I hear myself using the phrase “settling in” as in: “We’ve getting settled in here in our new community;” or “we’re settling in easily here after only a few days”
Yesterday, I realized that in addition to feeling “settled in,” I’m feeling settled period. Or at least I am in the process of “settling.”
Very shortly after you turn off of Lost Valley Lane onto the driveway that leads into the hub of our community, you see a sign that says: “Slow Down – You’re Here – 7 mph.” Something within me is taking this to heart.
I recognize that slowing down and settling into mySelf is a high priority for me in my new home.
I woke up yesterday morning – Monday morning – the first day of our first full week here at Lost Valley Education and Event Center. My mind was full of ideas about how I wanted to spend the day. In spite of the rain/snow weather prediction, the sun was peeking out of the clouds, beckoning me outside. I had visions of taking a walk about the property to begin to familiarize myself with my new landscape. Tomas and I also wanted to ask some questions about items on agendas in upcoming meeting later this week. I even had the idea I might bake some cookies. And I most definitely wanted to spend some time studying the Non-Violent Communication (NVC) book with Tomas, something we’re very much enjoying doing together.
We took a lovely walk together along the Creek Trail (post with photos coming) through some old-growth forest draped with lichens and under-grown with massive glistening ferns. The creek was raging after the recent rains and small rapids filled the air with the sound of rushing water.
And then it was lunchtime. Since we’ve prepaid for most meals here, it’s good practice to show up and eat. While enjoying the yummy food, we were able to ask enough questions of our fellow residents to make us feel comfortably informed for this week’s meetings.
After lunch, our bodies said: “Naptime!!!” I LOVE taking afternoon naps.
Then it was time for tea and our NVC study. After reading about half a chapter, I suggested we practice what we had learned so far: making an observation without evaluating; identifying feeling(s); stating needs and then making a clear request.
Throughout the day I had observed myself becoming increasingly anxious about the time slipping away without “getting all those things done” that I had put on my mental “to do” list. What was my need? To feel productive by accomplishing lots of activities during the day.
But as I thought more deeply, I realized that this”need” was an old, ingrained habit-pattern that I actually wanted to change. My new need was to feel calm, balanced – SETTLED. My request of myself and Tomas was to support me to remember that I have made the development of this new quality a priority and to understand and have compassion for the part of me that struggles with feeling unproductive if I’m not perpetually doing or if I don’t have a long list of things checked off at the end of the day. This simple discussion — practicing new skills in compassionate communication — resulted in both of us feeling closer and more connected.
At bedtime, I realized that everything I had wanted to do had gotten done – except baking the cookies. I had meditated for a half hour instead.
What’s more, I had such a warm, fuzzy feeling about how I had spent my day. I felt happy and settled as I slid into bed.