When you sit in a spot, your energy becomes saturated with the tone of the place.
Imagine a teabag that had no flavor, color, or properties of its own, but only absorbed the qualities around it. Let yourself sit until you are done.
~ Author Unknown
Moving at the Speed of Place
Recently I've become more keenly aware of how quickly we move through space. We speed down the road, our minds occupied with demanding thoughts, often left with only a split second to observe the landscape we are moving through. When we set out to hike a mountain or walk the beach to get our heart rate up, to feel the burn in our muscles, and to feel the fresh air in our lungs, we are experiencing the beauty around us and enjoying nature. We are essentially focusing on our experience and how the place is affecting us. But perhaps more importantly, when we move so quickly, we don't realize the impact our movement and actions are having on the environment we're moving through.
When I was young I spent a lot of time on the water. Growing up on Cape Cod, and spending part of each summer in Maine, water was everywhere. I learned early in life that the number one aspect of being on the water, especially when you're in a small boat, is the effect your actions have on the boat and how the boat, and more specifically the actions of the water, are impacting you. One of my earliest memories is of canoeing on a pond down the hill from where I grew up. It was a large pond and my brother and I spent many hours exploring it, both from the water’s edge and from within the safe space of our aluminum canoe. It was during these early years that I began to understand the beauty of moving across the water without leaving a wake. Every time I leaned forward slightly to slide my paddle into the water and draw it back, I tried to do it seamlessly and soundlessly. It may sound impressive to you to think that a child was mature enough to recognize the power of being still and quiet, but truth be told, my brother and I were sneaking along looking for turtles. To be successful you need to be as quiet as possible. If they see you or hear you they will slide right off their rock where they were basking and into the water, often before you even know they are there. Their little heads coming to the surface, wary black eyes watching you. I am grateful for those moments for they taught me how to be in relationship with the world around me.
The No Wake Zone
For anyone who has been in a boat on the water in an area where other boats travel, you are familiar with the white markers with red letters floating in a channel telling you you are moving through a constricted area and to slow down so as to not leave a wake that could disturb the natural environment and other boats moored there. What I find beautiful about this is it gets people to think about how their actions are impacting the environment around them and encourages respect for others. When we 'move at the speed of place' we take the same approach. We become aware and conscious of the other. We take a perspective that we share this world with others and their needs are equally as important and valid as our's.
* Blend the edges of your being with the atmosphere of the place. Let yourself melt into the world around you where you lose a sense of your body in space.
* Allow yourself to slow down and tune in, alert to the subtleties of the world around you.