Thursday, February 18, 2010

Notice -- and follow the trail

I came to my computer this morning fully intending to use an image that had caught my eye yesterday, a lovely and very colorful photo of a delightful metal sculpture on a store wall in Taiwan.

But my Leaves folder was still open from yesterday's blog, and this image caught my eye and pulled me in. There's something very pure about it: as I look, I can feel my breath deepening, my heart opening, my shoulders dropping...

... and those have always been the characteristics of the photos I love most: they have a way of stopping me in my tracks and inviting me to breathe. Which now, I see, confirms the impression I was coming to as I was meditating this morning: that my job, this Lent, is not exactly to take on anything or to give up anything.

My job is to pay attention; to listen, and to notice -- to both my own responses and to those around me. And as I look at that long list of 40 I put together yesterday, I see that all the behaviors and thoughts I wanted to give up, and all the behaviors and attitudes I wanted to take on were really about paying attention.

Pay attention to what? Well -- everything! My list was asking me to watch my driving, watch what I said about other people, watch out for negative thinking and shoulds and self-criticism. Watch what I eat, notice what I'm hungry for, watch what I buy, and what I read, and how I spend my time. And then, too, to watch for opportunities -- for creativity, for generosity, for hospitality, for silence, for service, for thoughtfulness, for being present, for being kind to others, and to myself. Watch for the joy that wells up from within; notice where it comes from, and follow it to its source.

See? Watch! Listen! Pause a moment, breathe, and feel where this image takes you. Maybe it doesn't do for you what it does for me. But then -- notice your reaction to the paragraphs above: you know, you remember, what that good stuff feels like. What place or picture, scent, sound, taste or music would take you there and fill your soul that way? What will bring you back to the love that lies beneath? Notice, and follow the trail.

So that's what I'm taking on for Lent. Yum. I feel refreshed already, and I've only begun!

1 comment:

Maureen said...

Love the image (especially those tiny beads of dew) and the words. As you say, It's all good! And it is.