When I was a girl in Minnesota, I used to love reading while lying on the dock at my parent’s lake cabin, gently rocked by waves pushing against the dock’s metal supports. I’d often put my book aside and look down through gaps between the planks to where clear, shallow water revealed a hidden world. I’d see minnows zip along the bottom–long slender ones, along with baby sunfish and tiny black bullheads with sharp spines that could sting if I dangled my hand down and tried to grab one. Those moments felt timeless, still and inviting, and sometimes it was only my wariness about getting a sunburn that forced me back indoors.
I was reminded of this a few days ago when I felt like I was in suspended animation. When I sat with the feeling, it became a deeper dive into Stillness. Into silence. Into a cohesive solitude that is the perfect communion with the All. It was the Stillness of me staring at a single blade of grass for hours, needing nothing more, wanting nothing more. The Stillness where I believe our deeper desires live.
In my last blog post, I talked about the relationship between Stillness and Flow and that I see them as different qualities or expressions of the same thing, the way light is both particle and wave. So often I hear and read about staying in Flow. As a writer, I’ve hungered for moments of Flow when all the words come together in unexpected ways that are far more powerful than what I have planned. I’ve written about Flow and have tried to step back and allow Flow to guide my days, but now, I’m understanding that the deeper experience is about staying in Stillness.
I’m feeling called to reside in Stillness–permanently. This is where body and soul energies are perfectly synchronized in each Now moment. Where I am aligned with the natural world so fully that I naturally take the time to smile at the sun or chuckle at the yips of my dog as he sleeps. The Stillness where I feel greater appreciation, remain centered, allow my mind to be calm, clear and welcoming to new ideas, even when they come faster than I can write them down.
Yesterday I went into meditation and asked to see Stillness. Very soon, I saw a frog pond teaming with life. Leopard frogs kicking through the water or resting on a lily pad. Turtles sunning on half-submerged logs. Water bugs skittering across the surface and curious fish nibbling up from below. Even with all this activity, the feeling of the place was still, peaceful, calm–and even wind through the vegetation and across the water felt natural, initiating change and movement without being disruptive, as if the pond itself knew that Stillness is a variable quality, a range of experiences.
As I watched the frog pond, understanding more and more, I saw brightly colored lines of energy stream upward from everything in the scene. Every element had its own line, its own color and tone, and when any movement happened, those different lines of energy resonated like harp strings. Together, they created a tone that was completely harmonious to my ears. In the same way the pond scene was harmonious to my eyes.
Left alone, the natural world tends to find its own equilibrium, with ever-changing points of harmony and balance. So can our lives, if we embrace the complexities of who we are and the complexities of the lives we’ve chosen to live. What if we view those complexities through the lens and the inner stance of Stillness? They look entirely different. From the center of Stillness, we can tend more fully to our own equilibrium. We can look at ourselves, listen to our lives, listen for the discordant tones that might not resonate with our Stillness. How can these discordant frequencies be tuned, refined, or even released? Maybe we’ll discover that some frequencies that we thought were discordant actually fit harmoniously within the whole. There’s so much to discover!
We also might find that we’re carrying frequencies for someone else that are inherently discordant with our Stillness because they do not belong to us. It’s easy to draw those pieces in, especially if we’re empathic or service-oriented. (I catch myself doing this frequently.) But if we are full and complete in our Stillness, if our frog pond is in equilibrium, we can model our Stillness to others in a way that is energetically real and of even greater service to them. Then it’s up to the people in our lives, owning their own power and authority, to do whatever they wish with that.
Within our stance of Stillness, we can ask ourselves, what does Stillness desire? What is it asking for? What is it asking of me? Yesterday, Stillness asked me to find more moments of absolute silence, breaks in conversations and movement, that allowed me to notice, reinforce and practice the experience of Stillness. With dogs running around my house, I rarely think of my days as silent, but I discovered far more of those exquisite moments than I expected.
It was exciting to experience my day as something more than a list of actions dictated by my to-do list or even a day of Flow where I was “doing” all day long. Instead, it felt like Stillness was simply unfolding across the hours, which felt completely different. I didn’t feel any pressure, any demands, I simply held my stance of Stillness, then followed where my energy naturally wanted to go. And even my inner perfectionist had to agree that while holding that quiet, still stance, I got a lot of important work done.
My opportunity now is to move forward as Stillness-in-Motion, as Stillness-Unfolding, holding this stance of Stillness as I finish and post this message, when I dive back into novel revisions, when I walk the dogs through fresh snow, while I relax at the end the day in gratitude for all it has shown me.
I think I’m up to the challenge. And I’m sure you are too, if you’d like to join me in your own perfect way.
Wishing you Radiant Stillness today and every day!
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I’ve been focusing on productivity lately, and I’m interested to see how I can incorporate Stillness as an approach to my days while still remaining productive. Or possibly it will make me even more productive!
I’m definitely more productive. More centered, a calmer mind, less prone to getting distracted, etc. Because I love what I do, it’s often been adrenaline and enthusiasm fueling my productivity, which can get wearing on the body. So far, the stance of Stillness only makes my body feel yummy, cared for and listened-to. This is all such a worthy experiment–have fun with it!
These are my favorite lines: “I’m feeling called to reside in Stillness–permanently. This is where body and soul energies are perfectly synchronized in each Now moment. Where I am aligned with the natural world so fully that I naturally take the time to smile at the sun or chuckle at the yips of my dog as he sleeps. The Stillness where I feel greater appreciation, remain centered, allow my mind to be calm, clear and welcoming to new ideas,” I found these lines to be so deeply true and relaxing. What a beautiful post. I settled in on the dock of your childhood and read this post slowly to take in whatever it is that Stillness might be revealing to me.
Wonderful, Cheryl! I’m so glad this spoke to you. I’m sure Stillness has much to share with you.