When under stress, the most important thing for me is to meditate and pray, relinquish the desire to have things my way, and rest in His love and power. Going to the hill for a trek also does quite a few things for me. Its an exercise that I do not mind doing during a time when I’d rather eat and space out. Heading for a sweat-it-out at Bukit Timah Hill does certain things for me. It breaks my bad habit of taking short breaths when under stress. It forces me to breathe more deeply, particularly when I climb the wooden or track steps. Every time I pause to catch my breath or drink, I look around with camera in hand and look for a picture worth capturing. The air is fresh, the sounds of cicada and birds catch my attention, the deliberate act of placing my feet safely to avoid root stumps and wet mud, forces my mind off problems at hand, onto intentional walking and listening and looking.
On Monday, a friend told me that we need to learn to be fully present and learn to savor life. Singapore is all rush and no hush. We do not savor our food; we gulp it down. The same with people. We are not fully present with them. Our minds wander. We think we know what they want to say before they have finished. We are even assessing various solutions in our minds while nodding our heads. Children and their surprising spurts of growth and spasms of emotional turmoil are glossed over while we check on their school assignments. We are well off, yet poor. We have a high standard of living but a low quality of life.
This morning I decided to trek Bukit Timah hill alone and slow down and taste fully the sights and sounds of the forest. When I began walking I said to myself, “Slowly…..slowly.” Ever so often I paused to look around. When I see a good angle or the play of light on forest trees or floor, I take the mobile and shoot. I stopped at different points to drink and rest. Several times, I stood still and muttered the Lord’s prayer with heart and soul. It helped bring my frisky mind to rest. I would like to do this again…..and alone. Solitude with the Lord amongst trees and open skies heals and fills me. (put your cursor over pics and pray)