Friday, May 18, 2012

An ongoing sense of urgency

Yesterday I was thinking about how in the past, people weren't as afraid of time as we are now. Faced with the reality that it would take five generations to build the cathedral, or three generations to complete the embroidery on a ceremonial robe, folks nodded their heads and set to work. It was alright to spend an entire life working on the same project. It was OK on some level or another to know that they could contribute to a project they would not see completed during their lives. By taking that stance, perhaps they could imagine being a part of history, who knows?

It's almost inconceivable to imagine this state of mind now. We rush and push, we set the most unreasonable deadlines for every project and are furious when we figure out things will take longer than expected.

Yes adrenalin is fun, at least it is for a little while. It's a natural high that kicks us into gear. A surge in adrenalin is meant to help us deal with emergencies but can not sustain us over the long haul. Living life in warp drive at all times is exhausting on every level, physically, emotionally and mentally.

Do you know how to relax and take your time? Here at the beginning of the 21st century in my society, people have to practice relaxing - it feels very unnatural to the over-amped. Relaxing feels unproductive, wasteful, pointless. I assure you it isn't! Even one afternoon a week of relaxation is something many people feel guilty about. It's crazy.

Our insistence on being worked up all the time is one reason why reflux, indigestion, constipation are such pervasive problems. As we rush from one situation to the next, always doing, working, racing, hurrying, the body assigns energy to muscles while whatever it was we ate while running down the sidewalk sits like a stone in the stomach. At last the body will dump an overload of acid into the stomach in an attempt to break down the food into bits that can be absorbed. The overload of acids in the midst of what the body reads as a state of emergency will inevitably result in some kind of stomach ache. This explains the great popularity of Pepsid, Rolaids, Alka Seltzer (do they still make it?) and other digestive medicines.

A nice stroll after dinner is a great idea and will do a lot more for your digestion than moving from the table to the couch. Going for a run is crazy. Do you know how to stroll? If you are an urban American I'm sure you know how to power walk, but do you know how to amble and stroll, stop and gaze at the sky or the trees? Do you stop to smell the roses?

Rushing around, pushing, hurrying ALL the time makes us anxious and fearful. Our heads and stomachs ache, and even if we're able to be 'more productive,' (whatever that means) the fruits of our labors are never as sublime as they could be if we had taken our time, thought through the steps involved, moved steadily rather than speedily towards completion.

Take your time, ok? Save the adrenalin rush for moments when you actually need it, will you please? Life is short and can be so much sweeter if only you will slow down to appreciate it. Will you give it a go?

May all beings be happy
May all beings be peaceful
May all beings be healthy
May all beings be filled with love.

May it be so. Shalom.


Jo said...

1) That photo is incredibly beautiful.

2) You know that I feel exactly the same way about walking and slowing down the pace of our existence.

3) Thank you for continuing to encourage others to live with intent.

Reya Mellicker said...

1) thanks!
2) hell yeah <3
3) you are welcome!

ellen abbott said...

you are so right. one day, standing at a cash register, I forget what the problem was, but the cashier had to check something, get change, I don't remember but it required a short wait. She kept apologizing profusely. I told her no problem I wasn't in any big hurry. But the lady two people behind me said loudly that some of them were. I turned around and told her I didn't think five minutes would really change the quality of her life. I got a little lecture in return. I just shook my head and waited patiently for my transaction to be completed but I thought how sad that that woman was raising her blood pressure over a five minute pause in her life.

Reya Mellicker said...

It is sad.

Gail said...

I came here after I read your comments on Ellen's thoughts. You sounded like someone I would enjoy reading...and I did.

Reya Mellicker said...

Thanks Gail!