Thursday, May 28, 2009


So at church on Sunday, our pastor shared a story about his trip to Kenya. He said the main language was Swahili so 99% of it went right over his head. But there was one word he knew: "mazunga" It was their word for "white man". The interesting thing is that the literal translation of that word is "one who spins".

What a picture! How are we viewed by those around us? Are we spinning around in a tizzy? With summer just around the corner, I have found that many people actually relax and change gears - what a concept! Taking time to enjoy the warmth and beauty of summer is so important, not just for us but for our kids.

When I look back on my growing-up years, one of the memories that is very prominent is summer vacations. These days, I have the opportunity to go on weekend retreats periodically. I love these because I am completely unplugged. I don't have computer access and I leave my Blackberry off.

So what is it about summer that makes our brain switch into this more laid-back mode? How do we capture that same mindset, say, a week before Christmas? It is important for us to model this to our kids year-round. I am beginning to realize that relaxation is a learned skill!

I have started meditating in the mornings and I am starting with a "simple" exercise: I close my eyes, breath and count to 10 and back to 1. The trick is that I am supposed to focus on nothing other than the numbers. Not as simple as it sounds. Here's and example of my inner dialogue:

"One.....Two....hey I'm doing pretty well! Whoops! .....Three....Four.....I need to get milk......"

I challenge you to try this. It takes less than a minute but it is very eye-opening how hard it is to quiet our minds just for a minute!


Geosomin said...

This is one reason why I love strenuous exercise or doing stained glass...I'm focused *entirely* on what I'm doing, so my brain can't flutter or run alla's very calming for me. Having music helps too...

I find when I sit and just think I end up thinking about how I'm just thinking...and how great it is that I'm jsut thinking...:) Moving meditation works so much better for me...