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:
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.
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?
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