Sometime ago a friend introduced me to a website A Network for Grateful Living. This website has a word for the day and each morning subscribers receive a daily message. Each message is simple but thought provoking. Today the message was:
When life feels too big to handle, go outside. Everything looks smaller when you’re standing under the sky.
When I read this message my mind went immediately to several people that I know are dealing with some very difficult struggles in their lives. Struggles that can be overwhelming and certainly life altering. This message calls for a pause and a different perspective so that a person can perhaps not feel so overwhelmed and breathe again knowing that whatever happens, where ever our road and our journey takes us it all has a different perspective when we stand under that big beautiful sky and realize that our role in the universe is not as big as the sky and life still holds beauty, hope and potential even if it alters or drastically changes.
This message also reminds me of a Mindfulness Yoga session that I had an opportunity to share in. The Yoga leader took us through gentle stretches and positions, reminded us to be mindful of our muscles, bodies, breathing. At the end of the session she handed out note cards and told participants to write down a word or phrase that stood out, take it home and post it somewhere visible. This was during a particularly stressful period and the stress and anxiety had triggered a bout of asthma and it was incredibly difficult to breathe. My note reamins on my mirror where I see it every morning, "remember to breathe." Remember to breathe is an all improtant reminder when life becomes overwhelming but more than that this message today is a good reminder that life is bigger than this moment and as overwhelmed as we feel looking at the vast sky reminds us that this too is small in comparison.
This message also reminded me of an image that Brother Christian Swayne shared many years ago at an ecumenical gathering. He asked us to look around us and notice all that was within our immediate eyesight, take note of it. Then he asked us to look up, see the ceiling and realize that we have become smaller, look further see the sky and the stars and we have become smaller still, look further still and see the vast galaxy that we are a part of but are now only a spec and he said as tiny as we have become God never loses sight of us.
Our problems and challenges may appear overwhelming, incomprehensible and little daily reminders come to assure us that the creator has not lost sight of us in this vast universe and taking time to appreciate the beauty around can in fact have a calming effect and once again help each of us to breathe.