Sunday, August 26, 2012

Word of the Day: Buoyancy

I am sitting here looking out the window (a warm, dreary day), listening to P!nk and just drifting from thought to thought. This week is the return to school for many people and I have abundant thoughts going out to those who will be entering college for the first time.

Over the Edge (Maria, Lisa and Kristin)
Last week I returned from NJ where I had my first experience of swimming in the Ocean. Wow, one of the most interesting tidbits I learned from the experience was that salt water makes you more buoyant. I like being buoyant and recognize that this is not my natural relationship to the world. Somehow I experience myself tensed up much of the time, and even more so extremely reactive to situations. Not sure why, just always trying to figure things out, or workout fallacies and delusions...some might call this fixating. So, the experience of being buoyant was great as I learned how to body surf and just roll with the waves. Since then I have been reflecting on the gift of being with friends while sending Lisa off to her Final Vow preparation in Rome. We spent the days at the beach and watched some good films in the evening (plus some episodes of the Colbert Report). To be with friends who are my age from different communities is a privilege I don't take lightly as we dream and live into the future of Religious Life.

I returned to Fond du Lac refreshed and ready for the year. And, the first thing I did after dropping off my clothes was head to work on materials for the upcoming semester (there was an instant shift from buoyancy to a stone). Since that time I have spent much of the week just spinning out wondering if things would fall into place. Finally, yesterday I worked for quite awhile and then before leaving the Mother House an awareness about my choices flashed through my head. So, rather than get in the car and go home to fret I stuck around to walk the Labyrinth and take some time for prayer. That forty minutes put things into perspective. It is time to learn how to float a bit and not be all tensed up about what is going to come next. It is essential to prepare and that is where it can stop. Working and re-working ideas only drives me crazy and that tension is not good for anyone. Now, I don't think I am going to magically be able to become this buoyant being that just bobs up and down without being bogged down. That fantasy is not what I seek. What I think needs to happen is I need to lighten-up (which as I recall was the theme of the reflection given when I was received into the novitiate). So, once again I am setting priorities and realize that the work is not the first thing that needs tending at all times. If I want balance between teaching and learning I need to first cover the basics: prayer/meditation, relationships and exercise....the constant theme. So much of the learning over these years has been repeat lessons and again I am grateful for this.

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