10. Get Outside

 Good morning and welcome to your tenth meditation. How much time do you spend outside? Do you make a point to get out every day or is it  just something you do now and then. Or maybe you typically only leave the house if something demands it, like work, or exercise, or taking a class. Amid all the busyness of life, amid all the things that constantly need doing, it can feel hard, or even pointless, to dedicate that precious time to such an apparently non-productive activity as simply being outside. But the busier you are, the more important it is that you take break. A break from work, a break from that rhythm of living, and even a break from yourself. That’s right, a break from yourself. Because going outside isn’t just going out of doors; it can also be going outside of the confines of what you understand your life to be. Just think, we generally try to infuse our homes with as much of ourselves as we are able. We position things in a certain way that suits us, we decorate to our tastes. Home is where we typically keep our collections of objects that we identify with like books or records, or makeup. We try our best to make it a place of comfort, and in doing so it becomes a space that reflects who we are. This is all good. It is a wonderful privilege to have a space that we can tailor to our own needs and preferences. You could even say that constructing your home is a kind of identity formation in itself. However homes, when compared with the scope of the human psyche, tend to be relatively limited and static spaces. So that if we identify too much with our home, that same place into which we have poured so much love can feel restrictive or even oppressive. Going outside exposes us to a world that is open, unbounded by our own tastes and sense of ownership. It is to enter a space that does not represent your perceived successes and failures. Outside is blissfully indifferent. When you feel overwhelmed by what is going on in your life or by what you read in the news, or on social media; when you feel that these things are all that the world is comprised of, what better remedy than to sit and observe a tree. To admire its indifference to all that consumes you. To watch the birds in it flitting and clamouring, with agendas completely apart and unrelated to our own. To watch its leaves receive the breeze, to listen to the sound they make as they flap with some discreet purpose. To see its branches reaching out toward its neighbouring trees in silent discourse. To think how trees have done this same slow dance since long before there ever were humans to feel overwhelmed. In this way being outside can offer perspective. But more than this, it can also offer some well-deserved, simple, sensual pleasure. So look at the tree, listen to the rustle of its leaves, feel the sun on your face and bask in it all. It is beautiful, and you are a part of it. Keep it up. You’re doing great. Have a wonderful day.

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