Wow! So much to take in! Here in Nashville, I was immediately struck not only by the amazing music, but also the unbelievable downtown crowds, new construction, noise and traffic! On the lighter side, I loved the country music in restaurants and along the streets and sidewalks. I really enjoyed that! Broadway had it going! It was so refreshing and uplifting! My scrumptious lunch at the crammed Frothy Monkey was a one-hour wait, but so worth it!
As I looked at my city guide, planning my time in Nashville, I realized I would be hard pressed “to do it all” in a few days. So what would I do? As I walked a long distance, bustled about with the rest of the downtown crowd and rode the free bus, I was remembering my two places of respite in Ohio and AZ, and momentarily felt almost anxious to go back to one of those places. I’m not very often in a very busy place! Contrast is always interesting.
Then I remembered that even though our quiet, respite places are nice, we can always find that quiet place within us, no matter how busy life is around us! We can stop, take a deep breath, relax and enjoy the moment. We can take the time to go within anytime, anywhere and feel gratitude. Within is the place where we see anew, imagine amazing possibilities, feel safe and sacred, feel appreciation, relax and make choices for our lives. We also need to challenge ourselves to sit quietly long enough to be present, be aware, to see and imagine whatever pops up….and it will. I’m always amazed that being quiet is really active and not passive. So much comes through to us when we are quiet! It might even be that needed feeling of peace…the feeling that, in spite of what we see, all really is well. Do you remember days when you just imagined while watching passing clouds?
Since all vacations seem to attract us to spend “a little extra cash”, I certainly had that temptation in this enticing Music City, but I recalled how Scott Peck said that the sign of maturity is having coins in our pocket and being able to keep them there! In today’s world, I guess that would be the credit card, better known as plastic daddy! I really did want that pink Nashville sweatshirt! While thinking of maturity, I remembered that Thomas Merton said, “Without solitude of some sort, there is and can be no maturity. Unless one becomes empty and alone, he cannot give himself in love, because he does not possess the deep self which is the only gift worthy of love.”
So there I was in a beautiful, busy part of the country, realizing the importance of balance in so many ways! On this day the message for me was, enjoy music city, don’t buy anything that isn’t “precious” and find some solitude!
My Spiritual Maturity invitation to you is:
1.) Enjoy the moment,
2.) Practice financial wisdom, and
3.) Make quiet time to love and to know yourself.
As we find that balance, together we will enjoy the moment, continue to live peacefully, loving ourselves and loving each other more….that’s spiritual maturity.