Take a deep breath. Now, take another. There, I'll bet you needed that. I did. I used to live my life so completely out of balance in the past that I didn't know how to breathe....I didn't know what a deep, full breath was. I thought in order to have more time to do....whatever...I needed to accomplish things faster. What a foolish notion, which leads me to this: I am in love with Winter, especially this Winter that I'm experiencing. We've had a lot of snow....a lot by our Southern standards, but it always reminds me to slow down. Snow days are good for this. Everything changes overnight: appointments, work, school, driving....everything. Time to STOP.
I awake to absolute silence on days like these. The snow has transformed, once again, my surroundings to a soft, silent place. The normal jarring sounds of life are suddenly silenced. My street becomes a village, neighbors voices carry in a way that make them so close. The sound of shovels delights my ears. Dads are pulling their kids on sleds down the middle of the street, laughter is so precious coming from the mouth of babes out in the snow. My backyard is special to me, it has a large pine tree that I love, and a creek that meanders through the barren trees. My eyes never cease to fill with brief tears at the sight of snow covered branches, add a bright red cardinal and I'm dumbstruck for a moment. Time to breathe in the beauty.
Many mornings such as this I go outside in my pajamas, robe, and big clunky boots and just stand there, coffee in hand, and I listen. I can hear a bird nibbling at the peanut butter covered pine cones hung in the trees. If I'm very still, and I thought to grab my camera, I can take a picture of it. This morning there was a stiff breeze, but it made a soft sound blowing through the pine needles...it was music to my ears. I can't tell you how filled I am with peace at this sound. Being born and raised in Los Angeles I never heard such beauty there while growing up, and of course, never any snow. But at this point in my life I know with absolute certainty I must be near nature, always. I must be able to look out my window and see it on all sides of me.
And thankfully, I've learned the power of stillness.
When things have been the worst for me, I instinctively knew to get quiet, to withdraw, to listen. I knew that within that stillness I would find balance. Within that stillness I would hear the "still, small voice" of Truth beckoning me onward. Sometimes I didn't like what I heard, but it was truth nonetheless. Truth is like that....it whispers, and it can be unsettling.... listen deeper if that's your response. Be gentle with yourself today, if only for a moment, retreat within. Ask, then listen. If all you can hear is the wind in the trees, or your own heartbeat, then consider yourself blessed. Be your own soft place, and if snow isn't your thing, then bask in the Winter sun that warms your body and caresses your face. Whatever way you can attain a moment of stillness, you will be blessed. It's a quiet thing....
Until next time....blessings upon your heart