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Remember the importance of inner quiet this holiday season


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by Diana Lang

I was at the local grocery store today and noticed they were playing Christmas carols. It wasn't every song, but they were mixed in. It kind of snuck up on me as I found myself humming along to "White Christmas." Then, I thought myself: It's not even Halloween yet.

All of nature is winding down around us and we are speeding up. The leaves are falling from the trees, fruits and flowers are waning, and we are racing to 2008. The tractor beam of "the holidays" pulls us headlong into what would be, by nature's rhythm, a quieting time. By the time the holidays get here, we're all exhausted.

This all reminds me to slow down. To remember to take my time and take a deep breath. To follow nature's lead. To exhale. To let my attention turn inward. To let my leaves fall.

The faster things are moving around us, the more important it is to be centered. It's like being in the eye of a hurricane: everything is quiet. There is this great hush, but all around you, the world is whirling.

Meditation brings us to that calm center. Life goes on with all its horn-blowing and noise, but the quiet part of us, the part of us that "knows," is completely still. All we have to do is come to this place where that stillness abides. All we have to remember is who we are, what we're doing, and why we are doing it. Then, we can exhale.

And truly, I want to remember. By remembering, I can save myself hours and hours of fixing and reworking. I can regroup. I can decide again about my autopilot responses and feel which way to go, using all my senses, not just my automatic reflexes. I can choose a higher way, a better way with a higher outcome than the first thing that comes to my mind.

Meditation is the fastest way I know to become centered. Meditation is a tool. It gives us a choice when it feels like we don't have one. It gives us brakes when it feels like we're being swept along. Meditation gives us a cosmic pause button and the power of will to make the highest choice for highest good for all concerned.

As life crashes and heaves forward, we can tread softly and thoughtfully. We can look for the little glints of light that are hidden in our loved one's eyes or in the sparkle of a dewdrop on a flower's petal. We can feel the light and the love that is in every sacred moment.

And we can inhale again.

Editor's note: Diana Lang's column appears on Mondays. For more information on Lang, the relaxation expert at StrategiesforNurseManagers.com, please visit her Web site at www.dianalang.com. To read more of Diana's stories, click here and here.