Early in the week, there was a void of web work for me. My clients were digesting their recent updates and planning their next ones, I was caught up on the various internal and marketing tasks, and Spirit unexpectedly gave me the gift of downtime.
I always contribute the ebb and flow of professional work to Spirit. Usually, I understand Spirit’s gift of downtime to be a time of recovery and contemplation. I rest more than usual, I meditate twice rather than once in the day, and so forth. But this time, it was different – I didn’t feel burnt out or distracted by my monkey mind. I felt energetic and very ready to work. But, rather than simply turning to my personal projects, my mind starting whispering concern that perhaps the ebb of work was unusual. Perhaps, it whispered, Spirit’s gift of downtime was, this time, a call into action into a new phase of endeavor – and the usual emotions of fear and wild enthusiasm surged in me. Was the Beloved telling me to turn the boat?
In meditation, a book idea came to me. Scribbled notes and the first five pages rapidly resulted. I decided to review a new website I have in infant stages, didn’t like the design of it, and came up with a new design to be implemented. I researched some basic business fundamentals that I’ve been curious about, and a slew of tasks revolving around that appeared in my personal task manager. I was ready to turn the boat!
And then the gift of downtime vanished… and my clients overflowed. New ideas, ventures, and web development tasks came in from every corner. Late in the week, there was a void of time to even do my usual routine- including writing a post for this site. Spirit changed course and exchanged the gift of downtime for a gift of abundance.
So, now I have a fledgling book and redesign calling to me along with dozens of new opportunities to offer mindful service to my clients. Spirit’s also left me a dozen sticky notes to focus on my son and increase my charitable giving. That’s the sort of personal ambition and scattered direction that makes one’s monkey mind hoot and throw fruit (hopefully, anyway – it frequently throws less pleasant things).
Sometimes Spirit’s gift of downtime is a call to healing and recovery. Sometimes, it means it’s time to turn the boat. But this time, it wasn’t either – this time, the Beloved just nudged me to wake me up from the routine I’d fallen asleep in. This time, He just reminded me to continue to explore new horizons without pointing me in any particular way. This time, He just wanted to make sure I was alert to the beauty in all directions.
Come to think of it, every disruption of routine is a gentle nudge from Spirit out of routine and back into wakefulness. Aren’t healing and course corrections both mindful, conscious actions? Isn’t every broken expectation and sore heart simply a whisper to bathe in Love rather than cling to the forms Love takes?
And isn’t it wonderful that the Holy One helps us to remember?
The truth is that the Beloved cares more about your wakefulness and conversation with Him than the direction you row.