These days after the holidays when we count down to a New Year filled with the anticipation of what can be. This is a time when we can stop and take a breath. A time when we can take a few brief days, a few precious hours, to go where our hearts ask us. A time to act without productivity in mind, to just “be”, without regard for the world. This is a time to dream.
When I look back over the years I am struck by what great achievements have sprouted from the fertile ground provided in these quiet moments of leisure. Some of my most exhilarating and life-shaping experiences have sprung from the quiet musings of a meandering mind.
Dreaming Up New Adventures – December 1998:
One such event occurred on a cold Manitoba afternoon in December 1998. With the bustle of Christmas past us and the New Years’ celebration still to come, I stole several hours to languish on the couch with tea, a blanket and a book. I read and read and then I read some more, knowing that the day could turn to night and I would still not be expected anywhere out in the world. It was a day of total freedom, a day wide open for the magic of the moment to take hold.
As I read I became particularly intrigued by one character's story. She was an adventurer and a missionary who had taken her work to a country I couldn’t locate on a map, much less had ever visited. In a sudden flash of inspiration my mind drew forth from the story a thought that It had never thought before.
“Could I pack up everything, put it in storage and just move somewhere crazy?”
And I pondered….
And I wondered….
And at the end of my thinking, pondering and wondering, my answer was as clear as the brisk northern air outside my window.
With bright eyes and an open heart I declared aloud to the empty room “Yes! Yes! I believe I could!” I sat for a moment delighted by my new thought and then returned to reading.
In the waning hours of that cold December day my call to adventure was answered by a knock at the door.
When I answered, there on my step stood a neighbor, and in his hand was a job description for a vacant position in a far off land. This job description matched my own and in that moment, I was shown the way to live into the revelation that had struck me only hours earlier.
Through a series of events that can best be described as mysterious-perfection, I began a new life 2000 miles, and a country away, in the sun-drenched desert of Tempe, Arizona less than 6 months later.
“Man”ifesting – December 2004:
The quiet moments between Christmas and New Years 2004 bore their own fruit. It was 11:00 pm on December 28th. I was in my mother’s living room playing on my laptop after the family had gone to bed, when my idle surfing was suddenly interrupted by a burst of singing.
I looked up to see glowing happy couples dancing and laughing together, but my eyes were drawn to the boldly printed promise of self knowledge which flashed across the television screen below their twirling feet. Despite the fact that I was right in the middle of a 12 month adventure to find the man I was going to marry, it was not the hope of love that made me enter the web address www.eharmony.com into my browser. It was the promise of my “Free Personality Profile”, the opportunity to know myself better, to read the questions, seek the answers and hear the wisdom of their on-line assessment that called me to action.
Two hours later I put down my keyboard, blissfully exhausted from the effort and began pouring over my well won results.
I went to bed that night satisfied and a little more self aware and the next morning I woke to a gift that rivaled the best Christmas mornings. There on my computer I found email after email listing the endearing characteristics of the amazing men who were carefully chosen for me based on my meticulously completed profile.
I didn’t keep all of the notes I wrote on the dozens of matches that showed promise that December morning. But I did save one.
(And he is ;-))
This inspired action was a joy in itself and it happened because I had given myself the time and space to just be. I had no idea that it would deliver my husband to my inbox less than 12 hours later but I will be forever grateful that it did.
It is still a mystery to me what magic these days will uncover as 2009 eases into 2010 but I know enough to give it room to unfold in all of its wonder.
Invitation: So, before you hit the ground running on Monday January 4th, why don’t you promise yourself a few hours without commitment, without worry or figuring out, without activity or working or planning, to get totally and completely lost in the moment.
And in these quiet hours if you are suddenly and joyfully inspired into action – take it.
If a thought grabs you and wants to shake up the world as you know it – allow it.
And if the gift of the moment brings nothing more than the stillness and perfection of the present moment itself – embrace it! For this is the very stuff that life is made of.
Enjoy this quiet time to rest renew and get ready…. The adventure of 2010 is coming just around the corner!