The word is out Print E-mail
News - Final Word
Thursday, 10 December 2009 17:56
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This time of year there is a woman at large. We’ve all heard about her. She’s finished her Christmas shopping in November. Her gifts have been wrapped already and her Christmas cards have been mailed. She’s baked countless batches of biscuits. She even makes her own gingerbread men, for goodness sake.

I’m telling you that this woman must be stopped. She’s undermining our sanity, jeopardising the common good. As to the pictures of her perfect Christmas turkey that they keep publishing in newspapers, I find that these pages make really absorbent liners for bird cages. You know exactly what I mean, don’t you? Now, if there’s one thing you could tell anyone who has ever been intimidated by such a woman, what would it be? Think carefully, because your answer will tell us more about you than about ‘that woman’.

As for me, I suspect that I react so strongly to this image because I have huge issues with time. It feels as if I never have enough of it and I sort of resent those who seem to have more than enough. Even my vocabulary proves it. I keep saying things like “let me quickly . . .” Come to think of it, I also find myself working in the deadline business.

According to author Oriah Mountain Dreamer, we all have one word that’s the key to our struggles in life. Oriah’s own word is ‘rest’. Being a driven perfectionist, she doesn’t know how to unwind, how simply to switch off at the end of the day. This has had a detrimental effect on her health and she spent many years searching for ways to truly relax.

After she found the answer, Oriah became the ideal teacher to those who need to learn how to rest. “You teach best what you need to learn most,” Richard Bach said. If you never had difficulties learning something, if it just came naturally to you, you would not be able to teach someone else how to do it.

For example, Oriah’s friend is a very talented bodywork therapist. She is a terrible bodywork teacher, though. She knew just what to do and because she’s always had this ability, she could not break it down and explain the steps to her students. Looking at it this way, your biggest challenge in life would also be the key to the biggest contribution you can make; the thing you can successfully teach other people. But you have to find your own word first.

“I don’t know what your word is,” Oriah says. “No one but you can find it. But I can tell you where to look. Look at your failures . . . Look at what does not come easily to you, what you long for but find elusive. What internal habit or attitude or tendency repeatedly robs your life of joy?”

In my case it would be this lack-oftime illusion that I tend to labour under. I suspect my word would be ‘enough’; realising that there is enough time. Your word is your key to stopping your war with reality. My question becomes not so much how wildly I can time-manage to get everything done, but what I must surrender to allow the idea of ‘enough’ to enter my life.

‘Getting’ your word is never about doing, says Oriah. It is always just about being. And it’s always about being present. Here and now. “Living your word opens the door you fear has closed. Not doing what our fear for years has prompted us to do requires a certain level of consciousness. You have to be awake to know what is going on inside you.”

“Wake up, my love. You are walking asleep. There is no safety in that.” Waking up to my tail-chasing-deadline mindset is probably the biggest gift I can give my loved ones this festive season. It will certainly be a more peaceful Christmas, albeit an underdone one.

You see, the word that calls to you doesn’t need you to hear it only for your own sake. “It is the word the world needs you to embody so we can all go home together,” Oriah says. “It is God speaking to you, through you. It is what you are here to say.”

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