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'The Sacred Art of Stopping'

May 12, 2009 - Meg Alexander
Driving home from Mankato this morning, I tuned in to Minnesota Public Radio just in time to hear Barbara Brown Taylor's speech, "Downtime: The Sacred Art of Stopping."

Taylor, a former Episcopalian priest, teacher and author, shared words of wisdom so profound I found myself forgetting where I was, a dangerous predicament when driving down the road at 70 miles per hour. When my husband got off work this evening, I pulled up MPR's Web site and we sat together and listened, quietly enjoying a moment of stillness -- a rarity in our busy lives.

As Taylor said, "Almost everyone I know can make a list of the things they know give them life, but they never do.

... Just make these two lists yourself on the same sheet of paper: on one side, things I know give me life, and on the other side, reasons why I don't do them. And just keep that list handy where you can find it, when you feel there's a hollow place in your middle of your chest where your heart used to be. When you can feel a cold breeze blowing right through you, pull out your list and look at it. And never stop wondering when you lost your freedom to do the things that you know give you life."

I could easily go on quoting from Taylor's speech -- in fact, I'd love an excuse to listen to it a third time in order to write down each word she spoke -- but instead I'll pass along the link for anyone who would care to listen for themselves. It's well worth the time.


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