Seeing Raisins: Being Present to What Is


Patience was never my forte. My fuse shortened even more after I had two daughters who were ten months apart. It seemed that there was never enough time and there was always something spilling, or someone was spitting up, screaming or both were running in different directions. What happened moment to moment was rarely in the schedule I had set up in my head. Stopping to wipe erp off the shoulder of my navy-blue pantsuit before going to work really slowed me down, not to mention made the glam factor impossible.

It’s true, though, that people can change. I had done a seminar that revealed to me in a profound way this fact of life: no matter how I think things should be, whatever is going on is what is going on. Though so simple, I had never really gotten the profundity of that before. Now it had migrated deep into my bones.

But I didn’t realize that until one day a few weeks after the seminar was over, I was at the kitchen table with my two toddlers. One spilled her milk. Normally I would have been in a lather. But today: “Oh, this is it,” I remembered. “There is milk on the floor.” What there was to do was wipe it up. No drama, no stress.

Shortly after that, one of the girls spilled a whole box of raisins on the hall stairway. My first reaction was “Yikes! I don’t have time for this!” and go into overdrive.  But then I looked at the raisins strewn all over the steps, in corners, under the baseboard and stuck in the carpet pile.  For the first time in my life, I really saw raisins. I got down on my hands and knees to collect them, one by one. Still breathing, I was aware of how the sun came through the window on the landing and illuminated each raisin as I placed it in a baggie. I noticed the sweet smell and the sticky feel. By the time I got to the last raisin on the last step, I was filled with delight.

I have never forgotten my exquisite raisin experience. I think of it often when I need to slow down and tend to what is right here in front of me.

Take out your journal, pen and markers:

Tell about a time you slowed down and saw something in a new way.

What is an ordinary moment that became extraordinary?

In what way have these experiences changed you?

How have you applied them to your daily life?


Lynn Baskfield guides you through rites of passage* with storytelling, writing, creative expression, ritual, retreats, nature and very centrally, the wisdom of horses. Lynn holds an M.A in Human Development and is a certified life coach, transformational educator and the author of two books. As owner of SpiritDance Coaching, she has been coaching, training, and conducting retreats for individuals and groups since 1997. She has also trained and mentored equine guided professionals around the world since 2003.

* Adult Rites of Passage: Stepping into Your Big Dream, Career Change, Empty Nest, Moving, Conscious Aging, Facing Chronic or Life-Threatening Illness, Loss and Grief

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