Yes. I am going to invite you to go on a “media fast” this week. That means smart phones, internet, television, newspapers, …… Choose one day, or take the entire week. It is up to you.
The reason for this is to open into possibilities that are obscured by the sheer volume of stimulus that captures our attention every single moment of every single day.
What would it be like to have space to notice what is going on in the world around you….not what you are being told is going on.
Take as an example my experience in doing this for the past 3 days in which I let go of my resistance to writing the first draft of a book on the breath that I have been sitting on for the past year. I knew clearly that there were ideas and creative paths that would not be open to me if I was returning e-mails, talking to people on the phone, and going out to make social connections. Television and newspapers have not been part of my daily life for many years now, so that part was easy.
So I stopped. I created a space for writing and just being with what unfolded itself before and within me. So much more space appeared….and time slowed down. The creative muse inside woke up and started an ongoing celebration resulting in an out pouring of ideas that resulted in 12,000 words written in 3 days.
During this three days I took a walk around the local lake here in Austin, Texas in the sultry 90 degree heat. Not plugged into anything while I walked I was free to observe nature, people, dogs and the morning.
Half way through my walk I took a seat on a bench placed high above the lake on a pedestrian bridge. My back was to another rail bridge that I had noticed before. On it is painted in colors: Focus One Point…and Breathe. Graffiti art of the sacred kind.
With that reminder I did just that, and instead of being distracted by my minds constant barrage of chatter I was quieted as I gazed at the Lamar Street bridge directly in front of me, constructed with gracefully curved cement supports. Sunlight helped to mirror these supports in the water creating an art piece of beautiful duplication. What was above the water was also below.
It appeared to be another world in the water that was reverse from the one in air. As I continued gazing a cloud obscured the reflection for a few moments and the magical world beneath the water was in shadow, disappearing before my eyes. Once the light came out from behind the cloud this under water world was revealed once again. It was there all along.
How many worlds, or possibilities are in the shadows, but still really there for us to shed light on and actively explore? Sitting with this I gazed down at the sidewalk just to my left and on it was written in colored chalk, “God bless you friend” with a heart drawn at the end.
Walking back along the path I greeted an Austin resident who had brought his wheelbarrow down to the lake in order to transport water to the drought affected trees that grace this path. Thanking him for what he was doing out of the kindness of his heart we exchanged a smile. I am certain the trees felt the love directed at them.
Finally, climbing into my car and reaching to peel the juicy orange that awaited my return a man approached with a one gallon gas container. He asked if I could spare some money to complete what he had in his pocket to purchase one gallon of gas.
Reaching into my wallet I took out my last dollar bill and grabbed some quarters and handed them to him commenting to please excuse the quarters as they had a bit of dark chocolate melted onto them. We exchanged a smile and I was told once again “Thank you and God bless!”’’
Now, my question is would I have experienced all of this if I had earplugs in listening to music or whatever, allowed my mind to set an agenda of a certain time I needed to be back home to begin writing again, had my eyes down on the path focused on how many miles I needed to go today in order to get a good workout, or was even busy thinking about what my next chapter in this book was going to be?
My point is – unplug. Unplug from the distractions that put your life on hold while you are caught up with everyone else’s opinion, judgements and agendas – or your own for that matter. Not forever mind you. Just for periods of time to be reminded of the extraordinary life you have before you in this moment. Relax into the spaciousness, beauty, and unseen worlds that appear from out of the shadows. Focus one point….and breathe.
OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT: