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.
Friday, March 22, 2013
Before I got halfway there, I began to doubt my confidence in spring’s early arrival. As the altitude rose, the rain turned slushy, and then to snow. I wavered, thinking perhaps I should turn back and have a quiet day at home instead. Yet I drove on. Soon I was at the cabin. The logs were crackling in the stone fireplace, and I was in my favorite chair, sipping hot tea and trying to choose which book to read first.
But the release and relaxation I usually feel in my mountain refuge continued to elude me. I fidgeted. I felt melancholy, sad for no reason I could name. Ill at ease, unable to yield to the embrace of the forest, unable to listen to the counsel of the creek. Indecisive. Anxious. Should I pack up and leave, or stay and risk being snowed in by morning?
So I sat. not in my chair but on my meditation cushion. I sat and breathed. And waited.
And watched. The snow that had seemed vaguely ominous before became soothing. Pure and soft, falling so gently, so calmly. Unperturbed. Serene. The snow lovingly caressed my spirit, cradling my raw places, kissing my sorrow. This is why I came, I thought. To receive a blessing from the snow.
I put the tea kettle back on and chose a book.
Be still and know that I am God. ~Psalm 46:10
[Did I get snowed in? Stay tuned for the next post!]
related posts: You Are Here; Cradling Our Feelings; Inviting the Demons to Tea
Posted by Galen Pearl at 2:23 PM
Labels: fear, Step 10-Now, Step 4-Feelings, wait, yield
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Is that a photo of your cabin? If it really is, I love it and want to go there. It is breath taking beautiful. I hope you got snowed and lucky you if you did. I can't think of a more inviting place to get snowed in. Cheers.ReplyDelete
Manzanita, No, that is not my cabin, but it was the closest I could find. My cabin is smaller and sits more above the creek, but the feeling in this photo captured for me the feeling at my cabin. Even though this is not my cabin, I think you would like my cabin, too. Thanks for commenting.Delete
"Unable to yield to the embrace of the forest, unable to listen to the counsel of the creek."ReplyDelete
This statement embodied my time today, Galen. I was tired, yet restless, as if there was something I should be doing that I had somehow forgotten. And, I felt sad, too. Not an emotion that I have much intimacy with these days, thank the Lord.
Then, I remembered - tomorrow marks the 16th year of my husband, John's, passing. How at this time, those many years ago, my heart was laden and heavy and breaking. My heart and soul recalls, and ushers my mind into that memory . . .
Perhaps, this is an anniversary time for you?
Sending love and blessings your way, my friend, and know how much your post soothed my heart.
Martha, Anniversaries can stir up feelings even when we don't consciously remember them. I'm so happy for you that joy has returned to your life.Delete
February is my anniversary of loss month, so I'm not sure what was going on with me yesterday. Chogyam Trungpa (a Buddhist teacher) talks about the gentle heart of sadness as being part of life. Sometimes I think it just laps up on our shores like a soft wave.
I'm glad that we connected today. Blessings to you, too. And thanks for commenting.
What a wonderful way to spend time! I love the scripture and find myself saying this, or thinking it, when my mind gets going a bit too fast for my liking. I'm thinking you didn't get snowed in, you don't have internet at your cabin last I knew. Mind you there's portable internet these days, so who knows, are you still at the cabin? If so I hope you brought enough food to last a few days.ReplyDelete
Have a wonderful weekend Galen, it looks like the highways should be in good shape by tomorrow, at least I'm hoping so.
darlin, You are right that I don't have any phone, Internet, or TV at the cabin, so clearly I made it home. But it was almost more of an adventure than I planned for!Delete
Getting snowed in most of the time is fine. I have plenty of wood and food and clothes up there. But I needed to get back today to visit with a friend passing through town, a friend I had not seen for many years. But I made it back and all went fine. Thanks for commenting.
I'm glad to hear you made it home Galen!Delete
Wishing you a wonderful weekend. Now it's time to get ready for the open road. :-)
Oh I treasure moments like that, and it's so funny how at first it's almost like we're fighting with ourselves to relax and just be one with the moment. Until we finally just listen to the silence! You are so lucky to have a place like that! Can't wait to see "to be snowed in or not!"ReplyDelete
Karen, Fighting with myself is exactly what it felt like. Usually as soon as I step out of my car up there and smell the evergreens and hear the creek, I feel any tension or worries just drop off of me like water. I am very lucky to have a place like that. Thanks for commenting. (And I'll get right to work on that next post.)Delete
I love being snowed in. It happens so rarely, though. We got just a touch of it this morning and, though I knew it would quickly melt, I enjoyed the sight from indoors.ReplyDelete
Linda, It is nice when you are prepared and can just relax and settle into it. Thanks for your comment.Delete
I love your description of the falling snow as blessing. I could just imagine it falling outside as you sat on your meditation cushion. Isn't it amazing how something can seem ominous and then be recognized as a blessing? It's all in the perspective we have. I find that when I "get still," I can get a clearer perspective on things.ReplyDelete
And this is a wonderful example of your word "wait."
Tina, So true. I was so busy worrying at first that I couldn't appreciate the gift the snow was bringing me. And yes, I was reminded of my word as soon as I felt myself feeling so churned up and impatient to make a decision. In fact, this word is turning into quite a teacher this year. Thanks for commenting.Delete
What a perfect place to be in Galen :)ReplyDelete
When you share such posts, through your words we are transported literally to where you are - it's almost like we are living through your eyes and feeling everything as well. :)
Awesome indeed - you are truly blessed :) Enjoy your weekend - I would if I were in such a place :)
Harleena, Thank you so much for the kind words. I really appreciate your comment. And yes, I am blessed indeed.Delete
Sounds like heaven! I could use a little space like that, right now. Life has been crazy, slowing down and being still, sounds really good.ReplyDelete
Alicia, When I'm in the midst of crazy chaos, I've found that just taking a few belly breaths (breathing deep into your belly) creates a few moments of a little space like that. Thanks for commenting.Delete
Galen, I am anxiously waiting for your next post. :D Hugs. Enjoy the snow. Have never seen it. But hope to, soon! It looks so pure and serene! Peace be with you!ReplyDelete
Vidya, I'm surprised with all your travels you have never seen snow. There is snow in parts of India up in the mountains, isn't there?Delete
Your comment reminded me of my son James. When I adopted him, we lived in the tropics. We moved to Paris when he was two and a half. He had never even been cold before, and that first winter was a shock for him--he did not like it!
Thanks for commenting.
One of the beauties of retirement is the freedom it gives you. If you were snowed in for a day would it really matter? I know you have marginal cell service so you'd have to find that little sliver of the front porch with a few bars to let family know. But, otherwise you get home when you get home. That reality can certainly calm you.ReplyDelete
Bob, So true. In this particular case, though, I was eager to get back to meet up with a friend from Paris who was passing through town. It all worked out. Thanks for commenting.Delete
I'm so glad you found the purpose for visiting your cabin, in order to be blessed by the snow.
We've had a pretty cold spell across the UK and there has been heavy snow all of today. Just earlier, I was looking out of the window, watching the snow coming down and being in the present moment. It was very peaceful.
Hiten, How beautiful. A late snow in many places, I guess! Thanks for commenting.Delete
Oooh, a cliffhanger! Frankly I don't know why you ever LEAVE that place. I don't think I would. Sounds perfect to me! :)ReplyDelete
Jennifer, It is a wonderful place, that's true. But so is my home in the city. I love them both. As for the cliffhanger.... Thanks for commenting.Delete
Beautiful! A great illustration of how we can transform the state of our mind. Can't wait to see what's next!ReplyDelete
Sandra, Thank you! I'll tell the rest of the story soon. Thanks for commenting.Delete
I would love a quiet place. I live in the city and although I have a view of the hills with just a few houses here and there, it is still the city and noisy down here. The hills have cows and horses on them. At times we see deer and wild turkeys and it is a nice escape to look at. Someday I shall move back to the country, where you can hear very little other than the birds singing.
Glad you had a nice time in the cabin.
Mary, I live in the city, too, but it is city dwelling at its best. I live in an old neighborhood with big trees. I know most all my neighbors. I can walk to many places. I don't have much of a vista view because of the trees, but that's true at the cabin, too. Beautiful views of the mountain as I drive towards it, but once I'm there, I'm nestled in the trees by the creek. Lots of cows and horses and farms on the way there. Thanks for your comment.Delete
WOW!!! Just looking at that picture took me there. I love watching the snow fall, it's like watching feathers falling from Heaven, or frozen feathers. haha What a BEAUTIFUL and PEACEFUL place.ReplyDelete
Farfalla, Frozen feathers--I like that! Thanks for commenting.Delete
You wrote this so beautifully Galen I was right there with you at your cabin... even though... here at the end of a very long hot southern hemisphere summer... the thought of snow would be furthest from my mind! Thank you. Herein lies peace and acceptance :)ReplyDelete
Jean, Isn't it fun reading about and seeing photos of the "other side"? It's always a reminder that at any moment, everything is happening. It's spring or fall somewhere! Thanks for commenting.Delete
Looking forward to your next round of story...but I do believe that you did not get snowed in since you posted this post? Is that your cabin in the picture? I remember a roof story and this roof looks rather steep.ReplyDelete
I would call the whole adventure a Good Save!
Patricia, No that is not my cabin, but the feel of the photo captures the feel of the forest and creek at my place. Thanks for your comment.Delete