Reconnecting With Life

When the world hurts, we would rather escape. So we shop or eat or watch a lot of tv or turn to friends to keep us busy. Yet when we do reconnect with life, something wonderful happens. We rediscover that life is mysterious and beautiful, awe inspiring and uplifting even as it sometimes hurts. Reconnecting gives us back the bits of ourselves that we had given over to stress, worry, problems and difficulties. It frees our time, our imaginations and our creativity. So here are some ideas for you to explore:

Trust Our Bodies
We live in or heads and do not trust the flesh, yet bodies are wise. They warn us of danger and they delight us when we are at ease.

Slow Down
Walk when you can rather than riding. 
Be present while walking rather than planning the next project in your mind. It is not time wasted but time saved.

Take Time Off
Take a bit of time to do what you want every day. A woman I know who had ten kids, had a magic hour when she was not to be disturbed for any reason. (Well, maybe a death. But that was it.) It kept her real, reconnected with who she was as an individual and not as a mom and gave her time to breathe. Use your time to putter in the garden, to sing, to walk, to exercise but do all these for no other purpose than to be with yourself. That’s when you open to your real creativity.

Cultivate Awareness
All spiritual traditions have a technique such as prayer, meditation, contemplation or journeying that brings them to their still point. Yoga, meditation and Chi Kung are activities that also can bring you back to your still point. They aren’t designed so much to still us, however, as they are to put us firmly in the here and now, where we can become more aware of what is happening around us. 5 minutes a day can make a world of difference.

Say Grace
Grace is a way to actually feel (not just think) grateful for all of the people and events and conditions that brought your food to you as well as being grateful to a higher power that made the whole thing possible. But it can be more affirming than that. It can also about connecting with the food itself. So, play with your food. Take note of the different flavours. Try not to evaluate them but just become aware of them with scent and taste and sight and sound and touch. Paying attention to food brings some of the quieter tastes alive again and we don’t need to blast our taste buds so much. By noticing each ingredient of a meal, you open to the unique quality it adds to the meal. Slowing down to taste as you eat can make an ordinary bowl of cereal an adventure.

Move From Passive To Active
If you prefer to observe sports, play outside instead now and then. Turn off the tv and build something or read a story aloud or take a walk.

Bring More Of Your Senses Into Everyday Activities
Notice the changes from room to room — as you enter a new room or move from indoors to outdoors, notice the shape of the enclosure, the changes in scent, texture, and colour. If you are doing a lot of reading through the day, engage other senses. Touch the book, smell the pages. If you’re on your feet a lot, change your shoes, turn yourself upside down for a bit, and become aware with your other senses what is happening around you.

Mix Your Senses Up
Try seeing with your body, hearing with your taste and feeling with your sight. The african violet flower might look purple but what does that colour of purple feel like? Is is hot or cold, soft or sharp? If it was a food, would it taste more like bananas or berries? This may seem like an exercise in imagination but it leads you to a more direct understanding of how you perceive things. It opens you up.