"By taking small, seemingly insignificant actions in the direction of our goals and dreams (baby steps), we can quickly create changes which not only lessen the symptoms of depression but can also bring more energy, hope and vitality into our daily lives." Michael Neill
Since reading Eckhart Tolle's book, A New Earth, and watching some of the online classes, I have been waking up fully rested. Bedtime and wake up calls remain the same, but a strange sense of timelessness has taken over my life. I have also been experiencing nature in a new way. I see birds I once would have ignored, and hear their songs even when I'm indoors. Call me crazy, but I get this odd feeling that the birds are seeing me in a new way too. They circle close and dance playfully above our weary forsythia almost as though they sense my new presence.
In one of the early classes, Tolle recommends imagining yourself as a deep lake. The surface of the lake is the external events that happen, good times and bad. Below the surface is the real you—calm, deep, and full of life, regardless of any storms above. Just as we are not our job, our illness, our family roles, Tolle reminds us that we are not the rough tides we encounter. We can enjoy more depth in our lives by accepting and living in the present moment instead of thinking or worrying about the windy days of our past and future.
There are plenty of aha moments to be had from these teachings, but like some of the other millions who've jumped on this Oprahwagon I'm still leery about giving up my thinking life. Tolle's caution against the human tendency for labeling everything had me feeling extremely self-conscious of my love of words, both as a mother and as a writer. He suggests that, as adults, we take a little bit of magic away from our children by labeling everything. Though I have always taken special enjoyment in teaching my children the names of everything we come across on our walks, I have never once considered that assigning every flower, tree, or animal with a man made word could rob my little beings of a true life experience.
In my skepticism I decided to experiment. During our first visit to the beach this spring, I caught myself about to point and say "lake" to my one year old. I became aware of my need to name the beautiful thing we were standing before and stopped myself in time. I knelt down next to him and waited for his reaction to the beach after a long winter. "Pretty" he said, pointing at the lake. He picked up some rocks and crashed them together. Then he threw one in and clapped at the sound. Instead of saying, "rock," I picked one up myself and threw it in, pausing to listen to the sound of the plop just as he did. We threw rock after rock and then danced to the honking geese. Eventually it was time to drag my son back to the stroller, and we both reluctantly waved good-bye at "pretty." When I got over the uncomfortableness of calling a noun an adjective, I took a deep breath and realized what had happened. For the first time in my adult life I had seen Mother Nature in her birthday suit.