Inspiration Evokes Stillness

Days slow down as physical challenges demand. I am so blessed to be in this place, water just steps from our door. The Great Blue Heron remains a constant companion. He is a master of stillness, a quality I have challenged myself to achieve this week.

I have brought out the paints again, as too much writing, I find, stirs me up inside. Painting requires a calming of the mind, invites a meditative focus. Much of what I produce is experimental, not worth sharing, but I do like how these two images turned out.

I read this week that even just looking at pictures of nature and birds helps to calm the system (my interpretation). Certainly this week’s entries have helped in my quest – so many beautiful images of stillness. Words, also, have proven to be a balm, as witnessed through the thoughtful and creative poems and writings. Thank you to all who have participated:

Sweet aroma

Cee’s Photography


Travel with Jack and Tech




Pictures without film

one letter UP


(Thanks for reblog)

Stuff and what if…


Wind Rush


Willow Poetry

Poetry for Healing

(Let me know if I’ve missed anyone, or a link is not working.)

See you tomorrow morning for a new challenge.

Surrendering to Breakthrough

Pain has claimed left side of body – shards of glass shredding upper arm, wrenching rib cage.

It’s been days now and I am worn down by its relentlessness, so I lie down; will my prone body to surrender to the bed, envision the hand of a more gracious force cradling, soothing.

I breathe, consciously pushing the air deep into cells, focus awareness away from the pain, feel exhaustion in the lower back, stiffness of ankles, rigidity in calves – the effort of day-to-day living has taken its toll.

I picture myself lying on an air mattress, floating on calm waters, the rays of the sun lifting the chill, penetrating deep – bones and muscles welcoming heat. Imagine my breath as a conduit, breaking up the crystallized blockages – the gentle flow a steady and persistent nudge – inviting harmony.

Tension, just under the left shoulder blade, interrupts; my jaw clenches. Continuing to breath, I bring my awareness there, see the image of an airplane propeller, can smell the fuselage – did I injure myself en route, I wonder, juggling luggage too heavy for me to carry?

I see the nose of the plane plummeting, heading for a crash landing. I’ve been feeling this way lately – the downward slope of symptoms escalating. A chill washes over me – fear dwells with certainty in my cells. Even in my mind, the sky has clouded over.

I begin again. Surrender myself to a higher power. Ask for release of this fear, for guidance out of this mire. Focus on a break in the clouds, inviting the return of the sun.

Chill persists, and I choose not to fight it, letting go of thought, my body finally releasing its hold, and I float into a zone of replenishing calm. I breathe deeper and drift.

I must have fallen asleep at some point, and when I wake, I have new clarity: I returned with extra baggage from my home visit. Concern for my mother, worry for daughters – responsibility weighing me down.

It’s a conscious battle, this search for inner peace. It involves awareness – willingness to name the patterns that set us back and the courage to release them. My mother’s journey is in God’s hands, and my children all adults with a right to forge their own paths. Time to be responsible for my own life.

This quotation, borrowed from Thriving Under Pressure’s post: “Catch Your Breath.  Take a Rest, speaks to this lesson:

“Self-care is giving the world the best of you,
not what’s left of you.”

– Dr. Andrea DiNardo

(I’ve challenged myself, and my readers, to focus on stillness this week. Won’t you join us?)

V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #32: Stillness

It is not in my nature to be still. If there is a current, I will push against it. When my body fails me, my mind is churning. Emotionally, I am in a constant state of restlessness. Stillness does not come naturally.

And yet, when I take time to calm the body, release the mind, and breath through emotions, I can enter into a deep and restorative state.

So why don’t I do it more often? What am I afraid of? And is it fear, or is there something there in the depths of my soul that I cannot allow myself to touch/ reveal? Is it a sense of unworthiness that holds me back?

When the world feels like it is crashing down on me, I recognize the invitation. It is time. This week, I challenge myself to practice stillness, through meditation, breathing, yoga – however I find myself there.

Won’t you join me?

To participate: Create a post, link back to this post or drop a link in the comments. Tag your post VJWC. Take time to enjoy the work of others.

Look forward to your responses.