Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Growth Through Stillness

I had to take a break.

A bit of a time out.

It started last Friday night when my husband and son went on a boyscout camping trip while my middle daughter went to a birthday party and my youngest went to sleep.

I decided that I didn't have anything more to give.  So, I checked out.  I can't remember the last time that I didn't do a long run on a weekend or gather a load of laundry to be washed or find my way to our church for mass or really make my way to the shower.

I just stopped and decided to try-on being quiet for a while.

I treated myself to what 81-year old actress Ellen Burstyn (Alice Doesn't Live Here) calls "shouldless days." Moments that are owned by no one except for you.

It was delicious and scary and exciting and foreign to be alone.

In that time, I found a quote by Pema Chodron that hit home and helped me to remember that more often than I think, I must slow down, ground myself, and be reminded of what is most important.

So even if the hot loneliness is there, and for 1.6 seconds, we sit with that restlessness when yesterday, we couldn't sit for even one, that's the journey of the warrior.

Not that I fancy myself a warrior in the slightest, but I do believe that life is a journey that sometimes, must be endured.

What I do know that I am a master at is giving every reason under the sun as to why I shouldn't be quiet.

Quiet is a luxury...a place for people who do not have children or who's kids are grown and out of the nest.

There's really too much to do.

It's irresponsible to spend time by myself not doing something that will aid my family.

It's boring.

If I'm quiet, I'll fall asleep.

But sometimes, the body, the mind, and the heart just give out. And you have no choice.

You're forced to sit in the silence.

And, it's a good thing.

And after you fight it with everything you have, you realize that you're not solving the problems of the world, but your nervous system is calming down.  The world around you feels less chaotic.  You are safe.  You are enough.  You are loved.  And all will be well.  Really, all is well.

You emerge knowing in your soul that true growth emanates from stillness.

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