I remember looking out the backseat glass of my mom's moving station wagon, watching cornfields move by. Sometimes the cornfields would turn into soybean fields and then back to cornfields again. The perfect alignment of their rows created alignment in my thoughts. The rows looked different when planted on a hillside, this required different thinking.

Periods in the car are great opportunities to sit in stillness. Sitting in stillness brings wisdom. With hotspot wifi, xm radio, built in DVD players and more in our cars, it's easy to continue the cycle of business and stimulate ourselves with gadgets. Without the radio, we can usually resist the urge to sing and participate in quiet observation. Our family observes a quiet time on our way to church each Sunday. I'm not sure what my kids are thinking between the "Are we almost there?", "Stop hitting me!" and "________took their shoes off" interruptions. I know their lives are lived in a constant state of distraction and I want them to see the cornfields as I once did as a child. 

In rare moments I have the opportunity to sit in silence in my moving van, on a road trip without children. At these time, I once again, I feel like myself, my true inner child self with thoughts aligning and wisdom budding. I've even written a few songs on my road trips! (see post "What Gives Me Faith"). As the landscape changes out the window, I discover my inner-landscape. If you are searching, I encourage you to get in the car alone and drive without radio or cell phone. The quiet observation out the front pane will bring you wisdom. You might find God brings a song to your heart too!

After a decade plus of wiping little bottoms and noses, I am returning to the workforce, or at least to the workforce that doesn't wear spandex...sort of.  I am completely ecstatic, humbled and nervous to begin my journey as a member of the Indiana University Kokomo adjunct faculty.  Amazingly, the classes I am teaching, Introduction to Health and Fitness and Heath Physical Education Related Yoga, are in my element and pertinent to my life's work and business; this is a gift from God.  Okay, so I will still be wearing spandex to work, though I am excited to have someplace besides church to wear a dress. As the School of Business Department Head was congratulating me on my new position after our yoga session, it hit me that I am not embracing this change with joy.  Time for an intervention:  The 3 essentials to embrace change with joy.

Essential 1.  Celebrate. 

Immediately after accepting the position, I started planning my courses, reading the assigned text book etc.  I forgot to celebrate.  There is a reason we formally celebrate birthdays and other rites of passage.  I often reflect upon how God commanded the Israelites to celebrate with various festivals and time off work.  Seems like dinner reservations are in order here!

 

Essential 2.  Envision. 

Often, envisioning how our new life situation will be lessens the anxiety of the change.  The unknown can be scary, even if it is a positive change.  Creating an image of what the change will look and feel like through meditation will bring about peace and confidence. 

 

Essential 3.  Go With the Flow.  

Life is always changing.  Jesus says in John 3:8, "The wind blows wherever it pleases.  You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.  So it is with everyone born of the Spirit".  This sounds a little chaotic to me, though much more exciting than staying idle.  Winds of change do come, often with force, though if your goals and priorities are in line, you won't get blown away and depending on the circumstance, you might even find joy!

There is a fine line between a hobby and mental illness.  A hobby will either drive us into obsession or save us from going insane.  I'm finding as we age, hobbies take on a sacredness and only if we experience a "quiet time" in our activity will we be spared the curse of insanity.  

 I've trained in gyms for 20+ years and I can affirm that a weight lifter's quiet time does involve heavy metal.  The weight room is holy ground making that big lift. Many people do not understand the world of weight lifting and are quick to dismiss it's value.  On the other hand, "roid rage" didn't get it's name for nothing.

Quiet time for the yogi is actually finding quiet for meditation.  My entire business is centered around this concept with a Christian theme!  There are plenty of crazy yogis with "out there" philosophies or who refrain from eating, drinking or other daily hygiene practices in order to meditate.  In their defense, Jesus did spend 40 days in the desert.  (For the record, at no time in the near or planned future am I planning an extended fasting and meditation time nearing the point of starvation.) 

We've all heard the preacher tell us to read our Bible every day and hopefully I don't have to explain the sacredness with this quiet time.  I try to read mine every day.  As with other activities, I do know Christians with a religion addiction who bring out their 2 axes and .38 caliber to demolish the non-Christian with Acts 2:38...in the name of "love" of course, but unfortunately not too quiet.  In their defense, Jesus was pretty direct at time as well.

Here in Indiana, it is not uncommon to see a high tech deer stand with electrical hook up and wifi in someone's backyard. The first day of hunting season is like a national holiday.   Moms love to scrapbook and will flock together to commemorate special family moments using their creativity.  Painters, musicians, gamers (yes, even the gamers) will attest the sacredness of their hobby, or at least you will see the "real" person shine through or become alive in their hobby.  Some are so fortunate to have their hobby as a profession, however, this opens another door of obsession and even fear. 

I would LOVE to convert all of you to yogis in order to feel what I feel in Christian Yoga and Meditation.  The truth is, not all of you are likely Christians; and for many of you, yoga may not be your thing and you have "your thing" that makes you feel alive.  Your quiet time might just be working in the garden instead of sitting and breathing!  In John 10:10, Jesus said, "..I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."  Not all of us are smart enough to be a Bible scholar (that doesn't excuse you from reading your Bible every day), and not all of us are going to be professional yogis (that doesn't excuse you from regularly participating in exercise as a part of your life), not all of  us are going to play an instrument in a band or perform onstage or be the best at our hobby (that doesn't excuse you from not carving out time to develop your hobby).   Romans 12:6 states, "We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us." and Colossians 3:23 states, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters" (aka your boss, whoever that is).   If you do actively participate in a hobby, I encourage you to make sure you experience that sacred quiet time with your practice: Time to reflect, time to feel alive.   If you have set your hobby aside because you are "too busy",  for your own sanity, pick it back up again!  We all need leisure and we all need that sacred quiet time that is aligned with our God given gifts.  Whatever you do, make sure to engage in "your thing" regularly and "work at it with all your heart" so you may experience "life to the full"!!