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.
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Tapping of the Heart
If you lived in your heart, you’d be home by now. ~bumper sticker
I read recently about an inner knowing attributed to the bushmen of the Kalahari. They seem to know things beyond their physical senses, like where the game will be found, or when danger is approaching, or when someone is coming. They describe this mysterious knowing as the “tapping of the heart.” They know with an intuitive knowing that comes from a deep place.
In Seven Sacred Pauses, Macrina Wiederkehr tells a story about a group of westerners who hired some bushmen to guide them through the desert. After traveling at a rapid pace, the bushmen sat down and refused to continue until they were ready. They explained that they had to wait for their souls to catch up.
I wonder about the pace of my life. Since retirement, and especially since my nest emptied last December, it has certainly slowed down, but my days are still full. Sometimes they feel too full.
Gradually, though, there is a settling, a deepening. I spend more time in the morning and evening meditating and praying, and reading wisdom literature. (Right now I’m reading the Bhagavad-gita, and Inner Chapters by Chuang Tzu.) I spend more time in solitude, either at home or at my cabin in the mountains. I spend more time listening. And practicing my word of the year – Wait. Perhaps I’m waiting for my soul to catch up.
I’m fortunate to have this time. Not everyone does. When my children were growing up and I was working, I barely had time to pee, much less to pray. Contemplating bushmen heart tapping was not on my schedule. If my heart was tapping, I probably attributed it to stress-induced palpitations.
But now the idea draws me in, like a quiet drumbeat in primeval forests, shrouded in the mists of time, lost in the fog of modern life. I hear its echo deep in the inner chambers of my soul. I listen...and wait.
Deep calls to deep. ~Psalm 42:7
related posts: Falling Away; Spiritual Simplicity
Posted by Galen Pearl at 7:30 PM
Labels: Step 10-Now, wait
Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)
I really love this idea of waiting on my soul to catch up. When I ran my garden center I would go all day long in the spring. I was running on erratic energy. Then one day in May everything would stop. It was jarring like I had no idea what to do with myself. Now I know I just needed to wait for my soul to catch up.ReplyDelete
Nicole, That's a bit how I felt when the last kids moved out. Now what?! It took me awhile slow down and wait. I'm so glad I chose this word -- wait-- for the year. Or rather it chose me! Thanks for commenting.Delete
I admire you for choosing to use your time to slow down and wait on your soul. The Truth is it's a choice -- Many retired empty-nesters don't slow down at all, but rather fill their days with volunteer work, grandkids, etc.
I am confident you will be supremely rewarded for your efforts and I'm looking forward to reading all about it ;-)
Linda, Thank you! This year is taking shape as a retreat, not in the formal sense, but in a personal sense. And you are right--the rewards are already happening. Thanks for your encouraging comment.Delete
The Bhagavad Gita is not only my religious scripture but one of my favourite "books". The wisdom within it is hard to comprehend, but once understood makes life infinitely easier.ReplyDelete
Suzy, I am finding so much of it "familiar," not because I've read it before, but because it resonates in my spirit. Also because it seems so consistent with other wisdom teachings. Thanks for your comment.Delete
I love the idea of letting my soul catch up. My Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays tend to be very busy at work, and I go, go, go. Come Wednesday evening, I am ready for quiet, rest and -- perhaps--for my soul to catch up.ReplyDelete
Tina, Hopefully during your down days, you can catch up with yourself. Thanks for your comment.Delete
I love this idea of waiting for one's soul to catch up! I've been moving so as you can imagine it's been a little busy. My soul is probably calling from behind! Thanks very much for sharing this idea with us.
Sandra, I've been thinking about you! I met Charlotte Dixon yesterday and we were singing your praises. I know that moving is a busy, stressful time. You are very in tune with your body and your spirit, so I hope that you will make this move smoothly. Thanks for commenting.Delete
That was beautiful indeed, and yes, I've read about the Bushmen and also seen some movies where they have these intuitive powers, which just makes us realize that they are so much ahead of us in their spirituality.
You are right - we really don't have the time for doing things we want to because we are tied down to our families and children. I guess you are lucky to dwell within and find your happy place, and luckier still that we get to hear such wonderful things from you. :)
Thanks for sharing. Have a nice weekend :)
Harleena, I've been reading more about them, too. Fascinating. And yes, I am lucky to have the ability to spend most of my time as I wish these days. But even when I was busy with kids and work, I knew that living in my happy place not only benefited me, but them, too. Thanks for your comment, and I hope you have a nice weekend, too.Delete
Fantastic post:) GreetingsReplyDelete
Oh I love this! Trying to run that crazy home with little kids and two businesses and at the same time take space. I know it when my soul needs time to catch up! I suppose that's why I feel so crazed some days and like I haven't gotten anything done...and maybe I just need to live with that, be okay with that, until the next stage :)ReplyDelete
Julie, I think you are right. You have to live within the life circumstances that you have right now. For you, that includes human kids and goat kids! When I was busy with kids and work, I started belly breathing. And also practicing one minute meditations. You can even do those in the car at a light. Or during all the times you are waiting for your human kids. Thanks for your comment.Delete
First of all, I love that you referred to the bushmen of the Kalahari! I remember studying them in middle school Social Studies! That was a LOOONG time ago, but they made an impression. I do believe that if we slow down and listen, we will hear the tapping of our own hearts. I have heard mine many times. Now whether I choose to listen is sometimes another story.ReplyDelete
Kim, I've been reading more about them since running across that reference. So interesting! I can believe that they would leave a lasting impression from middle school. Thanks for commenting.Delete
I love this Galen. It's obvious you are reading the Gita as it's coming through in your reflections! In fact the Gita would say that those "inner tappings" you've mentioned or knowledge that seems to come out of nowhere can be attributed to the Lord who is sitting in our hearts, just waiting for us to slow down and turn to him.ReplyDelete
Vrndavana, In Macrina's book, she made a similar observation that the inner tappings are the voice of God. and yes, I can see the connection to the Gita, as well as to the Bible and other wisdom teachings. I so enjoy my morning readings. The Gita especially seems to quickly open a direct connection to the divine. Thanks for your comment.Delete
What a "God-incidence", Galen! Our pastor told this very story of the bushmen slowing down so their souls could catch up! He's been preaching an entire series on the health of our souls, taking time to take care of them, not just our bodies.ReplyDelete
Beautiful post, my friend!
Martha, Great term, "God-incidence." That is pretty interesting that you encountered this same story just recently. But then I find that you and I are often in sync. Another God-incidence? Thanks for your comment.Delete
I think most mothers know that feeling when they hardly have time for themselves. When my children were young I liked to wake up extra early just so I would have time to read. That was my only free time for myself. Now I feel some times like I need to make up extra projects to keep my self busy. Hope you have a great day.ReplyDelete
Bonnie, I used to get up before my kids, too, so that I had some time to myself. When they were young, they also had early bedtimes, so I could catch my breath before going to bed myself. Hope you have a great day, too, and thanks for commenting.Delete
LOL... I had to laugh at your comment at barley having time to pee when the kids were growing up. Been there done that!!ReplyDelete
I think every busy person can relate to that! Thanks for your comment.Delete
Galen, this is absolutely beautiful: "But now the idea draws me in, like a quiet drumbeat in primeval forests, shrouded in the mists of time, lost in the fog of modern life. I hear its echo deep in the inner chambers of my soul. I listen...and wait."ReplyDelete
I reread it three times. Such eloquence wrapped up in wisdom, covered in gentleness and dipped in a cool river of joy.
Ken, You are the master of eloquence and wisdom, so that is high praise coming from you! Thanks so much for commenting.Delete
I really like, waiting for their souls to catch up. It's certainly a wonderful description for a feeling that has been a big part of my life lately, especially with all the turmoil and suffering going on all around. Putting a name to that deep, lost soulful feeling (inside me) makes good sense. Thanks for sharing this.ReplyDelete
Karen, I'm so glad that this post was meaningful to you. Thanks for commenting.Delete
Galen, in my former work life, I sometimes found myself peeing and praying at the same time! As I adjust to self-employment and grow in understanding that there is no longer a boss to please or strict work hours to keep, my morning and evening quiet time expands. I love the idea that I'm waiting for my soul to catch up. What a beautiful image. Like you, with your word Wait, I think my word--Simplify--is instrumental to the pace of my days. And I'm grateful.ReplyDelete
Beth, You are funny! And inspiring, too. You have taken a set back and used it as a step up, to paraphrase Joel Osteen. I'm glad that your new career path also allows time for quiet. I can see how Simplify would go hand in hand with that. Thanks for commenting.Delete
I loved the thought of pausing to wait for your soul to catch up. I would say there is a lot of truth in those thoughts. I love that you have more time to pray and meditate. Since I am retired and my children are out of our home I am finding myself busier that I thought was possible. I have been thinking that I don't have the time I would love to meditate and read more. I think I need to pause and let my soul catch up. Thanks for these great thoughts and I am going to work on this.ReplyDelete
LeAnn, I know what you mean. During my first year of retirement, I was so busy I couldn't believe that I had ever had time for a full time job! This year is shaping up to be a year of personal retreat. It's not that I have set up any particular "rules," but I find myself shying away from a lot of activities. I suspect that this will be a season, like winter, for quiet deep preparation. Then we'll see what spring brings forth! Thanks for your comment.Delete
Waiting for my soul to catch up. Maybe that's why the bag lady is cranky - she isn't waiting.ReplyDelete
Linda, I know I get cranky when my soul gets left behind!! Thanks for commenting.Delete
This post should be meaningful to everyone. On a personal note, do you have more mountains to climb?ReplyDelete
JJ, Thanks for the kind words. As for your question, no, I don't think I do. I got to the mountain top and discovered that the mountain was never there in the first place. What about you? Thanks for commenting.Delete
Galen, I hope to always climb new mountains. Perhaps I never reached the top, and perhaps they don't exist, but I prefer to believe those challenges were placed there for me and that's why I was given the ability to tackle them.Delete
JJ, Perhaps the mountain top for you is the climb itself, if that makes any sense. For me, I have things I want to do, and I make efforts to do them (like martial arts), but I try not to see things as challenges anymore. If I don't see something as a problem to be solved, or a challenge to overcome, then there is nothing to "tackle." I had not thought about this so much until you asked me the question, which immediately intrigued me! Here is something I wrote about one aspect of this question. http://10stepstofindingyourhappyplace.blogspot.com/2012/06/problem-solvers-problem.htmlDelete
Thanks for continuing the conversation.
Like just about everyone here, I too love the part about how they waited for their souls to catch up! It's a good way to think about it, causes you to pause.
I've been taking some "Quiet Time" for myself lately - just sitting and meditating and/or reading in my sacred space. It's making a difference in my life.
But when I contrast that with how busy I was when the kids were small, I appreciate how much more difficult it would be in that situation today. For a space of time I used to get up an hour earlier to find meditation time back then.
Happy Monday Galen!
Lori, There are stages of our lives, aren't there? When kids are little or when we are focused on careers, there is often little time for quiet meditation. I do remember getting up before the kids so I could have a little time to myself, but often that was taken up with chores like getting breakfast started, or getting ready to go to work.Delete
I'm glad you you have found the time and space to have some Quiet Time lately. I'm sure that it is making a difference, as you said. Thanks for commenting.
I love the story of the bushmen and sitting an waiting for their souls to catch up. We all can use a little more sitting in our lives. I've started making weekly and daily schedules for myself these days Galen. My favorite part of the schedule is actually writing...do nothing. hahahah it's there for a couple hour of the day. With blogging and writing, I never feel like I'm done after my other work/personal errands so I schedule in 'do nothing' time to stop everything. I'm not sure if I'm waiting, maybe just self-reflecting during that time:)ReplyDelete
Vishnu, During your "do nothing" time, do you go to any particular place or do you just stop where you are? Are you moving or still? I'm asking because sometimes my do nothing times are still and sometimes I'm moving, like taking a slow walk around the neighborhood with no agenda.Delete
I love the fact that you schedule your do nothing time! When I was teaching, I told my law students to actually schedule down time, especially during exam periods. These days I schedule cabin time. If I wait for an open weekend, it never happens. I also schedule pajama days, which are days to stay at home all day (even if I am not exactly in my pajamas).
Thanks for commenting.
I love the words, "letting your soul catch up". I am guilty of often thinking my soul enjoys the wild ride the rest of me is having, when the truth is often even the rest of me is simply too distracted with everything else and not enjoying it either.ReplyDelete
I am going to start scheduling not just quiet time but "letting my soul catch up" time as well. Thanks, Galen. What lovely thoughts to start my week.
Kathy, I just had an image of your soul on a roller coaster riding along with you! As Vishnu mentioned above, actually scheduling quiet time or time for your soul to catch up will definitely help create that space. Thanks for commenting.Delete
I really liked the theme of this post! I do believe that oftentimes the busyness of life can cover our hearts from perceiving things spiritually. That we all need to take time to just be still, to allow the layers that ravel themselves around our hearts to come loose. I have found chanting helps me with this and just sitting outside, being with and a part of nature.ReplyDelete
Jessica, I like your description of layers that ravel around our hearts and then come loose. Like you, I enjoy sitting outside, either here at home or at my cabin. Thanks for commenting.Delete
Wish I have plenty of time to sit back, read all the stuff that I would like to read and ponder over the teachings. I do allocate quiet time regularly, in the mornings and evenings, but it is never quite enough. The quietness and peace is always inviting every single time.ReplyDelete
Evelyn, There is never enough time to read all the things we want to read! My stack of books to read grows all the time. It's amazing that you can find any quiet time with little ones to care for. You clearly make that a priority in your life. Thanks for commenting.Delete
Lovely post Galen. These are truly amazing times to get time for quiet moments.ReplyDelete
Thank you for sharing this. That is a beautiful practice. In the east I have heard that they often value intuition more than reason. I wish I was better with my intuition because my mind can reason itself believing a lot of things even though I can hear that faint whisper of the soul in my heart telling me, "No, don't do that."ReplyDelete
I often haven't listened. I am trying to learn to take it slow and follow my soul, but it is hard. I wish pace of life was slower here and that my life didn't have to have this pressure to achieve. I love to work and create, but I don't want it to be about the prestige even though that is what a lot of people care for.
Thanks again for the post. I love Eastern Culture. The Tao Te Ching and I Ching are some of my favorite books.