Tiny floating blossoms punctuate cool, blue water as I swim deliciously in the sky pool.
Towering sentinels far above catch the patterns of the declining sun.
Music echoes softly from bars and eating places cuddled below.
Sharp winged birds fly and swoop.
Towering black thunder clouds battle the sun, clues of what was once here.
Nature held at bay like the monkey leaping, its tiny offspring hanging below, for its leafy refuge at the guards approach, nature yet magnificent in her glory.
Europe dissipates amidst bright colours and resounding drums, vivid and resplendent.
Here in the quiet of the pool at days end, life pauses, suffused in blue sparkling water, soothing, calming the heat of the day.
The spirit imbibes.
What has a kitchen timer got to do with silver linings you may ask?
It all began with my doctor’s suggestion that I get one to help me remember to take a few minutes walking break from sitting at my desk every twenty minutes to help an inflamed nerve heal.
First not so silver lining, (more a black storm cloud on my part lol!)it ticked so loud it was a constant distraction grrr. (should have bought a different one.)I did find after the initial frustration though that my world was expanding. I’d been tending to spend most of my “at home time” in my bedroom for convenience sake, generally on the laptop at my desk, or laying on my bed with a good book to “chill” (confessions lol!.) Doc said to walk during these breaks so I became re acquainted with the neglected parts of my apartment (the living-room for example!)
Thinking hmm… I have such a nice room but I hardly ever use it, I decided to move one laptop there (yes I had two in my bedroom – embarrassing!)Next step I figured why not move my work stuff with it and keep my bedroom for rest and devotional reading etc. You are probably laughing by now! (First de stress rule – bedrooms should not be work places – but its so convenient!lol!)
Well to cut my story short, the timer went down also. Having my life cut into 20 min. segments has been a life changer. I realised just how much time I can “accidentally” spend on social media, how I must have been sometimes 3 or more hours straight at the computer when a writing bug hit (no wonder my leg was complaining!)I became far more aware of how I used my time. Many of those little jobs on my to do list got done during my breaks and amazingly I’ve been more inspired to write rather than less (even with the pesky timer.)Today my daughter helped me rig my computer to my TV so I can watch net flix on the big screen (OK, OK, I was laying in bed watching on the laptop lol!) I feel like I opened a bunch of windows and my life is expanding instead of contracting.
So my message for today? Get a timer, it’s life changing!
Life is like swimming, there has to be some movement on a constant basis to keep your head above water. If you go to sleep you sink. If you’re able to relax and float the effort can be very little, but if you want to get somewhere or achieve something it takes more. If you’re constantly driving both arms and legs you pretty soon get tired, so the best is periods of focused effort and periods of rest when you mostly float. That’s how channel swimmers make the 28 miles. If you are in for the long haul you need both,
It seems a somewhat lost art in these days, when everything races top speed, to stop and feel at peace within, to float on life’s waters. I’m as guilty as the next, (bringing up seven kids you become an expert at multi-tasking)it becomes a habit. I still find it very hard to just eat, for example, I always have a book propped, hold a conversation, or watch a movie, so I miss out on enjoying much of the flavor.
I have to force myself to stop and take time alone just to “be”, “to chill”, to “meditate”, to “pray and talk to God”. Whichever way you view this, this floating is the remedy to burn out, the elixir balm to promote mental wellness. It’s when we stop, and remember who we are and where we are going.
The day is dull and cloudy, and yet there trails a song,
The water still and placid as the wind pulls us along.
The birds that circle over, tern, swallow and a goose,
The flapping of the sail above, the line that is too loose.
The laughter of my sailor as she spots one of her own,
His craft he’s proudly steering (though he’s also from the home).
Their lives are seldom sunny, each body has a flaw,
Yet the heart that dwells within them still causes them to soar.
The calmness of the water that stretches all about,
Must open up the spirit and let the joy come out.
(Thoughts on taking disabled folks sailing).
Sometimes we just need to press the pause button and stop to take in life.
This happened to me yesterday morning. My usual cycle back between the lakes was feeling tedious. I felt myself unconsciously pushing to “get it over with”. Something wasn’t right. The route is glorious and the trees were all decked in gleaming new foliage (even on a dreary day which this was). It had to be me.
Instead of hasting home to get started on that ever present “to do” list I pulled over by a bench, propped my bicycle and sat gazing out over the still waters. Starting to chill I watched the birds (expert chillers!)
There was a small splash in the water. A moor hen was diving for food. Only then I realized what my beleaguered senses had been oblivious to. There was a chick on the lake, the first I’d noticed that year. As I watched, fascinated, the mother passed her wriggling prize on to the baby. I sat contemplating as the mother tirelessly bobbed down again and again providing the chick with a hearty breakfast.
It slowly dawned on me – this was the real world, the continuing one. Oblivious to our petty dealings nature continues its timeless rituals, there’s such peace in that.
(I didn’t have my camera along but this bing photo will give a close idea.)
A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I just love doing jigsaw puzzles, it’s quite an addition, once started it’s hard to stop! There’s an immense satisfaction when you find where a piece fits. They have so many applications to life, not worrying when the piece you need appears to not be there (it always turns up eventually), discovering when something is in the wrong place and thereby joining up whole problem areas, learning patience knowing it will all become clear in the end. Especially when combined with soft, inspirational type music I find them hugely relaxing and they are even said to be great for stimulating brain cells.
Somehow puzzles and my life seem to have some correlation and tend to bleed into one another. I’ll often find comfort and answers to real life problems among the pieces.
Something bigger than yourself? This is the basis for alcoholics anonymous groups etc. that some things are beyond our means to conquer so we need a belief in something outside ourselves. (If you believe you can handle all life throws at you, you are headed to “crash and burn” ‘cos life can toss some pretty curved balls!)
Personally I’m a Christian with a pretty strong reliance on Christ. That doesn’t mean I belong to any particular church or denomination, I don’t, but I know when I come to the end of my resources I can reach for His. This, it has to be admitted, is the most active and always available resource in my anti stress armoury (not to mention the reason I’m still here! Lol!)
You don’t have to be a Christian, or member of some recognized religion, to utilise this one, it could be some vague belief in the power of nature or a universal element. The fact is we all reach a point sometimes when we realise a problem or situation is beyond our ability, if we can then willingly pass it on to another entity (understanding that we are not the centre of the universe) it relieves the stress levels 100%.
One of my favourite chill options is a combination of these two. Doing a jigsaw while listening to (and often singing along if no one’s around – my voice is awful! lol!) some Christian music. It requires very little mental concentration (if you choose the right puzzles with lots of well defined colours all over) and gives a comforting feeling that all is well and will turn out OK in the end, like the puzzle.