I react pretty noticeably when my mom sneezes. First of all, its no quiet matter. It is a loud and intrusive sound that occasionally reverberates off the walls of our home. So when she sneezes, I run to her (regardless of where I am in the house) and sniff around her face a bit. I want to know what’s going on…I want to make sure she’s okay.
I heard once that when people sneeze, their spirit temporarily leaves their body. That is apparently why person two emphatically says “bless you” to person one; to ensure person one’s spirit returns safely to his or her body.
Initially, my reaction to this concept was incredibly negative. I hated the thought of a person losing their spirit for even a second. But the more I thought about it, I realized there could be something gained from that out-of-body perspective.
Like myself, transcendentalist poet e. e. cummings placed a high value on the kind of self awareness one can gain from perspective.
“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit,” he wrote. Human and doggie alike, I believe something can be learned from everything. So perhaps life affords us with sneezes to force us to take a moment to reflect.
Sarah Ban Breathnach speaks of reclaiming our future in such moments of reflection in Simple Abundance.
“Today, deliberately turn away from the world,” Breathnach writes. “Absorb the shock of becoming aware that many of your preferences and opinions are not really your own. Begin, instead, to listen for the whisper of your authentic self telling you which way to go.”
Granted, a sneeze is hardly a whisper, but the concept of understanding our own authentic spirit better by turning away from distraction might take more than a whisper. Heck, for some people I know, it takes a full out, reverberating sneeze to pull away from the television, cell phone, computer, or whatever other bright shiny object grabs our attention next.
“Only when the clamor of the outside world is silenced will you be able to hear the deeper vibration,” Breathnach writes. “Listen carefully. Spirit’s playing your song.”
What do you hear?
Today’s post is dedicated to my dad. He has requested his picture not be used in the production of this blog, but that doesn’t mean I can’t say how very many pictures there would be to chose from. They all have a special place in my heart. Happy Birthday dad!
Wiley you cutie! Please do wish your dad from my side 🙂 My dad and every male in his family sneeze 7 times, every single time they sneeze. Can you believe that! Also, I thought people say “bless you” when someone sneezes because they were under the false impression that a person’s heart stops for a millisecond when they sneeze 🙂
Thank you so much! I will pass your sentiment along to my dad. 🙂 My great-grandma does the same thing with the sneezing multiple times so I definitely can believe that. 🙂 Heart stopping is definitely as scary as the spirit temporarily leaving the body! Yet another reminder of how precious life is. 🙂
I just love that dog – almost as intelligent as my cats, and much more lovable.
Wow, thank you! Say hi to your cats for me. 🙂
You seem extraordinarily wise Wiley. 🙂 And very considerate.
Aw, thank you so much!
Wiley you are adorable…tell Daddy Happy Birthday! Did you learn a new trick for his gift? Just wondering!
Aw, thank you! My goodness, that trick idea is brilliant! I didn’t this time, but I will definitely do that next time! 🙂
I had never heard of this idea of the spirit leaving the body during a sneeze! Fascinating!! Good to see another wonderful post! I also pass on my wishes to your dad! 🙂
I know – its craziness to think about, isn’t it? My dad asked me to thank you for the birthday wishes. 🙂
[…] What is it about little white fluffy pieces of paper that I am so drawn to? I know I’m not supposed to tear them apart, and yet I can’t help myself. Maybe it’s because I’ve been a little sad lately. My mom is sick with a terrible cough and sneezes. And you know how I react to her sneezes. […]
[…] I’ve heard you say more than once that you will never admit to loving “a dog,” but your actions speak otherwise. I know you love me without you ever having to say so, which (in my opinion) is […]
Reblogged this on Wiley's Wisdom and commented:
Some things never change. I did this every single time mom sneezed while pregnant. Which was…well, a lot. 😉