Create • Inspire • Journey
by Rachelle Eason
Recognizing Zen Moments and Taking Them
Yesterday I enjoyed a surprising hour of zen. I visited Caribbean Beach Resort at Walt Disney World to take pictures to promote my weekend artist residency this fall. It was to be a quick task; park, find a picturesque spot, click, and leave.
Then I found the beach.
It was a small beach, one of a few placed around the resort, and it was lovely. The sand was white, touched by the morning sun, untouched by thousands of footprints that would surely come through the day.
It was delightful.
I kicked off my Birkenstocks, dug my toes in the sand, and made my way to an umbrella table close to the water. I sat for quite a while, taking in the peace all around.
It is not often that I do that…just sit for more than a minute or two and soak in my surroundings.
To relax my body and mind more, I sat on the sand, yoga style, and concentrated on breathing deeply. Breathing in the fresh feel of this tranquil spot. Breathing out the tension I carry with me.
I pulled out my journal and began to write.
Stop. Breathe in. Breathe out.
This was the type of moment I would have taken when our children were little. We would discover a treasured spot and bask in its glory. It may not have been quiet, but we would have stopped, spent time, breathed in.
Now why is it, when I am alone, I tend to pass those opportunities and rush right by? The children are now teens and young adults. They do their own hustling and bustling, finding their places in the moment, in the world. I think they also find zen, encouraged by taking an Eno hammock wherever they go.
Often, I look back, trying to find the point in my timeline when life changed. The time when I went from an adventurous mom of four children, homeschooling them with the belief our world is our classroom, to who I am now…a stressed artist/entrepreneur who is never not working.
I love what I do and I knew building this business would consume me. It is a performance of tricky dance steps. Between investing time in building new and working to make a living in the meantime, often I feel like I am doing only the bare minimum as a mom and I am definitely not taking the time to nurture myself.
Dancing through Doors
One of my favorite classes I taught in my weekly art journaling classes over the years was one featuring three doors. We created three doors that each folded open from the page. On the space behind the open doors, we wrote responses to the folllowing prompt.
Think of three times in the past when a decision you made changed the entire course of your life.
We make decisions everyday that effect our path. There are little ones that urge us to drive to the grocery store when we are out of coffee or big ones that are messages from the universe hidden in airport Tiki Bars that urge you to relocate to a different state (true story!).
The pivotal decisions, the ones that you consciously take a moment and say “What I do next changes the entire course of my life” are the ones that lead us to walk through doors that close and lock behind us. As I have grown older, I realize that, in addition to relationships and experiences, those pivotal decisions have been influenced by how we see ourselves.
In that solo dance we do, playing the character our roles have determined, we often forget we are still developing and growing. Nurturing growth and development, instilling self-confidence, and embodying self-expression doesn’t end when those roles begin. And yet, we… well I know I… tend to put ourselves on the back burner. Our audience of families, friends, colleagues, and others may need us to play those roles, but it is up to us to perfect the role of a lifetime…being ourselves.
Writing for Clarity
What I discovered while writing in my Classic Journal and sitting in the sand yesterday at the little beach, is that recognizing zen moments and taking them is more than taking a break. It is giving voice to the thoughts of “I should take time for myself. I need to nurture myself.” It is calmly, but firmly putting to rest your inner voice that is saying, “I have to work now. I have to get this done now.” It is opportunity to break away from the roles and be you. Self-love. Now.
In my weekly newsletter I sent out today, (shameless plug time – subscribe at the bottom of the page?), my journal prompt referred to recognizing zen moments and taking them. Once again, writing in my journal led me to clarity.
What I am going to try and do more of is to… Stop. Breathe. Be. We influence future pivotal choices by nurturing ourselves now.
At any age, the world is our classroom.