Slip Into Stillness
Have you ever tried to run away from the silence of a Sunday afternoon?
For years of my life, I certainly tried. It was that one slot in the week when I had no pressing deadlines, no charity work, nothing churchy going on; no classes, choral groups, dates or parties–nothing to distract me from the very challenging business of just being me–by myself.
The prospect of Sunday afternoons often depressed me, because that was the sole time during a frenzied week that I would slow down enough actually to FEEL what was going on inside–my endless impatience to ‘be there’ (wherever there was–most certainly it was somewhere I was not in either my career or personal life)–and my sadness over not having achieved that elusive state yet.
Simply put, the only way out is through. Eventually, I discovered that chasing my tail in the social whirl would never satisfy a yearning for a deeper fix than the elusive externals could offer.
I learned that the solution was in the stillness. And I came to love and crave those quiet times alone.
After the holidays, the frenzy is blanketed down to a dim echo and we once again have time to allow ourselves to feel, and to think.
Although many view this time of winter as an intolerable wasteland -a void–in fact, the void may be one of the most fertile times to come back to ourselves and reconnect with our true essence. It’s a sacred time of deep contemplation, helpful in rediscovering who we really are– spiritual beings having a physical experience, not the opposite. How quickly we forget!
Just Let It Happen
Nature’s cycles require a void so that planted bulbs in the darkness below ground can gather velocity to shout out their blossoms in spring.
In a similar manner we can take advantage of the hibernation time by treating ourselves gently (perhaps far more gently than during the holidays when ‘people pleasing’ behaviors may billow out to monstrous proportions and swallow us, along with all those extra holiday calories we’re swallowing).
It’s time to turn off the TV and take a walk or bike ride in the wintry mist or the brisk, bright air. Get the energy moving with a yoga or tai chi class, or just get up and dance and rattle the stuck mojo out of your body. Shake those winter willies a-loose! Get a massage and allow yourself to drift into the deep space of total release. Or better yet, make love.
Then when you come to the garden alone, back to your place of stillness, perhaps relaxing in a soothing tub accented with essential oils, perhaps on a meditation pillow or a yoga mat, you have served your physical aspect its happy helping and it is ready to cooperate rather than itching to drive you crazy with its bodily demands.
Now it’s much easier to slip into contemplation of the intentions you choose for the new year. In your calm, relaxed state, begin to envision the way you want 2017 to unfold.
As you imagine the particular scenes unfolding before your eyes–perhaps an image of you receiving a certain honor, or possibly a happy family occasion ahead–do your best to incorporate all your senses into the picture. Imagine what you will see, hear, taste, and touch. What will the odors or fragrances smell like? How will you feel inside?
The ability to discern your intentions rarely comes when you’re distracted by the outside world. And the ability to make your vision vivid with your five senses has been taught throughout the ages as the way to make your dreams come true. Good or bad: As you think, so you shall be.
Enjoy the stillness and see what blossoms for you.