We all had the same idea. The sun was out and it was warm, the first time in weeks, if not months. Heading out to the back yard, I grabbed a Mark Nepo book, my daughter Chloe got a beach towel, and our dog followed us outside.
Chloe lay her towel on the grass, I sat in the chair, and we both closed our eyes. The feel of the sun — not only on our faces but all over our bodies — warmly pressed through our clothes, determined to touch our pale skin.
After a focused and demanding three months of work and stressful personal challenges, I was ready. The mind mercifully obliged. Thoughts became not striving, not what needed to get done, not critiquing what had gone wrong or right. They simply floated. We lay in silence, feeling nothing but the sun.
Every now and again a memory – “I remember being in Germany and lying in the sun by the river after the long winter,” she said, and I nodded appreciatively. We lapsed back into silence.
The dog came to her blanket and lay down. Eyes still closed, she rubbed his smooth belly.
“I remember,” I said, “the daily ritual of sitting in my yiayia’s backyard and sipping strong Greek coffee.”
My daughter nodded, and we both fell silent again.
Oh, the freedom. Nothing and no one to push back against, or open up to, or change for, or respond to. Just this. The sun, the birds, the sweet smell of mountain laurel blossoms on this spring afternoon.
“The mind is a spider that, if allowed, will tangle everything and then blame the things it clings to for the web it wants to be free of,” says Mark Nepo in “The Book of Awakening.”
Our minds are usually so busy we tangle in our own thoughts. Even when we finish a creative project or burst of busyness, our minds, like the spider, won’t stop spinning. We may slow down, but our thinking speeds up and before we know it, we are off on something else.
The thing that we forget is this truth: To deeply create, we must also deeply rest. To stop spinning. To allow the thread, fluttering in the breeze, to simply catch the sunlight and be…
How can you allow more deep rest in your creative process? What gets in the way of taking that time for yourself? Share it here on the blog.
Spring Spark Telecourse: Ignite Your Writing Mojo
Has your writing been in the doldrums, or perhaps you’ve wanted to write but haven’t found a way to begin? In this 4-week telecourse (launching mid-April), we’ll shake the dust off your writing life and get you clear, inspired and armed with practical strategies to get you going.
Stay on the lookout for all the details coming next week…
Photo credit: Jason M Parrish on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-ND
Jeanne Guy says
I’m here on Whidbey, learning what it means to NOT have work to do and noticing my habitual patterns of needing work to do, or having a to-do list to feel productive. At least that was yesterday. Today is finding out how to let go of that and just breathe and enjoy and notice. I could get used to this…
Sending gratitude and love for your friendship, your mentoring, and the effect you’ve had on my life.
Oh my, I can just see you on Whidbey with your feet up, enjoying the breeze and the beauty. I so appreciate you friend…
Oh how I’ve missed your writing. How wonderful to read your words today!
Thank you Carla — I hope you are outside somewhere right now, feeling deeply rested…