Every time of the year's hectic, but holidays are particularly crammed full of day-to-day responsibilities; specific-to-the-season needs; and the usual background din of our own internal monologue about it all: what do I need to do, what have I not done, damn I'm tired, am I hungry? The list goes on...but throughout it all, our Spirit walks in the form of our body & mind, our breath keeps coming in and out (like the tides). If we ever stop and listen, there's silence (and true peace) to be had.
People spend 40-50-60 hours at work; when they can, they exercise; and we spend a whole lot of time "getting around" - driving - hustling from here to there, being with family, doing for family.
Meditation (and indeed Shabbat, in Judaism) was invented to stop the not-so-merry go-round and take a pause to savor the stillness. That's a very important part of any spiritual practice: to be able to get off the tread mill of life and take a look at it - and/or yourself - reflect on what is being, let go of the doing.
If we put as much energy into that as we do everything else, what might happen? Well: less would get done in the world (and our lives), which might end up creating a net increase in stress (since we really DO have a lot to get done, each one of us).? But what if there were another net gain, something we could "get" that actually enabled us to come back to the fray renewed - in a different way than a good night's sleep would afford you?
Granted, better rest in the prone position would be improved if so many of us didn't rob our psyche of true downtime by consuming coffee and the like. Sometimes our attention on getting things done and being more awake, more alert, can actually detract from the foundation of actually BEING awake and alert, focused and ready for the world.
But that's another conversation, worth pursuing, but not the main point here. The main point here is that cessation is a bit of a preparation for death: when you really can't DO anything more, the book of our life has been written, and it's done. You look back at it and say: did I spend all the time I could and should have on all the stuff that really matters?
Say you were to go back, like a third party, and watch your own life in slow motion, or say it were stopped, and you could walk around the room (and figures) arrayed at any given time, and say: I would love to have done this differently, or "let me place this item here, so you don't trip and fall over it." What if you could spend a little more time with this person or that, or have said kinder words, been more generous of spirit. That would make you feel better about your life, wouldn't it?
Spirit Work is just that. It's using the pause-time to scrutinize parts of yourself, maybe even hold that part of your body that's ill. Dealing with dis-ease is not just a medical matter, nor even something that can be dealt with (solely) through an alternative health modality...it's sitting with it and trying to understand why it is, where it is, and how come now? There might be a logic to it's arrival. And there may be none. Can you sit with those two possibilities? Can you breath more energy, love, and forgiveness into that part of your life?
Maybe there's something you're struggling with: a duality of sorts - should I do this or should I do that - there is some decision to be made. Can you give equal quality time to each possibility? Can you spend ENOUGH time reviewing - or just observing - the options?
Look proportionally on the amount of time we take to make money, eat (and prepare!) food, and if we're lucky, do physical activity. Those are all necessary things, to be sure, but by comparison: how atrophied is our time in the Spirit World, alone (or you could do this with others) - not religiously in community (which can be great too, but is no substitute for what I'm talking about) - I'm talking face to face with your own, lone Soul...making sure that you've dotted your i's and crossed your t's (whatever they may be).
In reading this Blog over, I thought: is there more to say? Have I ended it prematurely? To be sure, your life will most likely end before you're good and ready, and we all dread it passing under difficult circumstances. So why not take this (and many more) opportunities to do YOUR Spirit Work?