I stepped outside, crouched on the pavement and sat down on my dusty front door stoop. In my nine years living here, I don’t think I’d ever sat on the stoop. Maybe because the view from that angle is mostly pavement, concrete, stuccoed wall and taillights. This morning though all of that was warm from early spring sunshine. Once settled on the threshold, I set the alarm on my watch.
And then I did nothing.
For one minute.
For one minute I simply sat there.
I took a couple of deep breaths and looked around.
What I might notice? A sight? A sound?
Something flicked across the sidewalk — a tiny dead leaf.
I leaned over and gently picked it up with forefinger and thumb. And there, for a few moments, I felt delight. For within faded patterning of brown decay, an exquisite little winter garden seemed etched within the leaf’s coloring. On a surface no larger than a small postage stamp, were what looked like tiny clusters of pale white flowers against a tawny background.
My watch chimed.
I cupped the leaf delicately in my palm returned inside and placed the leaf beside me at my desk.
I then set my alarm again — this time for three hours later, and another for three hours after that.
Six times during the day — every three hours, from 6:00am to 9:00pm, my alarm goes off. Whenever possible I stop whatever I am doing, step outside, set a timer for one minute, take a few deep breaths, and pause. Peace flows over me.
It’s the simplest of practices. Yet it brings a wealth of calm awareness — just as Rick Rubin promised in his recent conversation with Krista Tippett:
You do one minute of awareness practice on every third hour. So you do it at noon, at three, at six, at nine….it’s just one minute and whatever’s going on, even if you’re driving, you can still do a dedicated minute of awareness while you’re driving. You don’t have to pull over to do it…It’s just really being…knowing that it’s 60 seconds of true awareness. It’s beautiful. It’s a beautiful practice.
Yes, it is.
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Stay safe. Be kind.
~ Dawn Chandler
Santa Fe , New Mexico
Free from social media since 2020