In a regular busy life, stillness doesn’t seem to be a concept I can easily jump on board with.
Back in late 2016 I had the pleasure of winning tickets to the Women Living Big event in Toronto. It was a fantastic day, great speakers, awesome content, wonderful workshops and I got to spend some time with a new friend, Laurie Goodman of Life Messages who had a vendor table for the event. I actually ended up hanging with her at the vendor table as she got quite busy chatting with various people and taking their pictures so I assisted with handing out markers and hanging up the Life Messages signs that everyone was creating so Laurie could continue to chat.
Since I was outside at the vendor’s tables I got to take advantage of some of the quieter moments and picked up a special deck of cards called “Seeds of Intention Cards”. They’ve come in quite handy in the weeks that followed as they’ve served the purpose of grounding me on days when my stress levels were a little higher than optimal.
Normally as a stress reliever I go hiking.
Living in Milton I have access to some beautiful conservation spaces and trails and whatever may be bothering me I can work it out between nature and pounding the trail. But once December hit, I got hit with a crazy flu bug that lasted the entire month, and between that and the busyness of launching The Princess and The Whale, I haven’t seen a trail in quite some time.
There is one trail that I use often and a certain tree specifically, that I will stop by and lay out any problems to. By the time I make it to the end of the 7 or 8 km’s, whatever was on my mind is released into the air and it’s off my chest. I’m missing that trail. I’m going to have to dig out snow pants and go for a winter hike.
But in the meantime, I have been using these Seeds of Intention Cards instead. I’ve made a bit of a ritual in the morning to pull a card at random and I put it in a little frame to ponder and reflect on through the day.
Today’s card was this. For today I embrace stillness.
Well ok I said to myself. I can do that. Especially since I seem to be doing nothing but sitting in front of my computer at my desk.
That’s stillness, right?
Or is it?
I have a job like normal people. There’s another book (yes there is!) in development. I have this blog. My house is going up for sale in a week. Rooms that need editing and tidying. I have a very old dog in decline where I find myself wondering will I know when the end will be? There are two teenage girls in my world. Groceries. Meals to plan. Cook. Bills to pay. Marketing for the book. Sales to pursue. People to meet. Yada yada yada….
All of this whirling around in my head at any given moment. How still is this exactly?
I’m pretty sure that if Ontario Hydro were to hook up something to my brain I could generate some serious energy for them.
I literally had to make a definitive decision to stand up and walk away from my desk so I could stop the proverbial hamster from running round in my head.
Clearly stillness is not so easy to embrace. Even as I pulled away from my desk, I swear I could hear it calling my name.
I might need to leave this card in the frame for a few more days!
Why is it so hard though to put everything aside and allow my brain to quiet? I’m pretty sure my brain doesn’t even stop much when I go to bed at night as evidenced by some of the crazy dreams I have had.
I write stuff down all the time with the effort to get it out of my head and onto paper – or screen as it were.
I am living more and more by my calendar. Which I can’t decide whether I like or not – it’s one thing for me to carry my smartphone so I can keep in contact, but now that it’s telling me more and more what to do, I’m finding it a little disconcerting! And I’m more willing to put it down and turn off the sound.
As I move into the new life of author it’s more about taking baby steps. Maybe it’s not so much about embracing the stillness today. But it’s more about embracing the idea of stillness. To look for the moments when I can stand up and walk away. Move to a different room, sit in a different chair and read a book with someone else ideas and storyline energizing a page. To take a moment and move into it. Appreciate it. Close my eyes and breathe into that space. Even if it’s just 30 seconds worth of stillness that has to be a good thing.
Maybe I really do just need to dress warmly and go for a hike. I know the stillness is out there by my tree. Hope Spook is ready!
Did you miss the last blog? Read it here!
Have you seen how “The Princess and The Whale” came to be published? It’s a pretty cool story in itself! Watch it from here!
Don’t have your own copy of “The Princess and The Whale” yet? Check it out here!