I recently heard an interview with Norman Lear. He was 93 at the time of the interview and was asked if he had any advice on aging. I loved his answer. My paraphrase: There are two states in life, done and next. We are always dealing with something being done and moving on to what’s next. He said there is a hammock between the two and it is called now. He likes to hang out in the hammock.
What a great image!
As I am wrapping up the first year in the new space, looking at what has been (done) and putting together new offerings and changes (next), the best view of both is that hammock. The done and next are the posts that hold the hammock. Both are life and yet the living happens in the sweet spot of the hammock.
he other piece of this is my experience of hammocks. First, I need to commit to lying in it. It isn’t like a chair I can plop down on; there is some negotiation needed to get in and get comfortable. Second, it takes a bit to settle in and trust. I need time to get the feel, let the commotion of getting in settle down, and trust it will hold me. And third, it is a place of resting and noticing. The experience isn’t the best if I am constantly jumping in and out of the hammock.
It’s a time of savoring the moment and reflecting.
What would it look like to dwell in that place between done and next? Letting them both support and inform the hammock experience. As a spiritual practice this can be done in just a few moments by pausing and taking a deep breath as one moves through the day. Think about it. End a phone call and take a breath before the next one. Arrive at your destination and take a breath before getting out of the car. Try it for a week and let me know how it goes! Pathways of Grace will be taking a breath in August from groups and classes. If one of the new groups look good to you, sign up now and then take a breath before things begin in September.
Thank you Mr. Lear for a great contemplative practice!