A few months ago, I was in Boston for an event. The boys were home with Jon. It was just me. I arrived to my hotel and checkin in. I had nothing to do that particular night, as our event was the next day. As I laid on the hotel bed, speaking to my husband on the phone he said, “why don't you take a bath?” My reply, “And do what?” My husband, “You know, chill… relax… in the water.” I sat there trying to compute his words. ‘Take a bath? And then what?’ My reply, “I can’t.”
Being still is hard. Period. It always has been. I’ve never been one to sit in a freshly drawn bath. I wish that I could. The lingering question has always been, “What does one do, once in the bath?” Do you sit and think of all the things that you wished you would have done during the day? Do you plan for tomorrow? Do you take stock of the many items on the never ending to do list? Or do you just simply sit… in the water… and be? How does one just sit?
`Lately, I have wondering what would happen if I finally embraced the stillness? Perhaps my thoughts would be less rapid. Perhaps my mornings would be more intentional. The older I become the more that I realize that when one gives themselves the gift of stillness, a door is opened. I find that the moments that I am still, I open the door to kindness for self and others. Rushing here and there, never pausing and seldomly reflecting has the ability to birth unnecessary and negative pressure. For what are we racing? Where are we racing too? And why so fast? I truly believe that in our society of stay ready and be ready AND hustle hard, we can miss out on the here and now… losing ourselves in comparisons… neglecting gratitude as if it is a stranger.
So what can we do to embrace the stillness? The quiet? For me, I could perhaps not check my phone at first waking. Perhaps instead, I could allow myself to experience a complete 10-15 minutes of quiet, soaking in the sounds of the birds outside my window. Perhaps, I could read a few pages of my favorite book. Perhaps I could journal. I could create a morning ritual, celebrating the stillness of it all.
What are we so afraid of when it comes to stillness? Are we afraid of what we may feel and/or hear? I for one, can be super uncomfortable with silence. Are we afraid of what may rise to the surface while we allow the stillness to fall? I am challenging myself to allow the silence and stillness to be. I am allowing myself to be ok with it all... for they are both necessary.