Accepting the Stillness – an Act of Self-Love
Lately I've been in a season of operating more slowly, of doing less and being still. I get a natural urge to be this way every few months and it used to make me think something was wrong. I would seek out suggestions for improving focus, ideas for increasing energy and I would try to almost force inspiration into a mind that I thought was just being sluggish. It used to drive me crazy! It doesn't so much anymore; I've made peace with it and can actually kind of enjoy it now.
It can be easy to feel guilty for not getting more done in a day or week. To fret that we will fall behind or are wasting time. But we are a part of nature and nature needs periods of downtime (known to us as winter) for replenishment. If we don't take this time voluntarily, we often get sick. We know this, and so often still ignore the need. I grew tired of being frustrated with these seasons of stillness (which came around much more regularly than actual wintertime) and having seen enough times that they really do seem to end when they're ready (when my inner-knowing is ready) and I always return to my enthusiastic-with- and inspired-by-life self. Trusting in this makes it feel OK. Slowing down and just being a bit more still with my life is actually like a little staycation and it's kind of nice.
I find myself meditating more often during prolonged periods of stillness. I very rarely ever go more than one day without meditating at least once, but during these times it's not uncommon for me to enjoy it three times a day. It feels like an act of self-love to give myself permission for this and to take extra time to simply listen to what might be going on deep within. And also to be patient with myself and not judge the slowing-down as inefficient, nonproductive or somehow irresponsible. Because in the long run, I believe it's the opposite. Another worry I used to have was that if I gave in and stopped fighting the urge to slow down, it would mean I would slowly ease into a period of depression which scared me more than anything. Through practice though, I've learned to tell the difference between having a desire to operate more slowly and do less busy tasks, and a feeling of indifference for life (one symptom of depression for me). And, if I'm not sure, I ask myself which it is. Then I listen for the answer.
How do you feel about embracing the stillness? I'd very much enjoy seeing your answers to the short little survey below. I'd also love to give you a reminder that it's OK to keep still and embrace the quiet periods when they prompt you. So, I made three little concrete pendants and stamped them with a hand-carved stamp. I'll be giving these away to three randomly selected winners. To be eligible for the drawing, complete the following survey and include your name. The e-mail slot is optional; if you fill it in, I'll add you to my list, but I promise it's not required to have a chance to win. I will have a post about the giveaway on my Instagram feed and my Facebook profile. For additional chances to win, tag a friend in the comments for either post. I'll run the giveaway through the end of Friday (PST) and will announce the three winners Monday, Oct 30 on Instagram and Facebook. Thanks for playing! xo