by Ashton Gustafson
It was one of those days where I had simply just had enough. My inbox was overflowing with other people’s agendas, my voicemail was full, the list of to-dos grew every time I looked at it, and the smallest inconveniences were creating an unrecoverable derailment of my peace and purpose for this day.
I’m sure this sounds dramatic, but we have all been there haven’t we? We take on more and more, we overcommit, we say a half-hearted ‘yes’ to avoid a full-hearted ‘no’, and then something small and insignificant causes a boil that our cup’s brim cannot contain. This “happens gradually, then suddenly” as Hemingway said.
I drove home, pulled into the garage, and then closed the garage door closed behind my taillights. That was the first shield I had felt from the war zone of the day and I paused in my car for about a minute and still could not shake the overwhelming emotions that brewed from an assault of email grenades and Mr. Fix It voicemails.
Before I walked into our home to greet my wife and daughters I knew that I had to go sit, be still, and center myself before I was going to be in the right mind to be with them for the evening. “Hey Brynn, I’m going to take the girls into the back room to do some centering prayer.” “You’re going to do what?”, she said. “We’ll be back”, I said.
The girls ran up to me with their homecoming hug routine and immediately I gave them the marching orders. “Girls follow me! We need to center.” “Ok Daddy!” My orders were fulfilled like it was something we had done a number of times before. But we hadn’t ever done this and I honestly didn’t know what I was about to do.
I closed the door and we sat in a circle with our legs crossed. Sterling’s right hand was in my left hand, Story’s left hand was in my right hand, and they completed our circle with their available fingers that together weren’t even eight years old.
I asked them to close their eyes. They giggled. And then I began. “Ok, hold my hands….”
There it was. In the stillness we made room for a moment to interact with the Divine and every bit of angst, resentment, and frustration that I brought into the house with me melted away. I was centered, we were centered, my little cognitive universe was centered, my heart found its rhythm again, and all was well with my soul and the little souls I was holding hands with.
In that moment, joy entered the room as wide as the sky and an ocean of love poured back into my being. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel that same energy move through the little hands of my three and five year old daughters. I left that room ready to BE with the ones I love and was gently reminded of someone once telling us that we have to become like the little ones to get it.
Ashton Gustafson is a highly sought after public speaker, nationally recognized Realtor, artist, musician, poet, amateur cosmologist, and currently in pursuit of more things to become. He writes about the art of living, finding beauty in the hidden places, and making music with your life, relationships, and business. In addition to his writing and speaking, Ashton is currently a partner at Bishop Realtor Group, Meadowlake Management, and Muse Capital in Wichita Falls, TX as well as A.G. Real Estate & Associates in Waco, TX.