When you least expect it. . .

My nephew Jason is now in his thirties.  When he was a small boy, he delighted in pelting me with snowballs.  His aim was great, he rarely missed, and I soon recognized that where snowballs were concerned this mere child surpassed me by a mile.  My solution was this:  I would simply respond, “One day, Jason, when you least expect it . . .” On occasion I would remind him of my promise and once sent him a virtual snowball thanks to my computer.  Yet I never really delivered.  Last summer while attending Jason’s wedding I considered having the bartender shave up some ice, rolling it into a ball and letting Jason have it right there in front of God and everybody.  But I didn’t.  Instead when a private moment presented itself, I told him of my plan.  He smiled, nodded, and said, “That would have been good.”  Point made for the aunty in the style of counting coup.

And there is something about events that occur with the impact of an unexpected snowball that opens up the earth and like Alice in Wonderland we are falling down the rabbit hole.  Next thing you know, we are in a completely different frame of reference, often asking how we got there and stunned at what is going on.  I’m sure you have plenty of examples of this in your own life just I have in mine.   It may be a business opportunity, a subpoena, the receipt of a most perfect gift – each one arriving with no advance warning and seeming to come out of nowhere.   We then find ourselves having to reframe everything on the spot.  It’s as though Alice’s White Rabbit is tapping his watch and prodding, “Oh, my ears and whiskers, how late it’s getting!”  We’re talking about real change, real fast.

Trust me that saying, “It’s all good!” just doesn’t cut it.  At least it doesn’t for me.  Some of what is unfolding seems exquisitely wonderful and it takes my breath away.  Other things seem just plain painful and hard to bear and that takes my breath away, too.  So I have to remind myself to breathe.  I really do.  I have to take time to stop, reflect, and breathe.  And then breathe some more.  And when I do that I can sense a centering within me and a connection to deeper resources.  It is from that place I can begin to move into right action rather than be in reaction.  And sometimes I discover that no action is called for and I am directed into being fully present with things just as they are.  Quite often that is the most challenging thing for me to do.

So today I invite you to take time to stop, reflect, and breathe.  Whatever is happening today, please remember to breathe.  I’d love to hear from you on this topic.  And I promise if Jason ever gets nailed with a snowball thrown by yours truly, I will let you know.

in Love and Service,




8 Responses to “When you least expect it. . .”

  1. Marcela Says:

    Love your Blogs Lorena – I had just come back to work from lunch when I read this one. I love reading your blogs, so I was excited to open up this new one. I immediateley thought of a few people who I would like to share it with – just breathe! and then I realized that on my lunch hour I had a similar experience – one of the ones that are hard to take – and I like always, swept it under the rug till later. A little time delay there because reading it the first time didn’t make me take it in (I was wanting to share it with someone else), but when I read it again, I remembered. It all of a sudden felt like I was holding my breath with all that I would think about later. So, I went back to the incident and let my self be with it for a few minutes, along with all the other thoughts that came along with it. It felt like a sadness, but letting myself be with it changed it. Like you said, it made me be present with things, just the way they are. At least, allowing myself to do that, can open up new options. (kinda like opening a window instead of sealing it shut). Thanks, Lorena

  2. Sally Says:

    I’m grateful for those who got you to do this blog.
    Lovely to start my day with this reminder to breathe and center.
    As impeccable timed as a snowball lobbed into a circle of soakers in
    termal waters.
    I look forward to the next entry.
    Love Sally

  3. Lauri Says:

    Breathing always seemed simple for me. I even remember feeling “insulted” once when someone told me when I was angry about something that I “just needed to breathe”….it was more due to her discomfort about my anger than it was about me I must say, but I remember that incident (even though it was many years ago) as if it was a way of being ignored.
    It wasn’t until I was in the deep dark throws of depression and grief that I learned first hand how I had repressed my breathing opting instead to be in my head! For years I could verbalize the importance of breathing and healing, but to practice it was another matter.
    I am still learning about breathing, my breathing, and the power it has to center and heal me.
    Thanks, Lorena for the reminder….

  4. Pat Crow Says:

    Yes, it’s the moments that take our breath away that catch our attention. I am grateful for the reminder. Taking in the beauty of my environment, friendships, loved ones and even my own breath are often stunning. You’ve done it again, Lorena. Thank you for responding to the call to write. Please keep doing this, as your written articulation is such a gift.

  5. Giorgia Milne Says:

    A lovely reminder and thank you for the soothing effect of giving word to the pain and suffering that is in us and around us as well as the beauty that abounds. That eloquent truth speaking helps me to relax internally, which helps me to breathe, which lands me in presence, which opens me to the mystery.

  6. Donna Says:

    What a powerful word (breathe) and message. I remember you had a t’shirt that said “breathe” across the front. I think I want one, too. Thanks for the reminder, Lorena. The blog is back! I’m glad I wasn’t the only one missing it.


  7. Ellen Gunter Says:

    Another great posting, Lorena. It’s easy to do the “bless it and let it go” variety of encountering life but it doesn’t take you very deeply into what might also be there besides–like deep lessons in learning to let go and sometimes just plain endure.
    Thanks for taking the time to unwind this. And for reminding us to breathe. The yoga folks have this one justifiably in their corner and we should all take note. Breathing isn’t just a shallow exercise. It’s when you go deep that the good stuff comes up–from stamina to insight with perhaps a little gratitude and insight thrown in for good measure.
    Looking forward to the next one…

  8. Donna Mc Says:

    Oh Lorena,

    You did it again. When I first meet you I said ” I feel like I am dangling from a star” and then I felt peacefully coming down after several sessions. I believe I came out of that “wabbit hole” and many times under and above. The 1st thing you taught me was to breath and then live in the moment and then to breathe, the 3rd was to throw a snowball, but re-frame. Glad you are here you make me chuckle. Older son getting married in July, Thank God for bartenders with ice……………

    Lots of Love,
    Donna Mc

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