I woke up this morning in a funk. Not wanting to do anything…just sleep. Maybe it was the fog lumbering up from the Atlantic Ocean, encircling my house, beckoning me to drift in and out of murky half sleep, half awake. I rolled over and reached for my phone. “No, this is not how I want to start my day.” I put it down. I could feel the gremlins wanting to greet me, something tugging at me, trying to pull me down.
Instead of pushing to get the day going, I sat up and took some deep breaths. And then I just sat for a bit. Instead of coaching myself into action, I listened. At first, there was nothing, just an old familiar distance, as if I’d drifted from something essential, something I couldn’t quite remember, but longed for.
As if talking to a child who has strayed from her mother in a crowded outdoor market, I gently asked myself, “How can I help?” Grateful for the attention, some part of me drew closer. She began to open up to me, confiding her deepest fears. I simply made room for her, not trying to fix anything. “Yes,” I quietly nodded. “I understand.” And then, “What do you need?” Surprisingly, she knew just what she needed. The fog began to lift.
Last weekend, we spread out a blanket on the cool grass, opened a bag of warm Pastéis de nata (Portugal’s national treasure) and kicked back until our friends arrived. Flanked by fountains and sweetgum trees, I stared up at the blue sky until my body began to shed the accumulated noise. I felt the earth rise up to meet me and plug me back into her rhythm as if to say, “Welcome home.”
The evening drifted into sublime, unplanned perfection. As the sun faded, the trees and pathways began to light up. A few of us wandered further into the park as if in a trance from the call of obscure frog song (yes, there was a bit of wine involved).
Little did we know that 2015 has been declared the “International Year of Light,” celebrating light as an essential factor for human existence, and Serralves park was magically lit up for the occasion. We were in the right place at the right time.
You don’t need to meditate. But you do need to connect - everyday. Why?
Stuff piles up in the mind and heart. Daily weeding keeps your mind and heart open.
You can go in a million directions. But the most effective and rewarding actions are aligned with your soul's desires.
Taking short breaks throughout the day recharges your body's battery.
Stepping off the hamster wheel, even for just a few minutes, expands your awareness, which opens up your options, which...makes life a whole lot more fun.
Find what connects you: to yourself, to others, to something greater. Everyday.
Take a deep breath in the middle of an argument.
Go for a walk in nature.
Ask for help.
Have a conversation with yourself (but don't get caught).
Know what truly lights you up - and make time for it.
How do YOU connect?
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Photo Credit: Anne Forrest