With Easter coming, we thought it would be the perfect time to talk about mindfulness. No matter what your spiritual beliefs, this is a season of renewal and reaffirmation, and much of life’s inspiration arrives in the small everyday details that are easy to overlook or undervalue.
We can’t think of a better way to explore mindfulness than through this excerpt from Spring: Women’s Inspiration for the Season of Hope and New Beginnings, one of the seasonal books of women’s essays and poems we published over the past year.
This essay, by Sarah Klaassen, begins with her move from Seattle, Washington, to the Ozarks in Missouri. While her partner began a new and satisfying job, Sarah started to question her own self-worth.
She had left behind a meaningful position as an interim pastor and wasn’t able to find a job in their new community. So she set to work on everyday tasks, questioning who she was and when she would find the work that was hers to do.
Here’s an excerpt from the end of her essay, “For Work That Is Real.” We encourage you to read it and then reflect on its connection to your own life through the questions that follow.
Now spring is upon us here on the edge of the Ozarks, offering with it a few glimpses of bright summer. Â
I wake each morning to the sun in our east-facing window and to birds chirping. Â
I get up and wash last night’s dishes as I listen to Morning Edition on our small kitchen radio. Â
I eat breakfast: one piece of toast from homemade bread I bake each week. Â
I sit down with my laptop at the kitchen table. Â
As I browse through the classified ads, some days all I hear is the wind running through trees, and underneath the wind, the ticking of the clock on the wall. Â
I just started some seeds the other day in the basement, my hands working through wet potting soil, and I began to see in the growing light of the advancing seasons the real work that I’ve done. The apples and walnuts and baking, the sleeping, the waiting, the living.Â Â
It’s not what I’d expected or what I’d hoped in a job or paycheck, but somewhere underneath, life has carried on anyway, all along having been the calling of living and the work that is real.
Questions for reflection:
- Practice mindfulness by noticing small, life-affirming moments through the day.
- What is the rhythm of routine tasks and patterns in your life?
- How does that rhythm represent “the work that is real” in your inner life and relationships?
- How can noticing and honoring these small moments help renew the light within you?
- How has life “carried on anyway,” even during times that didn’t meet your expectations? What can you learn about yourself by reflecting on those times?
If you have any “ah-has” you’d like to share, please post them in the Comments section. We’d love to hear from you. Enjoy this time of new beginnings!