I was striding home from the school run this morning. I had two hours to myself before I was due to collect my youngest daughter from nursery. In my head and on a very long piece of paper at home was my to-do list. I decided to take the route through the park rather than the route through the train station. So I strode down the road in my usual super-quick way, took my life in my hands to cross the horrible road, had my house in sight on the other side of our little local park and powered onto the path. And then something in my world slowed down. I know virtually nothing about plants and trees, but the trees in our park are grand in size and dramatic in their abilty to reach for the sky. And as my feet hit the grass my thoughts, my breathing and my steps slowed down. I was surrounded by space, green and breeze and my mind and body immediately reacted to it. My body soaked up the sensory experience and my mind free wheeled to try and add words to the experience. In fact, after I had wandered really slowly across the grass and reached my house, I knew I hadn’t had enough. I went inside, grabbed a notebook and a pen and headed out to sit in the grass and capture my thoughts and feelings. I have taught and lived around here for so long that I know so many people, and two people I know passed my spot. They waved, i smiled and felt both pleased to be connected with the neighbourhood and at the same time disconnected with it as I was so aware of what my senses were taking in. I felt satisfied, contented and very alive and connected to nature in that moment. My mind conjured a poem but in trying to write it down, I didn’t quite get it. I got it enough to remind me later what I’d felt at the time. I don’t write poetry and yet I did. And I felt strong and calm and I felt that all was right with me. And believe me, for a woman with a to-do list as big as mine at the moment, the magic of turning chattering monkey mind to calm and contented mind was as powerful as alchemy.
I could have gone into the house when I arrived home and stayed in and began the tasks and jobs of the day. And I would have missed out on the replenishment to my spirit and the recharge to the batteries that came from giving myself ten minutes to drink in an experience that was nourishing to me.
Ten minutes. 600 seconds. Time in flow that felt like a lot longer. I found beauty and I drank it up with my senses.
Give yourself the gift of ten minutes sometime. Notice when the world around you presents you with the gift of a changed state, an elevation of the spirit and a replenishing of your mind.
These moments of flow, these moments of peace and connection to the inner-you that is buried under the to-do list are gifts to be savoured.