In a world or urgency, a life of striving, a treadmill of anxious achievement, one thing seems to be increasingly necessary. An antidote to the stresses of this harder, faster, greater, further, more more more existence.
Not in itself a thing. You cannot hold it. It has no form. Stillness isn’t just freezing your limbs, fixing your gaze, holding your breath.
Stillness is a way of being. It is the gap between the doing. A deeper consciousness. An awareness of your very existence.
Stillness offered another is truly a gift. A place from which connection comes. A foundation for attention. Being with.
Stillness within. That is the real challenge.
I’ve moved desk over the weekend. We have had an office re-organisation and one result is I now have a different desk position in the office.
Today I have been confused. I have entered through the wrong door, headed for the wrong part of the office, gone the wrong way for the toilet. Several times. I have been, and seemingly continue to be, befuddled.
I haven’t lost my ability to think. I still know where doors and facilities are. I can still see. Yet I keep going wrong. Ending up in the wrong place. Going the wrong way.
It serves to demonstrate how much we do on auto pilot. Without thinking; without conscious thought at least. We just set off. Our heads filled with other non geographic, navigational stuff. Thinking instead about what we will do when we arrive, or about something we mustn’t forget.
I’m sure I’ll re-calibrate. Might take a day or two. Eventually though, a new autopilot route will have been programmed. I will be free again to wander without thought, arriving at my destination with no need to engage brain or use up some of my thinking bandwidth.
Life can be like that. Something we take for granted changes and we are momentarily discombobulated. That which needed no thought, now requires some – for us to even function. These changes aren’t always physical; about our surroundings. They can be emotional too. A new emotion emerges. An unfamiliar one. Just like a new desk position, we need to adjust. Take note. Become familiar.
That way we stay flying.
Turn off autopilot and live with presence.
Live with attention.
Live with intention.
A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.
Fr James Keller
When we help to illuminate another human being, it costs us nothing.
Just the gift of attention.
Sometimes we can use words to say nothing at all, and silence to explain everything.
adapted from Raine Cooper
The fog of words, a cloak of noise, distracting, attention seeking, truth masking. Sometimes said for our benefit, not the listener’s. Sometimes said to distort, excuse, replay well-worn stories.
The purity of silence, a state of being, wordless knowing, inviting connection and togetherness, honest communication, total attention, a deeper knowing.