Hurry Up And Be Still
Often I find myself rushing to finish tasks, or honor prearranged commitments, in order to enjoy the stillness that meditation brings. Trust, me that strategy does not work. Ever. Yet the old family tape that dictates Work before Play drives me. Another way I get in my own way and forfeit meditation practice is by obeying the family rule called Duty. Duty is in control when I voluntarily give away lots of my time and energy and crowd my life with the voices and demands of many and neglect my own needs for quiet and inner connection.
In silence, there is nothing to do, nobody to take care of or to please. There is no agenda, goal, or expectation. No need to change or make anything different except what it is. Silence has no boundaries so I have nothing to protect or defend myself against. The only purpose of silence is to experience and deepen my experience of inner silence.
I intentionally leave all expectations at the door as I commit to stilling myself with silence. I also unburden myself of the multiple lists of things accomplished or things to do. Absent, too is the need to over give by proving that I am enough. Gradually, I unplug myself from all that makes up my familiar world and prepare myself to befriend the unspoken, the yet to be known to me.
Sometimes I distract myself momentarily from the emptiness that silence holds by tracking my inner experiences, cautioning myself to remember fleeting images, or key words, or prominent sensations. After a few moments, I catch on to my tendency to control, and surrender once again to the unknown as well as the unremembered.
I feel deeply nurtured by the spacious quietness that surrounds me. My breathing slows down. I sigh. My body twitches in response. Sometimes I smile as a childhood memory of being punished by solitary confinement surfaces. How I hated being sentenced to quietness.
Now as a seasoned adult, I feel a profound sense of relief every particle of my being when I intentionally embrace silence. I feel the depths of silence as well as its lightness. A few times, I have experienced the whimsicalness inherent in silence. Always, I sense a lightness of being, a deep inner satisfaction and gratefulness for saying Yes” to the “Stop, Look, and Listen,” signal within my soul.
Silence is my spiritual food. Renewal awaits me within the silence. Without spiritual nourishment I neglect my inner life and its movement. Each time I intentionally create the time and the space to go within, I enjoy this time of holy leisure and remind myself to make another appointment with silence. Soon.
Excerpted from awaken by Rosalie Deer Heart