Have you ever had moments when your “to-do” list has spilled onto the second or third page and nothing, or maybe very little, has been crossed off? Have you wondered how you are going to reduce that washing pile, tidy the house, answer all your emails, finish the projects you are working on, and in some cases, actually start one?
I am sure we all can relate to the anxiousness and overwhelm we feel when we are faced with so much to do and seemingly no time, or energy, to do it. So what do you do when feeling overwhelmed and under-prepared for what life has presented you with?
Do you head for the fridge looking for the sweetest thing you can find to eat? Or maybe head for bed and dive under the bed clothes and trust that the work angel will do everything for you while you rest in comfort? Do you turn on the TV and disappear into your favourite programme, or do you go for a run, pounding the pavement until your body screams – “STOP!”?
We seem to have so many ways of numbing ourselves when life seemingly gets too hard, and instead of stopping, re-connecting to ourselves and asking what is one simple thing I can do right now, we simply choose to close our eyes, figuratively and literally, and hope whatever we believe we can’t deal with will just go away.
For many years I have had a picture on my fridge of a little child on the beach, wearing nothing but a hat. It shows the child looking at the sea ahead but in the way is a load of driftwood creating a definite challenge to getting to where he/she wants to go. The quote at the top of the picture says: “One step at a time – anything else is just too tricky!”
I have looked at this often over the years and sometimes it has helped bring me back from that place of anxiousness and overwhelm, but other times I have simply ignored it. But I have never felt to take it off the fridge and it has outlasted many other pictures and magnets.
However, as last summer arrived, the very simple message that image has been giving me for many years became more than just a message, but something that, by my actions, has now become a living truth. I was diagnosed with a respiratory infection just before the end of my working year.
I knew that I was tired after a very full on year and I knew that I needed to stop, but was ‘hoping’ I would make it until my holiday began: but no, my body decided that enough was enough and stopped me in my tracks, and proceeded to order me into bed. There I stayed watching summer unfold through the window and listening to everyone else having fun in the pool.
A couple of weeks later, after having made the choice to listen more intently to my body, I slowly began to feel better and knew that I needed to get up and get moving. Some exercise was being called for and gentle walking felt like what my body needed, but where I live doesn’t make that easy.
The challenge is that we live in the country on a busy road with no footpaths, and walking along the road is decidedly dangerous. But the call to walk in the sunshine was strong so on went the gumboots and into the paddocks I went – firstly just for a few minutes simply communing with my resident lawnmowers, my sheep and my alpacas, and sitting in the sun.
I made a commitment to do this each day and, after a few days, I felt an impulse to add an extra ingredient to my exercise.
A few months previously we had had a large tree chopped down and most of the wood had been collected and moved to the wood shed, but there was a pile that for some reason had been left. So on this particular day I picked up a piece of the wood, making sure that it wasn’t too heavy, and very slowly – and I do mean slowly – walked with it over to the fence and dropped it into the next paddock.
The plan was to eventually move it to a place where my grandchildren could later transport it to the wood shed. So each day, sometimes twice a day, I would walk for 5-10 minutes around the paddock, pick up a piece of wood and repeat the action, always being aware of its weight, how I was carrying it and how I was walking.
My body was asking for total conscious presence and that is what it got. As the days passed I began to feel my level of fitness increase, the pile on one side of the fence was decreasing and the one on the other was growing, until one day there was no more wood to move.
I remember going back into the house this day and looking out my window at the pile of wood I had moved and being utterly surprised at how big it was. I realised that I had actually moved it all, with no stress, no strain and that it had actually been enjoyable and, best of all, I was now feeling much more alive.
I walked from the window to the kitchen and stopped to look at the picture on my fridge and smiled at the lesson that I had just learned. “One step at a time – anything else is just too tricky!” And at that moment my own words came to me: “With commitment and consistency, and with one loving step at a time, we can move mountains” – and in my case, a wood pile!
I have so much appreciation for Serge Benhayon and the other marvellous students of Universal Medicine who inspire me daily to take more care of my body and to love me like never before, and as a result I have seen and experienced the magic that can unfold when one commits to life and brings consistency to that commitment. Now it’s on to the next ‘wood pile’, one step at a time!
By Ingrid Ward, West Auckland, New Zealand