In the introduction to her book “An Altar in the World,” author Barbara Brown Taylor tells about a time she was invited to speak at a church:
“What do you want me to talk about?” I asked him. “Come tell us what is saving your life now,” he answered.
"It was as if he had swept his arm across a dusty table and brushed the formal china to the ground.
I did not have to try to say correct things that were true for everyone. I did not have to use theological language that conformed to the historical teachings of the church. All I had to do was figure out what my life depended on. All I had to do was figure out how I stayed as close to that reality as I could, and then find some way to talk about it that helped my listeners figure out those same things for themselves.”
(Barbara Taylor Brown. An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith. New York: Harper Collins, 2009. xvii.)
Apparently my body likes walks, hikes and yoga.
Up until a few months ago I would have not guessed that, and instead loved hitting a spinning class or lifting weights. Perhaps it’s been the necessity to be more gentle with myself that has prompted this realization.
Back in January I was an all-or-nothing mover. If I didn’t make it to a spin class, I was stationary. Yet I felt the itch to be active. So I bundled up in the cold of winter and walked in my neighbourhood (which thankfully is just blocks from Lake Ontario) and noticed how good it felt. Sometimes walking is with a destination in mind. More often than not I just wander.
It’s fascinating isn’t it; the more slowly we walk, the more we see?
It’s a lesson I’m relearning in this season. I’ve noticed people’s faces, the sound of water, the way the wind tickles my face. I can sense God whisper into my heart. Some of my best creative thinking or problem solving happens when I walk.
2. Air drying my hair.
This may sound a bit superficial, and yet it’s one of those getting ready tasks that now takes far less time out of my day.
Part of the reason I don’t always air dry my hair, is well, Canada.
It’s stinking cold in the winter, and I don’t like feeling cold. Wet hair = cold head.
The other reason is I’ve not found a great product that deals well with my fine, wavy, frizzy, sometimes more curly hair. I’m a bit choosy when it comes to the products I put on my body and am willing to spend money on. The order of what I typically seek out in products: not tested on animals, as natural as possible, made in Canada.
Sometimes I’m successful, other times I have to compromise on some of the criteria.
But, I’ve found it! I’m being saved by Verb products.
I have its leave in spray, sea salt spray and non-aerosol dry shampoo.
It’s a huge chunk of my time that I get back in the mornings when I don’t do much with my hair. It literally makes for a better start to my day because it makes space for what I’d rather do: curl up with a coffee and chat with God about the day before, the day to ahead and listen to what he’s saying too.
Speaking of making time for the things I want to do…
I’ve recognized that I have little rituals (maybe quirks) that help me sink into the moment of the day or time of year.
The best example is my morning coffee.
I’ve been making stove-top espresso or pressed coffee as my morning brew for more than 10 years. It requires more time than grabbing a to-go cup, and in the slowness of making coffee in this more manual way I usually take time to look out the kitchen window and start talking to God.
Other (quirky) rituals:
So, what's saving you right now?