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  • Julia Stolk

A Distracted Heart...


Yesterday I took myself on a hike to one of my favourite locations on Southern Vancouver Island. It’s a place that invites a slowing down and a remembering of the stillness that resides in every moment, and a reminder that even amongst that beauty distraction can still find its way in!

I began my walk, like I start most days, with an open and watchful gaze. It is a personal practice and reminder to rest with the noticing of what arises moment to moment. As I walk, the light dances through the trees, the birds’ song a call to be heard, the winds whisper touching sweetly on my cheek. As I greet each passerby, I say hello and in my mind’s eye, hold my hand to heart in the greeting and recognition of the two souls sharing this journey; an offering of compassion and understanding. And then it happens, the thoughts begin to swirl, about what I might do later in the day, a focusing on the tasks that are on my list, a curiosity of how my kids might fill their day. I am not sure how much time passes in this train of thought, but what catches my attention is the creeping in of judgement and concern about how the other is perceiving me, judging me and that is the catch – the connection to the heart was broken by the minds distraction. In that moment I am reminded to slow down again, and remember the stillness, to simply notice what is present, in this exact moment with love as the backdrop.

As a practice today…

Notice your breath.

It may be the in breath or the out breath or the full breath?

It offers the invitation to drop below the level of thought -

to just notice.

What is here in this moment?

Drop down below the mind’s seeing,

And with the breath,

Notice there is no doing.

The breath is simply just doing its own rhythm.

Stay with the breath,

And as thought arises to pull you way,

Can you just allow that thought to arise and be there without grabbing on?

Then simply return to the breath.

As you sit with the breath,

Notice,

With an open curious gaze.

Does the body settle as you come back to this moment?

Without the pull of future or the push of past?

Can you rest right here,

Right now,

In this exact moment with love as the backdrop to your resting?

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