How many times have you moved in your life? How many times a day do you move your physical body from place to place and pace to pace, how many shifts in your mental and emotional states? Movement is a constant, a guarantee, everything is in flux all of the time. So, if we choose to go against the grain and stop moving, is there total absence of movement? Or, is there space to shift, even in stillness?
As I was driving to take the first load of my recent move, I reflected on the number of times I have moved in my life, and the number of times I have used my truck, Randall. 13 years, 11 moves, 1 truck. Upon arrival in the new abode, there was the familiar sense of unsettled energy - a desire to put it all away, get it all together, and then, the realization that you just have to chill out, and take your time. The feeling of fatigue from hours of vigorous movement and holding, how the body is shaking and vibrating, makes the idea of settling down seem oh so desirable. Typically, the only time we allow ourselves to settle down is after we've worked ourselves to a point of shaky fatigue - physically or emotionally. Why is moderation is so difficult to sustain? How might we fuel our passions with the wisdom of patience? (Maya Angelou) Since writing about cultivating space, now I sit in space wondering if I can actually settle down and find stillness, while also serving my natural impulse to keep moving.
This impulsive pattern to move feels so embedded in my bones that, even when I choose stillness and space it only lasts a short time. So, I choose to settle, again. Then comes the arising of the familiar shakiness, resistance to stillness, fear of the unknown territory inside, creating a triggering of the fight/flight/freeze response. So, I move again, shake, settle. The practice of settling into stillness is hard work: it is an invitation to move in a new way, and ultimately, requires acknowledging my innate value without having to produce a list of accomplishments.
Movement, in its myriad forms, is a huge part of my life and always will be. However, today I invite an intention to encourage more stillness - want to try it with me? Then next time you have the impulsive urge to move, choose a different response. Sit still for 3 minutes (set a timer), feel your breath and your body, feel what it is to be in this moment, right NOW. Maybe you don't feel anything right now - that's something too - just keep listening. For years I have felt this loud and persistent call for stillness and settling. I am now choosing to listen, to be in silence and stillness, which is scary because it is a big unknown. But, I am choosing to listen, so that I can see clearly the doors that are open for me in this life. I once heard it said, without silence there would be no music. I choose silence so that I can create a life that does not yet exist. One that I can only imagine and create from a blank slate and open calendar.
As we transition into fall, let's all find time for settling down. Because, even in stillness, there is a lot of room for a shift or a new creation.