This life you’re living has its own pace, completely separate from you. It’s a path that winds and covers terrain from the lowlands to the mountains. If it was a road, skillful driving would mean smoothly slowing down and accelerating again as you came to turns and hills. Just so, mindfully living means recognizing the pace of your life and adjusting to it.
If you are forever driven, you’re not truly grateful for the gift of life. Speeding around corners and into areas where you can’t see the road ahead isn’t praiseworthy; it’s reckless and the reason so many “highly motivated” people realize late in life that they missed their children growing up. Slowing down for the turn is essential for a well-lived life.
It’s not purely sight-seeing either, of course. Sometimes we must proceed quickly so we can meet our appointment with destiny. There is a tragedy in never wandering aimlessly, but there is also a tragedy in wandering aimlessly when lives are on the line.
But, thankfully, determining your best speed is not an intellectual exercise. We’re called, summoned, and we’re released back to recover ourselves again and again. There’s a pulsing in the world. Our summoning is a vast mysterious heartbeat, arising and subsiding just as we do. All we must do is listen by paying close attention to what’s happening just here, just now.
As we round the corner and enter the final lap of the Christmas season, I venture to suggest that this isn’t one of those all-important, astounding, spiritual summonings for most of us. The quickening of pace by most of our brothers and sisters is a driven speeding around corners. But, for most of us, the end of the year is marked by gatherings with family and friends. Slowing down for the turn, let us spend time in contemplation and consider, once again, the meaning of this holiday season for us.
How much more time will you spend making or buying more gifts, freaking out about the food to be served or getting the house ready, and triple-checking your travel arrangements? Let us turn all our attention now to family and friends, gratitude and love, and above all peace and good will to all beings.
Many blessings, dear hearts.