Consider a leaf

fall-leafI just finished listening to Eckhardt Tolle’s audio book A New Earth. I love audio books and listen to them regularly when I drive. This started as a habit when I was driving long distances, but has evolved into an everyday habit. It’s weird to look forward to running errands or heading to the grocery story because you get to learn something new – but it’s a great use of time when you are in the car.

So back to A New Earth – there was so much to take in. Here are three big take-aways that relate to getting organized and finding the peace within that.

  1. Consider a leaf.
  2. Be present.
  3. Do good work.

Consider a leaf. When you want to quiet your mind, focus on one small thing – a leaf, a rock, your hand. Choose anything that doesn’t have words on it and just consider it. Don’t dissect it. Or tell yourself stories about it. Or evaluate it. Just look at it and “feel” it in your heart. Doing this exercise for just a few minutes a day helps you improve your power of observation, gets you taking nice long breaths, and brings peace for some odd reason.

Be present. Whatever you’re doing is your most important work – even if it’s washing the dishes, taking out the trash, or driving the kids to soccer. That’s your work and it needs all of your focus and attention. Tolle says rather than try to figure out your purpose, make whatever you are doing be your purpose, and find the joy of being present with whatever you’re doing. When you’re present, you’re not thinking about where you’ve been or what the future holds. You are doing the most important thing you can be doing. And just leave it at that.

Do good work. Instead of thinking, “I want to be famous,” or “I’m going to be successful so I can buy a really nice house,” or “I want people to see me,” focus on doing good work. Ask the Universe to help you do work that inspires countless people, helps you enrich other people’s lives and your own life, and helps you connect with others and to the greater whole.

To put those thoughts into a poem, how about this wonderful Irish blessing from John O’Donohue, For Presence.

Awaken to the mystery of being here and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.

Have joy and peace in the temple of your senses.

Receive encouragement when new frontiers beckon.

Respond to the call of your gift and the courage to follow its path.

Let the flame of anger free you of all falsity.

May warmth of heart keep your presence aflame.

May anxiety never linger about you.

May your outer dignity mirror an inner dignity of soul.

Take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention.

Be consoled in the secret symmetry of your soul.

May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder.

Many thanks to Mary Ellen Carew for introducing me to this poem last week which ties in so nicely to Eckhardt Tolle’s words in A New Earth. A coincidence? I think not 🙂

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