I don’t know about you, but there are some days when my mind is racing a mile a minute. This past Monday, with all that is happening in our world, was one of those days.
Almost from the moment I woke up, I started thinking about all that I needed and wanted to get done. Adding to my long list of things to do. Starting another, longer list of new ideas and possibilities. Wondering about what is going to happen in our country this week. Praying for peace. Worrying about the opposite.
Questions raced in my mind. Do I have enough time? Will things work out? What happens if they don’t? I was playing scary (and scarcity) movies in my mind.
Which is when I was reminded, once again, of what happened to my nephew David when he was learning to walk. At 10-11 months, David was a blond-haired, blue-eyed butterball of a baby with a big smile on his face most of the time. (Note: The photo is not of David but it could be.)
And because he was just learning, he walked (as, I suspect, we all did) on his tiptoes. The heel-toe action he uses today came later. First, he would pull himself up to a standing position. Then he’d see the open floor of their living room and GO FOR IT.
Big grin, tippy-toe step after tippy-toe step, he would start walking across the room. And then it would happen.
You see, as he kept walking tippy-toe, tippy-toe across the room, his head would start to lean a little FORWARD, in front of his feet.
I could always tell the moment David knew something was off. Some instinct in him knew something wasn’t right – that he was about to fall.
In reaction to this sense of imbalance, with his head in front of his feet, he tried moving his feet faster. It was as if he were trying to get his feet to catch up with his head.
Needless to say, it didn’t work. He’d fall every time – often with great damage to himself or the living room wall.
What David didn’t know back then is that if he had STOPPED moving he could have re-centered himself. Only a few seconds and he would be back in balance. He could have continued his walk safely. No harm done to himself or the wall. No blood. No pain. No tears.
This, my friend, is the image that I remembered on Monday. Because when my head is racing a mile a minute off into the future, I’m out of balance just like David.
Most of my life, I’ve reacted exactly like David did years ago. I’d try to move faster, get things done faster – convinced it was the only way. That I didn’t have time to stop.
But now I know better. I know that the only empowered way to move forward is to first stop and re-center – as best I can.
So I gave myself some extra time for centering prayer Monday morning. And throughout the day, I was even more intentional about taking short breaks to re-center myself. Even if it was just for a few minutes.
Sometimes I’d take some long, slow, deep breaths. Or I’d listen to some peaceful, centering instrumental music. Or I’d SLOWLY sip my cup of tea, savoring the blended flavors of black, green, and chai tea with soy milk and cinnamon.
During these breaks, I would repeat the definition of abundance. It’s an empowering affirmation. It helped me remember that I am part of something bigger than myself and my individual efforts. And that “something bigger” is loving, creative, powerful, resourceful, generous, and more. And in that knowing – in that connection – we have access to all that we need.
In THIS moment. And in THIS moment. And in THIS moment.
Breath by breath. Step by step.
This was my practice on Monday. It’s actually my practice every day – but on Monday it was even more important.
In case you’re wondering, this is what happened.
Like David, I went through the day with a BIG smile on my face. And I actually accomplished MORE than I expected – with EASE.
So, my friend, just in case you’re having one of those days today…
If your mind is racing with the events in your life and our world…
If you’re tempted to keep going, moving faster and faster…
Then please remember David’s story…
And STOP. Take a deep breath. In fact, take several.
Repeat the definition of abundance and remember the truth it contains.
Because you get to choose.
Will you fall or will you stand?