Being Breath

stories from the wilderness of everyday life

Stop. Just Stop.

One of the benefits of not watching the news nor paying attention to the weather: 

the element of surprise.

This morning we woke to a call for my husband to go into work because a co-worker couldn't make it in...due to snowy roads.  (We weren't even aware it was supposed to snow today.)  The rough part is that he has a 13 hour day ahead of him.

The beautiful part is that we are surrounded by a wintery wonderland.

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The kids decided to go out and play and I, to shovel.

After 30 minutes, my daughter headed in.  My back and hands were hurting, and I was beginning to attack the harmless snow that was sticking to the shovel.  Even my son, who was still playing, was starting to get  grumpy look on his face.

So I stopped.

I just stopped.

Stopped shoveling, stopped the whining in my head.

Leaning on the shovel's handle, I asked my son, "isn't it beautiful out here?".  He paused too, looked up, and with a smile on his face said, "yeah".

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For the next many moments, he happily returned to trying to build a snowman.

I returned to shoveling.  Instead of hearing the whine of the neighbor's snowblower, I heard a chirping of a bird in a far tree.  Instead of feeling the pain in my hands, I felt the strength in my legs as I bent down with each push of heavy snow.  

We weren't doing anything different.

We were simply doing those things differently.

What I focused on created my reality.

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It didn't last, as things tend to do.  My son got fed up and went inside.  I finished the driveway, but admit to possibly yelling like a crazy woman at the snow towards the end.

But I DID experience a few moments of peacefulness on my path.  I did what needed to be done, and fell into rhythm with it from time to time.  I even experienced a few moments of awakened bliss.  (The song of a bird against the silent hiss of blowing snow is indeed bliss.)

This journey thing that we are on - again I am reminded that there is no one static state.

Peaceful feelings come and go.

And that pause, that return to Just This, that embodiment of breath instead of just knowledge of it? It helps us stay more in peace than out of it.

And for now, that is enough.

It has snowed again, and the driveway is once again covered.

I shovel on.

Namaste.