While we didn’t spend a lot of time sun-bathing (I actually don’t like lying in the sun all that much but I do like swimming), after 17 days in the sun and heat, I have a lovely tan. Everyone I meet comments on my ‘glow’.
It got me thinking, we spend a lot of time considering/worrying about what we put in and on our bodies, but not as much time about what we put in our minds. We worry about wrinkles on our face, but what about wrinkles in our thinking?
I took a great book to read while on vacation, Thomas L Friedman’s “Thank You for Being Late. An optimist’s guide to thriving kn the age of acceleration.”
I opened it on the flight to Mexico and read the whole way but after that, my mind just wasn’t in to thinking quite so much. In fact, reading just wasn’t part of my agenda. I did work on the beginnings of a children’s story for Thurlow but other than that, I didn’t spend a lot of time concentrating on anything other than relaxing.
And that was good for my body, soul, heart and spirit.
I don’t do enough of that.
Last night, as we will be 16 for Christmas dinner on December 26th, I decided I wouldn’t start unpacking but instead, start working on the name cards for the table.
Making name cards and figuring out my tablescape gives me great joy. I love everything about it. Even the scrolling through Pinterest in search of ideas, makes me feel happy!
As C.C. watched a hockey game I hauled out a bunch of supplies. One of my intentions for this upcoming year is to be more environmentally thoughtful, using and reusing before purchasing new. Not going out and buying a whole bunch of stuff for the table is part of that intention.
I’ve also decided to not go all glitter and glam with the table and to take a more traditional, folksy track this year.
And what does all of that have to do with what I’m feeding my mind?
It stretches my creative muscles and pulls me outside my comfort zone.
I love to create sparkly, glittery things for the table. It’s kind of a happy place for me.
Doing it up more earthy, using traditional Christmas colours of red and green, means I need to let go of my glitter glam to breathe into the simplicity and naturalness of tradition.
It’s fun. And it’s taxing. I like glitter! they cover up mistakes, wrinkles, blemishes and a host of other things that didn’t quite turn out perfect!
Which brings me back to wondering about the wrinkles in my mind.
I’m sure there are many crenelated layers of thoughts that hold unused and possibly unnecessary ideas from the past that do not serve me today. Unless I’m willing to step outside my comfort zone, they will continue to hold me tethered to thinking that is outdated, non-productive and limiting.
How to remove them?
I don’t think I can.
But, I can feed them wholesome brain food that will soften the wrinkles and create the more of what I want in my life and the world. I can pay as much attention to what I put into my mind, as I do to what I put on my face to combat times desire to form wrinkles in my skin.
Vegging out in front of a mindless TV show or reading some trashy novel just to escape does not feed me what I need to feel alive. It only debilitates me, making me feel more tired than I actually am.
Ultimately, it’s not about escaping my mind. It’s about diving into everything I put into it with a passion for creating a loving, kind, thoughtful place where I feel safe, refreshed and energized by every thought that flows through me. In that place, I am free to express myself in everything I do through loving kindness.
What a lovely thought.
One thing I love to do as I create is to listen to podcasts. On Monday, my eldest daughter Alexis, text me to say, “Drop whatever you’re doing and listen to Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday with Mark Nepo.”
Mark Nepo is one of my favourite artists. For a year, C.C. read me a passage from his “Book of Awakening” every night when we went to bed.
It’s time to go back to that place where my day ends reading outloud with my beloved.
In the meantime, his conversation with Oprah is incredibly soul-inspiring. Do drop whatever you’re doing to listen. Mark Nepo on Super Soul Sunday