Last week I was blessed to have a few days in the wilderness. I had found a solo campsite 6 miles up a windy road that took 25 minutes to drive up. And pulling up the first thing that caught me was the view. Miles upon miles of rolling hills spread out before me with no buildings or people in sight (except at night you could see lights from the city way off in the distance). I quickly unloaded my car and set my space up, and then sat and looked and listened. The dry grass was waving, butterflies and birds flying around me in abundance, and a pair of lizards were doing push ups and playing tag on the fire pit.
For the next four days this was home! A time spent praying and reflecting and reading and sleeping. A time of silence and allowing feelings to arise. A time to just be. And it was exactly what I needed.
These times of taking ourselves out of our normal routines feel so important to me, especially in this world we live in that is so fast paced and filled with brokenness on personal and corporate levels. When we give ourselves the gift of stopping and paying attention to the beauty around us, when we can really allow our whole sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems to feel at peace, and when we fall into that place of peace where our bodies can relax fully, we heal.
This is something we can offer ourselves every day, and not just something that can happens when we remove ourselves from the world…. Although I think that these deep long sinking in times are necessary, at least for me! But each day we can give ourselves the gift of sinking into a space of healing.
Here is one way you can do this:
Find somewhere to be that you won’t be disturbed for a while.
Sit or lie comfortably.
Begin by looking around the space you are in. See what catches your eyes, but look all around the room. Is there a color or an object or the way the light is falling that brings you peace? Allow your eyes to close, or to hold a soft gaze on an object.
Listen to the sounds around you. What can you hear outside the room? What can you hear inside the room? What is the softest sound you can hear? What can you hear inside you?
Stay in this space. Allow it to settle you.
If you begin to have a lot of thoughts appearing, you can repeat a phrase over and over each time a thought comes up. It can be something simple like “I am light,” or call upon God with words such as, “O God, hear my prayer.” The words themselves don’t matter as much as the intention to draw your attention back to being in this space of peace.
When you are finished, give thanks. Before you move, wiggle your fingers and toes, look around the room and name three things you see. Get up slowly, and try to carry this beauty into your day!
If you try this, let me know how it goes!