Yesterday, Scout and I were out for a walk in about an inch of fresh snow that had fallen overnight and I noticed something about my pup. She drags her paws a bit when she walks in the snow. Nothing wrong with that, just noticing that. But I saw it in the rows of patterns made as we walked. Reminded me of how I sometimes drag my toes on the treadmill which makes this really awful noise – gives me a reminder to not do that.
But what do we do that is so automatic that we don’t even realize we’re doing it? For some things, that’s not a problem at all. But if we were dragging our toes all the time, we’d wear out the tips of our shoes or rub our toes raw. We do have those patterns, don’t we? Some of those patterns affect only us but others have an effect on others.
One of the things that has stirred for me as I have tried to go deeper with mindfulness and heartfulness is about the importance of living deliberately – not simply continuing to do things because I have always done them but to be intentional about what I do, know why I do it. To be intentional about what I believe and practice and not simply let others define that for me. There’s the well-known quote from Henry David Thoreau from Walden where he wrote, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and to see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
What Scout’s paw and this theme reminded me of is to look at my life today and see what are those places that I am just “doing” because I’ve always done them or I have gotten into the habit of doing them – what are those that are beneficial and healthy and life-giving (both to me and to others) and what are those that I can (or should) leave behind?
Reminds me of another quote – this time from Paul in his letter to the church in Rome…
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God – what is good and acceptable and perfect.Romans 12:2