It’s been the most perfect spring weekend here in the Northeast. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and it’s warm but not too hot.
I spent yesterday afternoon planting flowers in some of our outdoor pots surrounded by squawking blue jays and shrieking red-winged blackbirds. Little chipmunks filled their faces with the sunflower hearts I sprinkled on the deck, and hummingbirds danced in the air above the feeder.
It felt like a scene out of a Disney movie .
At the end of the day, when I sat down to appreciate my work, I thought about how important it is to stay present as we grow up (I like to think of aging as growing up rather than growing old). As I enjoyed the late afternoon sun, I made a point to feel my body in the chair, to listen intently to the birds calling from the trees, to inhale the sweet scent of French lilacs drifting up from the hedges below.
Life seems to be flying by, doesn’t it? Each time I write the date on a check or put an appointment in my calendar, I’m startled by how much time has passed. How can it be June 9th already, I ask myself as I look up at the date on my computer.
These days I’m grateful to feel a bit more removed from the rush of life. Quiet mornings to myself, time spent with friends hanging out and telling stories, having the space to make a meal from scratch – these may not sound like glamorous events, but they sure do make the heart feel full. And it gives me the space I need to focus on being present, which is the secret to slowing time.
It’s taken a lot of self-care practice to get to this point and to be honest, it’s not always comfortable. There are certainly times when my old life calls to me – traveling to new places, speaking in beautiful theaters with large audiences of smiling faces, the excitement of doing television interviews that bring my words to the world. And while life is full of surprises and we never really know what’s in store, I’ve grown to appreciate this simpler way of living for now.
My priorities are simple, too. I just want to love people, be as helpful as I can, read more books, take good care of my body, laugh a lot, spend quality time with Michael and loved ones, and most of all, learn to carefully manage my busy mind in the hopes of operating from my highest and best self as much as possible. Whew. Now there’s a mouthful .
In some ways, that’s the greatest challenge of all – committing to the focused discipline of meditation and Self-alertness so my mind doesn’t constantly replay the past or anticipate the future. Honestly, it’s the most important practice to engage in as we age, because it not only slows time and tempers the fear of loss, it makes life rich and meaningful.
As I’ve said so many times before in this newsletter, ten minutes is all it takes to get started. If you’d like, you can read a blog I wrote about meditation here.
Off to water the plants…
PS – Our next “Self Care by the Sea” retreat is opening for registration this week and if you’d like an early notice, be sure to put your name on the waitlist here.
PPS – I’ll be back on Facebook Live this Tuesday at 5pm EST/2pm PST. You can also view past sessions on my YouTube channel at CherylRichardsonTV here.
Need a little Divine Direction? Use the “Touch of Grace” button on our homepage here.