I conversed with a friend recently – an honest, frank and open tête-à-tête. He expressed appreciation for my blogs. They helped him to navigate life’s challenges and nourished his spiritual life.

He also remarked on the shift he noticed in my writing style between August and September. The July and August blogs seemed relaxed, creative, colourful, personal. The September blogs appeared more instructive and less personal. Together, we talked it through.

During the exchange, I once again became aware of the way external circumstances affect or shape our behaviour, our responses, our tasks. During the month of July and August, I was more mentally and physically relaxed; my work schedule and pace were lighter and slower; my mindfulness of what was happening within me (emotions) and around me (with persons and the society) was heightened. My mindfulness was also heightened by six sessions of exploring and learning to navigate and manage difficult conversations with a coach. My 8 days of personal retreat increased my mindfulness. Mindfulness was at its peak (instead of “height”) within me. Thanks to the gift of the months of July and August.

September was a turning point in my schedule. I am teaching a course at the seminary. There’s course prep, familiarization with online learning, learning the spiritual, emotional and intellectual art of team teaching, preparations for a theological virtual conference. All this added to my primary job. 

The water level of mindfulness (awareness) has fallen. The river course of mindfulness hasn’t dried up. It’s just lower.   It’s not yet fully the dry season. July and August were the rainy months of writing blogs. In September, there are fewer inches of rainfall.  

Thinking about this, I realize I had anticipated it.  I recall saying to my secretary during the height of the rainy season, “Don’t expect two or three blogs per week. It wont last long.” Not only has the number of blogs fallen, but the style has changed.

I continue to learn and embrace the wisdom lesson of life. Life is like a river – ebb and flow, fast and slow, winding and straight, rough and calm, clear and muddy. These various characteristics shape the landscape around it.

What’s the stage of your river now? How’s it shaping and reshaping your mind and actions?

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