I started my day differently this morning. The seed of it planted last night as I purposefully left my cell phone on the kitchen counter. I had gotten into the habit of using my phone as my bedside timepiece and alarm clock. Then I found it so very easy to check my email (etc.!) right before switching off the lights at bedtime and in the morning before rolling out of bed. I decided that’s not how I want to end and begin my days. I want to support my inner connection at those liminal times between waking and sleeping. They’re so rich with opportunity.
I’d also slipped into the habit of putting on music and checking my computer first thing as my morning oatmeal bubbled away. Today I puttered in the quiet physical world of the cabin rather than the cyber one, while breakfast was cooking. And although there were some subtle jittery moments as my old habits tugged at me, I made room for the discomfort, and carried on.
I bundled up and took my breakfast down and ate it while perched on the bench that sits right above the river. That’s where I meditated this morning, had my quiet time before launching into my day. When I headed back up, I found myself unready to go inside so wandered down the driveway and ended up going on a walk through the forest. Back inside for a little yoga and then…to the tasks that are mine to do today.
What this alteration in my routine has brought me is notable. Getting outside, feeling the wind; the nip of coolness on my face and hands; the free, buoyant song of the river so immediate and filling; the rough feel of a tree’s bark; all the myriad wonders present in every square foot as I walked along…. I feel nourished and full of connection: connection with the stillness in me, with this place and its inhabitants, seen and unseen. And I’m carrying all of that inside me now and I roll along through my day on that current, and, hopefully, pass it along in some meaningful way through the small things I do, through who I am in the world.
And to be clear, I am not demonizing technology, (I wouldn’t be reaching you right now without it!), it’s just that I want a mindful and healthy relationship with my devices, a health and balance that I strive to have with everything in my life. I’m also aware that not every morning will lend itself to the expansiveness that this one did, and surely there will be days that I partake in my old ways. What this morning gifted me with is a beautiful template, and a fine beginning to laying down new neural pathways that, I believe, will support my overall wholeness more skillfully than my old habits.
What is rooting itself more and more powerfully within me is the undeniable importance of making time to be still and deeply listen. Winter certainly turns us in that direction. And equally foundational to our being fully embodied and vibrant humans, is having experiences that connect us with the natural world (no matter where we are).
May your days be filled with abundant opportunities to experience these gifts!