Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Nail Polish Meditations...

 It has been awhile since I wrote. Life has a way of slipping by us sometimes.

 I have been enjoying the day-to-day stuff, learning to just surrender my need to know the best solution to various life circumstances. I am  learning to really trust that life, God, humankind.the universe are unfolding in their own time. I have come to enjoy the freedom with the understanding that my job is to simply just be.

  It has been a long journey to recognize what just being is..and it is still a work in progress, really. But to truly let go of the need to hustle for my worth (consciously or not), in a culture that often demands validation of worth, has given me a freedom in living my life that is priceless.

I believe I owe this gift to what I like to call my nail polish meditations. 

I know several pastors, ministers, monks, rabbis, imams, speakers, just every-day humans that have their own way of listening, studying and giving messages. It has taken a while for me to recognize the way in which I hear that still small voice best. For you see, we are all called to listen to stand still and listen..whatever that voice is for you. For me it is God within my inner-heart. But I get distracted..I confuse that voice with my imagination..I question my understanding. I have a VERY HARD TIME being still.

So on long trips in the car..when my mind wanders as (ahem) I am driving..I often find that voice..and I pull over on the side of the road and scribble stuff on scraps of paper or in my bible...many of my messages have been pieced together by road-side scribbles. But I felt this wasn't enough..that somehow I needed more depth..but dang that sitting still stuff is hard.

Not to mention almost impossible in my family setting. Somehow, if I open my net-book, bible, a book, a journal or am just sitting..all my loved ones assume i am not remotely busy. The child i haven't had time to touch base with in weeks will choose THAT MOMENT to visit. I don't want to miss the moment. I enjoy that moment with my child..but then... I don't hear that still small voice inside, for I am listening to the cherished boy that is sitting next to me.

I knew there just had to be a way to spend time just reflecting without alienating my family..

and then I remembered nail polish. A strategy I was once taught during a break-up of a guy I mistakenly thought I was deeply in love with was to polish my nails. Polish my nails and then you can't do anything. YOu can't call..you can't answer the phone..you can't do anything stupid because you don't want to mess up your nails. All  you can do is sit still. And? Nail polish is just fun.

So a few years ago, I thought AHA. I can just polish my nails. I have a family of boys. Even though all the boys and young men in my house often come in smelling of sweat, grease and other lovely things. Apparently nothing is more offensive to them than the smell of my nail polish. Also? If I am painting my nails, all I can do is SIT STILL.

So I started spending time, several days a week just playing with nail polish. Then it expanded..I found my favorite spot in the house to do this and as I wait for each layer to dry, I just sit still. I listen, I write, I journal..I listen to that small voice..and I am so grateful for that time for myself.

It is my ritual now. A few mornings a week I spend time with my nail polish.

 Today is no different. I am sitting in my favorite room of the house, in my favorite chair. A kitchen chair at a small kitchen table in our laundry/toy/morning room. I hear the hum of my dryer. Big B and Austen are in another part of the house fixing a toy helicopter..they are not remotely interested in what I am doing. Austen wandered over briefly. I asked him what color I should use. He chose one for me and fairly quickly left me to my own devices. Fixing helicopters with dad was way more interesting.

So now I sit. Sit still..with my nail polish..a few hours to myself..and time to listen, really listen.

I encourage you to do the same. To find your own version of a nail polish meditation, whatever works for you. And then? Treasure that time for all it's worth.

I have come to believe that  nothing, absolutely nothing is more true than the messages  that are already contained within ours own hearts.

Take some time to listen. I dare you.