Scenes from the first day in Sydney

Scenes from the first day in Sydney
D, the Opera House, and the Bridge

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Day Four of Retreat

Spent the afternoon at Newport Beach, just a half hour from Pymble. Since we're in winter here, the water is still really cold, but it was still nice to sit on the beach in the sun reading and reflecting. One of the great gifts of these seven months has been to live in the moment for a change. While some people are more naturally oriented to reflect on the past and dwell on what has happened to them, or to regrets, I tend in the opposite direction. Usually, I lean my energy into the future with plans and projects, and while all that is fine and good, especially because I find my creativity engaged, it also leaves me with anxiety and a sense of deadlines. During these seven months, I have discovered the simple but nonetheless marvelous experience of doing nothing, of having no specific aim or purpose in mind, and of even playing. I know it's come up here in the blog before, but this is something I want to remind myself of for the future, when I'm back into fulltime work and tempted by my usual work addicted habits.

I need to pay attention to what God is calling me to in the moment-- it is often fairly simple and not mysterious. When eating a meal, what is called for is paying attention to the food and the company. When working with a person in crisis, it is usually about listening and being fully present. When it is about washing dishes, it is about washing the dishes... nothing to complicated. This means slowing the mind down a bit, and paying more attention to doing one thing well at a time (not text messaging while driving, for instance, or other forms of "multi-tasking.")

I am making a commitment to the Ignatian mindfulness prayer we call the Examen... something I have always done instinctively, but which is all the more important when we find ourselves busy.

And then there is the commitment to making time for friends... simple things, not rocket science. Living in the moment... finding sacramental presence in the now, feeling it in my body more than trying to know it with my mind. How does this all sound to you?


  1. easier said than done, isnt it? but like all disciplines, worth the effort.
    you are publishing some great photos, i'm enjoying them

  2. Sounds challenging but essential...I will miss your blog. It has been such a gift.