She agrees with me that non-stress is essential for a healing life, and that living on high-alert has negative health implications (and here is yet another study that finds this to be true, http://www.mayo clinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/basics/stress-basics/hlv-20049495).
But—unless she disappears from her current life, with its loves and huge obligations, she can’t live the sort of ideal life, with rest and quiet moments, that help create that healing environment that we all want.
When she asked me to send her ideas I was stumped. My go-to inspirations are for a different life—visit a retreat center, and in that idyllic setting, away from life pressures, take time for serenity and simplicity. These ideas don’t match everybody’s life styles. What then?
I didn’t know the answer.
Then another friend sent me an email with a solution that seemed so simple I wondered why I had forgotten it, had lost track of it in my life.
This friend is someone I’ve known for many years. Like me she has a disease, and it takes a physical toll—but in her email she told me what she has discovered, the poetry of life in the center of life’s confusions.
I read her email and realized—this is the answer I had been looking for. When we don’t have that monastery to retreat to—we find poetry in this life all around us. Here is what her email said…
the 'poetry' is even more acute, I think. Not 'big' things at all but a fish tank of goldfish--
I LOVE goldfish, they channel my inner 12 year old-- and there have been SO many days
when I was very ill, mostly unable to be up out of the recliner for long periods of time,
that watching those little fish SO kept me going, these little utter sparks of LIFE.
Her description of the goldfish helped me find something I had forgotten—that poetry moments are all around—that the word ‘mindfulness’ used by meditation gurus means seeing the curving bodies glide back and forth, instead of ignoring them.
I knew that once, but it got lost in the stuff of my life.
This is what I mean about finding what gets lost, how I understand it.
I misplaced something a month ago. I looked everywhere I could think of, retraced steps, felt that it must be around…but it never turned up.
Then, last week, I tore through some backpacks in my office closet to get to a box beneath them. When I was through with the box, and had put the backpacks in the closet, and closed the door, the very thing I had lost was there, sitting on the floor in front of the closet, waiting to be seen.
It literally had been hidden by my baggage. How's that for ironic.
My friend’s email uncovered something I hold to be true, like a Declaration of Life.
This is what I believe: life is full of the poetry of ‘goldfish moments.’ These split second instances of beauty and of poetry are things we can lose in the urge to get through the contents of life.
I live my day in a constant urge to do the next project, to make plans for the next undertaking -- and that impulse, which is a good thing in my life, sometimes pushes me beyond the ‘goldfish’ moments. My friend helped me see something I had lost—the goldfish moments of poetry. The trick isn’t to change life situations, but to find the goldfish moments in life (http://fractal enlightenment.com/27015/life/the-effect-of-positive-emotions-on-our-health).