just stop.

Put both feet on the ground, take a deep breath in. 
Release tension in your face, forehead, and jaw. Let that breath out.
Stand a little taller. Breathe in.
Now smile, and exhale.

I spent Memorial Day weekend in Tennessee, hiking, splashing in waterfalls, kayaking, and listening.
Deeply listening. Deeply feeling.

It was the first time in months that I. Just. Stopped. 

The quieter I got, the more I tuned into the life around me. The waterfalls crashing. The gravel crunching. The birds mating. The fish plucking food from the water's surface. 

While hiking Burgess Falls, I looked down and saw I had been walking on empty shells. THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS of empty shells. I squatted, and looked at my husband. "All of these used to hold life."

Life above us, life below us, life within us.

I don't know if there's a word for the feeling when you realize just how small you are in this much bigger picture, then simultaneously understand that you are PART of that picture. 

You are co-existing. Co-living. 

You exhale. Nature inhales.
Nature exhales. You inhale.

We are involved in a much bigger cycle. Pause for a moment and simply listen.
What do you hear?

Om Shanti,