Several years ago, I was staying in a little cabin in the mountains, taking some time for a much-needed retreat. One morning I woke up and began the day in a rather upset and annoyed frame of mind. I went outside to brush my teeth, and when I came back, I hit my head on a heavy bell that for some reason was hung from the eaves of the cabin. Not too long after, when I went out to get some firewood, I hit my head on the same bell again. Now I was getting really annoyed. Why was that bell there anyway? My head was starting to really hurt, and I was mad. I tried to be more aware of it and I made it in and out several times before I hit my head on the bell a third time. Bong! I finally got the message. It was a bell of mindfulness. It was time for me to stop, sit down, breathe, and return to myself—face my anger and frustration directly and quit blaming others or taking it out on myself. I took the time I needed to look at what it was I was so upset about.
Santa Fe, New Mexico