would love to get to your blog, but when I click on your name, I get your profile with no link back to your site. That makes it very hard for people to "return the favor." I hope you will edit your profile to link back to your blog so that you will get more readers. I always appreciate your comments here.Delete
I am smiling on this one.............I can just picture myself doing the very exact same thing. I think that life is too fast and we don't know how to relax and just enjoy those simple moments.ReplyDelete
LeAnn, Do you think technology makes it ever harder? Sometimes I do. It seems easier for me to do nothing when I'm at my cabin. Even if there are tasks I could do, I can just sit on the deck and watch the creek. I wonder if being unplugged while I'm there helps me relax. Thanks for commenting.Delete