Noticings – November 17, 2021


November 17, 2021 

Birthdays are kind of like New Years in that there’s an element in them of turning a page, having a fresh slate, entering a new season. I just had a birthday a few days ago, and for whatever reason this is feeling like a ‘new year’ to me. As such, I’ve been thinking about the kinds of things one might do at such times. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far. In an effort to feel more grounded and connected to important things I’ve made a few changes. One is that I’ve taken a hiatus from Facebook. That’s actually kind of a challenge because my personal life and my work life are intertwined in that medium. Perhaps that’s exactly the issue! I don’t know how long my hiatus will last, but it feels good so far to be out of it.

Another aspect of Facebook (and social media in general) that had been souring for me was the increased negativity I was finding myself immersed in. There’s a lot of discontent out there, often for very understandable reasons, but it was just feeling like it was endless. One of the benefits of social media is supposed to be entertainment and escape. If it stops being that then it’s time for a hiatus. I’m going to be taking a hiatus from national/denominational work too. I’m finishing out my current obligations but I’ve withdrawn from the next set of commitments nationally. Some of that is linked to the discontent out there, but mostly it’s just a sense of weariness after a decade of serving in those circles.

My watchword for this ‘new year’ that has emerged is the word ‘savouring’. Instead of skimming along the surface, flinging myself from this meeting to that activity, functioning rather than really experiencing, I yearn for that deep gladness and groundedness that comes when you slow down and savour the present moment. So I savoured my birthday dinner, and I savoured the delicious carrot cake, and I savoured the well-wishing that came my way. Then I savoured my in-person coffee gathering with my colleagues the next morning. And I even savoured the meetings I was in because I went into them with a spirit of openness to the possibility that they could be savoured. And they were – good, caring, compassionate people doing thoughtful, wise, faithful work. That’s something to savour! This morning I tried to be mindful and savour my morning coffee. It was delightful. And yesterday my birthday present was delivered (a new guitar amplifier) – and you can count on me savouring that for a long, long time.

What are you savouring these days? What are you taking the time to be fully present to? What is giving you delight just by experiencing it? The best thing about this is that there are no techniques to learn, no equipment to buy, and no program to attend. All it takes is a pause and a deep breath. What might you need to take a hiatus from in order to create the spaciousness to pause – to free up more head or heart space (or time) to be more present to the present moment? What is calling you to savour?

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Rev. Larry