Recently, one of my daughters and I spent a weekend together in Newport, RI. It’s not often that I get to go away alone with the girls. The four of us usually spend time together as a family.
Ana and I had a great time together. We walked and hiked, shared meals, stories, and laughter, and caught up with one another.
On Saturday afternoon, after a two-hour walk on the Cliffwalk, while driving back to our hotel, I noticed two bright yellow benches sitting in two different corners of a large garden surrounding a beautiful old home.
The road in front of the house was busy. There was a lot of traffic but the garden was shady and welcoming. I couldn’t help but wonder … does anyone take the time to sit on these benches and rest, reflect, or maybe chat with a friend? I sure hope so.
There was a palpable difference between the heightened activity of where I was standing and that far corner of the garden across. There was silence and peace in that garden, and those benches beckoned.
“Ultimately, we have just one moral duty: to reclaim large areas of peace in ourselves, more and more peace, and to reflect it toward others. And the more peace there is in us, the more peace there will also be in our troubled world.”— Etty Hillesum
July was an exceedingly hot and humid month. The temperatures and heavy rains made it difficult to spend time outside, and I felt motionless for most of the month. Once again, I came up against the side of me that has to keep pushing through, finding solutions, and overcoming whatever comes her way. This time, I chose to go with it and not push myself.
Sometimes, the wise choice may be to stop pushing and, instead, lean back, observe, and listen for what needs our attention.
Sometimes, inspiration and the answers to our questions arrive in silence when we stop asking.
While resting in that space of “not doing,” we come to see how far we’ve come and how much we’ve changed. We recognize that maybe our priorities have changed, but we were too busy to notice.
Sometimes, a hot and humid month will leave us motionless enough to stop moving and start listening to ourselves.
What about you?
How is your summer going, and what are you learning about yourself?
Has anything changed?
Are you hoping or planning for a change?
What do you need the most these days to feel supported?
I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment below or email me.