In the last year, I've found that doing yoga and getting massages have helped me to slow down and be more thoughtful (and reduce blood pressure). I'm really in a different, more observant, calmer frame of mind after both. I like the way I think then.
Yoga, of course, is Eastern, but my massage therapist also has Eastern symbolism, etc. in her massage room. I'm so used to the busy-ness of churches that I've been wondering if there is any strand of Western Christianity that encourages this kind of slowing down and awareness, but I hadn't gotten beyond wondering.
When I first found out that our church is having a workshop on Centering Prayer, I was really excited. Unfortunately, it's the same day as as the Durham Pride Parade that we've gone to the last three years.* I should try to find books on Centering Prayer.
Dear husband was talking to the guy setting up the sound system at The Depot in Hillsborough yesterday evening. This gentleman plays a number of instruments including the mandolin, drums, guitar, and the tuba. He mentioned that he'd be playing in the Pride Parade in a few weeks. He's the sousaphonist for The Bulltown Strutters, a wonderful, New Orleans-style community parade band. We've seen them in the Pride Parade and in the Hillsborough Handmade Parade. Dear husband said he'd cheer him on in a few weeks.
Here are the Bulltown Strutters in last year's Handmade Parade:
* It's also a really busy weekend because the Gallery Players in Burlington are performing Fiddler on the Roof (and we have a friend in the cast), and the Carrboro Music Festival is that Sunday.** Being an introvert and knowing that this would make me exhausted, I've told the guys that I'll talk to them as much as they want at these events, but I will probably be really un-conversational the rest of the weekend.
** We also usually go to the Duke Gardens fall plant sale on Saturday morning, but we'll have to skip that this year.
[The polar bear was on the Durham Scrap Exchange truck in the Pride Parade two years ago.]