Playing With Stillness

Photo credit: Matthew Henry

Instinctively, I knew I needed stillness. Just to survive. And I needed a lot of it. But I had become so good at creating stillness in the wake of the chaos and the turmoil of the outside world that it took me a long time to realise that I was only just surviving …

… and surviving in a very different kind of stillness than that which I had played with as a child.

So often it is such a seriously mad challenge to create stillness in today’s world that no matter what kind of stillness you manage to create, when you do eventually create it, it is a shaded and welcome respite. But as adept as I had become at creating stillness, it dawned on me that I was really just using that constructed cocoon to keep people out. And to lock myself in. To blanket myself in secluded numbness, not thinking, not feeling, not being.

I had made my stillness my prison. Not a place of growth or rest or nurturing, but an oppressive place of blind inertia. I was hiding from the world. And hiding from myself.

But repeated messages were coming to me, over and over and over again, from too many sources to ignore, to go within and to find myself there. There in the beautiful stillness. Not to hide or bury or shy away.

Not to furl in and fall … but rather to unfurl and fly.

To turn my gaze inward with a playful curiosity.

To listen to the beats and the rhythms of my own self.

To blossom in my own truth.

To fully envelope myself in the moment, awakening to the astounding beauty of everything around me and everything within me … the sky, the clouds, the birds, the trees. The falling leaves, the opening blooms.

My own heartbeat.

To become, finally, friends with me.

And that is the stillness I playfully return to now. A place of loving embrace. A place of creation, of simultaneously knowing and not knowing.

A place of deep aliveness.

I don’t always hit the right notes, and sometimes not for very long, but the moments when I am there, it is everything.

And that everything is beautiful.

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