I had a neat conversation with a man and his teenage son a few days ago. I was struck when I saw them standing at the grocery deli with arms wrapped around each other’s backs. I wanted to rush over and give them both a big hug; it was such a beautiful sight. As I walked near, I resisted the urge, but I did say to myself, I actually need some cheese. So as I stood next to them, I smiled and asked,”Is this your son?” The father looked at me, smiled and said, “Yes.” The son looked at me and I said, “I love you, you are beautiful.” The son reacted by taking his hand and pounding it on his ear, I noticed both ears were deformed from what seemed like numerous strikes through the years. Neurological damage, I assumed caused the involuntary response of head banging, possibly frustration too (I hope I didn’t upset him). The father gently took his son’s arm and placed it around his back. I learned from the father, as the son listened with understanding, they were heading to the fair. How fun, I exclaimed. I asked the son if he liked to swing, thinking of Jude and how he loves swinging. The father answered for his non-verbal son and said, “He loves the carnival rides, but the not the swing. He doesn’t like to move backwards.” We chatted a few more moments and then they moved on. As I reflect back on this conversation many things struck me. But two stand out. The son, Ben, likes moving forward, not backward. Wisdom for us all. The other thing is that, I wish it was not unusual or odd to see a father and son standing arm in arm at the deli line. I am etching this sight in my longtime memory. We may see a disabled person, but he is a perfect soul and we all need each other in some way or another.
Do you desire to get more satisfaction and peace from your everyday life? Do you sometimes feel as if you are stuck in a rut? If so, here is a little exercise to help you back on track. A way to do more of what makes you feel good, so in the meantime (that place that requires work/duty) life is a bit lighter, easier.
First, spend 5-10 minutes in quiet contemplation, mediation, or prayer. This will help clear your mind so you can listen to your heart. Then with paper and pen, begin writing 10 things that light you up. Things that bring joy to your heart and a twinkle in your eye. Do your best to cultivate some of these as you can, no pressure to do so. Just pick one to delight yourself.
Much love to you, may we be lights in this world.
Here is my list, no particular order, because they are all important and available at different times.
- Walking in the woods, making trails
- Creating things to eat and drink in the kitchen
- Studying/learning new things, especially about plants and sacred things
- Music: llistening and making it (piano and drum)
- Sewing (especially for someone whom I love)
- Water: sswimming, walking near it, bathing, sitting on the shoreline, smelling it as it cascades over rocks
- Quiet time – alone time – writing time
- Spending time with my husband and family, especially my grandchildren
- Dancing, oh the joy! Especially spiritual dancing: cconnecting, moving, expressing