by Sibylle Custer    One of Sunburst’s eight paths of conscious living is Recreation. This story is about recreation. When I was a teenager living in Germany, my family visited a farm in the north because my Mom knew the people there. They were friends of hers, and had invited us to visit them.

At the time, I went to a very rigorous school, requiring a lot of academic learning. I was doing homework and reading books all the time. Going to that farm was a totally different life experience for me because we were helping out there, and that meant hard, physical work, which I was not used to at all.

The work went all day long, and the hardest part was being out in the field in the hot, summer heat. Although the oat field was ready to be mowed, a tractor couldn’t be used because the ground was too boggy, too marshy. The whole field had to be cut by hand with a scythe.

The women were working behind the men who were cutting. We had to gather together all the cut oat stems, put them in a bunch and tie it up with some other oat straws. It was hard work, bending down all the time and picking up oat stalks. This was in a big field; it went on and on. The sun was burning down on us, but everybody was moving ahead. I tried to keep up.

When I went back to the house at night, I was so tired and hot. Wringing out my T-shirt, I could see drops of sweat dripping onto the ground; that’s how hot it was. And this was supposed to be a vacation!

Although I was dead tired, somehow I felt absolutely great, really elated. Having been out there and a part of the process of getting the grain harvested and ready to go into the barn for threshing, I felt very good about myself. I was feeling excellent just for being part of a crew working together like that. I thought “Well, this vacation turned out really great!” It was such a balance to what I was usually doing, and it gave me all these new life experiences.

Since that time on the farm in Germany, the borderline between what is work and what is recreation got a little blurred. At some point, I couldn’t tell anymore. “Is this work now, or is this vacation time?” I saw no difference.

Recreation, really good God-felt recreation, can give you the deeply satisfying feeling of being in unity with everything. Do an activity out in nature and be in unity. Feel all the parts of the experience, and be happy that you’re there.

Sunburst founder Norm Paulsen says that conscious recreation is discovering your true Self within, and I think that’s what I discovered out there in the oat field. My innermost Self was part of everything. No matter what my body felt, or how tiring it was, my inner Self was enjoying life there.

The best thing we can each do for ourselves is make time in our day—in our years—to discover this true Self in us, this spark of God within that resonates with everything around us.

Dear Spirit, when ewe find unity with you, then we’ll know that we have picked the right activity on this vast playground, the activity that gives us fulfillment. Please help each one of us to find this joy of unity with you.

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