distraction

Wise Words: Quiet

quiet    [kwahy-it]
1. making no noise or sound, especially no disturbing sound
2. free, or comparatively free, from noise
3. silent
4. free from disturbance or tumult; tranquil; peaceful
5. being at rest
6. refraining or free from activity, especially busy or vigorous activity

Small word, big impact.


“Remember, all the answers you need are inside of you;
you only have to become quiet enough to hear them.”
~ Debbie Ford

Recently, I was with the little boy for whom I sometimes nanny. He’s 1. Late in the morning, he was giving all the usual signals that he was ready for a nap. We went upstairs to read a book and begin to quiet down from our morning of giggling and play. His readiness signals continued but he was also doing lots of things to resist:  squirming, muttering, flopping onto his belly for a quick second of stillness, then sitting up again, staring into space then re-engaging the book.

I stayed quiet and calm, letting him lead the way. I rubbed his back when he was still, waiting for his need to rest to overtake the momentum of activity. Eventually he flopped up against me. We took some deep breaths together (yes, I taught a one year old to do deep, conscious breathing…it is a thing of beauty to behold) and within a minute or two came that sweet moment of surrender. He allowed himself to settle into quiet and stillness and then sleep.

Know the feeling?

We live in a world with intense energies, constant noise and the seduction of distraction every which way we turn. It takes great awareness and discipline to stop resisting the need for rest, quiet and stillness, like my little friend, and surrender into connecting with self.

It’s so simple. But for many it’s not necessarily easy. Deep conscious breaths are the quickest way to achieve this connection. Allowing the space and time for stillness and quiet. Turning inward. Allowing insight. Coming back to center when things feel topsy turvy. Letting your mind, body and spirit catch up to shifts and changes.

The cultural norm, at least in the U.S., is to work…go…do. A strong work ethic is highly valued and rarely questioned. For many, needing or wanting rest still equates to weakness or laziness. Sometimes it’s not even a conscious thought, but lives as judgment in the unconscious. It is wielded both inwardly at oneself and externally at others.

Seems to me it’s time for a new norm. There is so much power in silence, so much potential in the space of stillness. Just 10 minutes out of your day. Nothing to DO. Just BEing. Breathing. Feeling and sensing. Allowing your energies to flow. Allowing the focus to be inward. Not chasing down thoughts. Not resisting. Not pushing. Just awareness and noticing.

I wonder what’s possible…I wonder what will show up…I wonder what wants to be released…I wonder what’s there to be received. Don’t you?

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Just as I finished writing this post, I came across something on Facebook that resonated and seemed relevant to this post. I felt it deeply upon reading it, as did a few of my friends. Some of us were even moved to tears. It reminded me of a significant and transitional time in my life. After closing my shop and dealing with all the physical and logistical aspects that were required of me, I experienced months of hearing a loud and compelling voice from deep within, imploring and insisting that I rest. Apparently, for that period of time, my “work” was to rest. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. For what is honored and valued in my family is work…and doing…and I was being asked by the grander part of me to rest…and be. I KNEW that I had to cultivate both the discipline and the courage to honor what was true and pure at my very core…and trust that it must be the right thing for me. It has paid off in spades…led to places I could not have imagined…worth every bit of challenge it required me to face!

The person who posted this credited it to Jeff Foster. Does this resonate with you?

SACRED EXHAUSTION
Your tiredness has dignity to it!
Do not rush to pathologise it, or push it away, for it may contain great intelligence, even medicine.
You have been on a long journey from the stars, friend.
Bow before your tiredness now; do not fight it any longer.
There is no shame in admitting that you cannot go on.
Even the courageous need to rest.
For a great journey lies ahead.
And you will need all of your resources.
Come, sit by the fire of Presence.
Let the body unwind; drop into the silence here.
Forget about tomorrow, let go of the journey to come, and sink into this evening’s warmth.
Every great adventure is fuelled by rest at its heart.
Your tiredness is noble, friend, and contains healing power… if you would only listen.

 

Lavendar Sunset_Tom Seliskar
Photo Credit – Header:  Samantha Martinez
Photo Credit – Footer:  Tom Seliskar

 

 

 

 

 

Wise Words: YOU

These days the world is a noisy place. It’s chaotic, distracting, tiring and even, at times, a little frightening. That’s not yours. None of that is you.

It’s important, even if it sounds a little (or a lot) cliche, to take time to be with you. To get back to you. To feel centered in you. I would even say that in today’s environment, it’s no longer a luxury, but a requirement. Don’t dismiss the idea because every woman’s magazine, talk show and blog has suggested it. Take it to heart. See the simple wisdom in this simple act.

The weekend is here. What will you do for you? I hear your excuses already. Family demands. Obligations you’re committed to. But now is the time to begin making you a priority. So what’s it going to be. It’s simple. Make a choice and begin. It can be as simple as this:

Take a bath. Just 30 minutes. Lock the door. Light a candle. And have a long, hot soak. Take some deep breaths. Tell your mind to shut up. Let it all wash away. Water is such a good support for you. Literally. It cleanses on many levels. It relaxes. It reminds you to be in the flow. Add some sea salt and you’re helping your body to remove unwanted toxins.

Take a walk. A stroll. This isn’t a workout, it’s about well being. The weather is changing. Nature is in it’s full glory. What a great time to get out and enjoy the the natural world. Notice what you smell, see, feel. Breathe deeply. With each step, let it all fall away. Just be with you. Right here, right now.

Sit in silence. Find your favorite spot to cozy up and relax. Take a few deep breaths. Sip some tea. Be still. Listen to what comes. Be at ease. Make sure it’s quiet and that you won’t be disturbed. Just allow yourself to relax into you.

I once gave this as an assignment in one of my workshops. When the group met again the following week, I had them share how the experience had been for them. Many found it challenging to shift their patterns of putting others ahead of themselves, but most found a way to do the assignment. One woman shared that the only way she could get any alone time from her busy family life was to lock herself in the laundry room. She found that her family avoided the area, it was warm and fairly quiet and she liked the fresh, comforting scents of the detergents. No excuses from her. I applaud her ingenuity and commitment to self!  You are where you are and you have to start there. Wishing otherwise is futile and a waste of your time and energy.

Further thoughts on the subject…

This isn’t about distraction, it’s about connection.
This isn’t about being with others, it’s about being alone with you, in your own energies.
This isn’t about being active, it’s about stillness, mental stillness.
This isn’t about thinking, it’s about sensing and feeling.
This isn’t about being external, it’s about being internal, turning inward, focusing on you.

What will you do to connect with you? How can you feel self nurtured this weekend?

Here’s to you being with you! Here’s to you putting you first for a bit…or a lot! Because self betrayal is the worst kind of betrayal.

Happy weekend everyone!

 

Photo found on Pinterest