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peaceful fields and happy places

June 28, 2010

I am going to Colorado with some folks from my church this coming month.  No schedules, no to-do’s, nothing.  I am looking forward to community without the headache of lists, traffic, and smog.  It’s probably the closest I will ever get to living on a hippie commune.

I say this not to give an update on my personal life but to invite you into something similar.  You might not be headed on a vacation but we all can do something everyday that gets us out of our crazy environments and into something a little more quiet.

Here are just a few ways that you can slow down and appreciate life more.

Sabbath (Weekly or Daily)

Some people take a day while others take an hour every day.  Whether weekly or daily, think through what it would look like to carve out even 15-30 minutes of quiet time.  It could be used for reflection, prayer, or quality conversation.  You won’t regret it even if you have to go out of your way for it.  If your married try to think of this not only for yourself but also for you as a couple.

Eco-Sabbath

At any given time, how many things are plugged in at your house/apartment?  Not only do you need a rest but maybe your computer, phone, and appliances do as well. Go ahead, fight the feeling of needing to be connected by disconnecting everything for just a little while. You will start to appreciate the silence and everything you own will last longer too.

Even if you think global warming is a hoax an Eco-Sabbath can still be of benefit.  You can turn off the lights 30 minutes before bed to help your brain start to wind down.  This might help those struggling to fall asleep.

Mindfulness

This Buddhist thought is a good one.  There is nothing special to it but allows for you to enjoy the things you experience.  Try sitting back, concentrate on your breathing and what is happening around you.  If you are eating something, then taste each flavor.  If you are writing something, feel the pen and how it writes on the paper.  Too often we scarf down food at a café to techno music or feverishly drive to work without even remembering half the trip.  This concept might sound too New Age for you but it’s a great way to slow things down and appreciate the small things in life.

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