Monday, August 18, 2008

Be still - take a break

"Be Still and Know That I am God." Psalms 46:10

Everybody needs to take a break at times. I am not just talking about a coffee break or bathroom break.
In The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey gives a whole chapter to habit #7 – Sharpen the Saw. He talks about the four dimensions of our nature as a human being. Physical includes exercise, nutrition and stress management. Next is the Social – Emotional aspect which mentions: service, empathy, synergy and intrinsic security. Another aspect is the Spiritual dimension. It notes value clarification and commitment, study and meditation. Finally he includes the Mental aspect with reading, visualizing, planning and writing. All four dimensions help us preserve and enhance our greatest assets – ourselves. Paying attention to all four aspects will create balance and allows us to make better decisions by including recreational activities into our lives.

Most of us don’t have a problem with the physical aspects, they are more obvious. During my vacation I was reading a book Journey to Center by Thomas F. Crum. He emphasizes the importance of going inside, being centered and finding the peace and power there. So far, I had glimpse of moments where I could connect with that stillness, that no-thingness inside. That is what the word vacation means, to vacate or make empty.
We are so full of information and stimuli today, therefore we have to make extra effort to just watch simple moments – like the other day I was watching trops of frosting dripping from one bucket into a bowl. Nothing very meaningful but that short moment of about 5 minute gave me very much peace for hours to come. The idea is to observe the space in between the apparent matter where there is no time or space.
Deepak Chopra in his book Creating Affluence calls it possibility amplitude. By the magic of our attention to this place of nothingness we can connect to our true selves and the infinite, omnipotent and omnipresent creator of the universe. We can practice this magic of attention in five ways: watching (eyes), listening (ears), smelling (nose), touching (hands) and tasting (tongue). The magic is that we don’t have these functions only on the physical plane. Our spiritual self has the same abilities in the spiritual realm. Some people sum these functions up as the sixth sense.

Have you ever thought about why we have the seventh day – Sabbath – as a day of rest and reflection? Or why we sleep at night where all the repairing and healing of our body takes place? Nature has built in certain functions which we want to be aware of and abide. So, next time you get overwhelmed with a situation, just go inside and find the place within or even better, set aside times during the day where you center yourself and have a moment of meditation. Be still – take a break.

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