A missionary was living in a small African village. She asked her friends and their chief if they would introduce her to the people who lived in a nearby village. Early one morning they began their trek. She was excited to meet new people and was eager to get there. They walked awhile, then found some shade and sat down, she assumed, to catch their breath. After more walking they sat down again – they chatted, sat peacefully, then walked some more. In time they sat again. This happened several times and she was getting more and more antsy each time they stopped.
Finally she got up enough nerve to ask someone why they were stopping so often and he said,
“So our spirits can catch up with our bodies.”
Wow – what mind-jarring, life-recalibrating, much-needed ancient wisdom.
How often do we Westerners feel we’re meeting ourselves comin’ and goin’? How often are our crazy-busy minds out in front of us – on to the next thing before the last one is done?
These wise villagers knew well what our western research is spending lots of money and time to discover:
We humans are in need of quiet – of down time. (click on blue for more)
We now see more information in one day than our ancestors processed in a lifetime…
As a mindful eating coach I spend my days helping people slow down and re-connect with their bodies, to re-remember how to stop and experience the joy of eating and moving again.
The simple practice of chosen-mindfulness changes us.
We begin to awaken – to feel more fully and deeply alive.
And not just at the table.
This is something all of us can do – and – no one can do it for us. Each of us must accept the responsibility for the stewardship of our own mind and soul. In our distracting world, peace will need to be intentionally cultivated – it’s not a given.
You are the only one who can make the space and time to sit in quiet contemplation.
What are you doing right now to relax, to allow your spirit to catch up with your body each day?
Here are a few ideas…you will find your own:
- Quietly read, pray, meditate
- Play, stroll, exercise, stretch, yoga, walk, etc.
- Art – draw, paint, color, finger paint, etc.
- Music – listen or make your own
- Play with children, ride a bike, swing…
- Enjoy your pets, a garden, a hammock…
- Deep breathing, biofeedback, massage, muscle relaxation
There are so many ways to feel anchored peacefully in yourself again. Find your way.
Especially in the 21st century, unless you move to a village with no wifi, you will need to be fierce for your own peace, for finding your way of allowing your spirit to catch up with your body each beautiful day.