Where on earth did Easter come from? I do not mean I question the origins of this our current religious festival (although a lesson or two here and there may not go amiss. I yesterday was asked by one teenage boy “isn’t it Jesus’s birthday, or something…?) but my question is how is it possibly now time for Easter, when it seems that images of the Christmas lights are only just fading?
I am not the only one to ask this question, as of course Easter really is earlier than usual. For myself, however, Easter took my by surprise this year, as it was sucked up along with all other aspects of my personal and professional life into the whirlwind created by build up to book publication, launch party and subsequent media interest. I was then thrown out from the eye of the storm into what transpired to be Good Friday.Suddenly, I had been hurled from frantic activity and attention to calm, quiet and just being another nameless shopper in a supermarket, hunting for the Easter eggs I had forgotten to purchase…
Of course my whirl of activity was made up of a bluster of very good things and I am fortunate that at this time neither my professional or personal life are at all bad places to inhabit, so I feel blessed to now have some slow-moving reflective time. It did cause me think however, how tempting it might be to whip up a storm of activity in times when life may perhaps be a little trickier. It avoids us seeing both what is going on around us, and what might be coming up ahead.
I met with someone this week who has a tendency to overwork, albeit in a job which they find rewarding both financially and in terms of general job satisfaction.In order to make some sense of which areas of life might benefit from a little adjustment they drew their life as a circle. The circle divided into sections representing family, recreational life, time spent with partner and work; by far the largest section was work. On closer reflection they commented on how in life outside of the therapeutic time and space it was hard to see what might be needed in any separate area as the busyness of work created it sense of it all” blurring into one”. It reminded me of the kaleidoscopes we might have squinted into as children, when we could alter the image by turning and blurring the different sections of colours and patterns to suit our favoured perception, to create an appearance of what to us was seemingly more beautiful. The faster the person I spoke of worked and so turned the kaleidoscope of his life, the more he was able to blur and distort the images he was confronted with in the sections of his life which troubled him. To blur the less than beautiful.
Conversely, I spoke with a friend this week who was delighted to find that having resolved a painfully difficult and on going life problem, she was able to enjoy a train journey without her usual busyness through the distractions of reading a book.She was able just to be with her thoughts, to choose either to focus in, or to watch her thoughts pass by, just like the scenery outside of the train window.
Whether we need to look at our life through the lens of the fast turning, image altering kaleidoscope, or choose the focus and clarity offered by our telescopic lens maybe just depends on the image that meets our eyes when we look at our life in its true colours.