Frequently, I write and talk about the importance of re-creating ourselves and about ways to add activities that enrich and enliven. Recently, however, I realized that I needed to step away from my busy-ness â€“ even from those activities that I routinely enjoy and endorse. I recalled the wisdom from the 3rd century, BCE, contained in the book of Ecclesiastes.
According to Wikipedia, the American novelist, Thomas Wolfe, called Ecclesiastes the wisest and most powerful expression of our life on earth. It is one of the 24 books of the Hebrew Bible and is included in the Christian Old Testament. The beautifully written Chapter 3 is well known to most of us. In the late 1950â€™s Pete Seeger wrote â€œTurn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season)" in which the principle lyrics are adapted word-for-word from Chapter 3.
In particular, I was thinking of verse 6 (from the American Standard Version): â€œa time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away.â€
â€œCasting awayâ€ my routine activities was harder than I anticipated. I kept thinking: â€œThere is something I NEED to be doing.â€ I resisted the tempting sales at the mall. I found that various errands were not actually â€œnecessaryâ€ at all. This doesnâ€™t mean that I sat for days in a yoga position meditating. I tried out some new recipes; I painted a little; I read; I worked puzzles. Itâ€™s just that my activities were those that appealed to me â€“ at the moment. I decided to interpret â€œa time to loseâ€¦â€ literally - as freedom to lose â€œtimeâ€ itself and the constraints that clocks and schedules have on my daily life. I moved through the week in a self-nurturing way. I even took TWO whirlpool baths! It has been a lovely vacation.