“The mind can go in a thousand directions, but on this beautiful path, I walk in peace. With each step, the wind blows. With each step, a flower blooms.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
It’s been a few months since I’ve written, because I am taking time to sit in silence and stillness. The words weren’t flowing like they use to and I found I still had a lot of inner healing work to do that could only be done. I had to take time not to focus on the words to express myself and my feelings, but give myself the gift of simply being still with all the chaos and pain that I felt deep down inside.
I found a silent meditation retreat to go to in northern California and it was one of the hardest and easiest things I’ve ever done. Meditation from 5 AM to 9 PM every day and an commitment of nobel silence during the evenings help to transform everything I was holding onto inside of myself. It empowered me to let go and step into acceptance. I accepted my life for everything that had happened and the potential of what could transform if I gave it permission to just be exactly as it was.
It was by sitting in stillness that I found what I was seeking: peace.
Stillness brings a sense of peace that doing cannot. Until we just let ourself be, we feel the rise and fall of our emotions and realize that as we take the time to be still with them, they all pass.
I have found that there is a great gift in being still, when in my past I use to fear being still. We’re not trained or conditioned to think of stillness as something that is positive, rather we see it as something is wrong.
I thought I had to respond and react, I never thought that maybe the “cure” was sitting with myself in silence–resting in stillness. Doing absolutely nothing, but giving myself permission to feel my sadness, my anger, my desire to do more to prove my worth. The challenge was not to judge myself based on my impermanent emotions and thoughts.
To sit with myself was to learn to hold myself in my pain. Each time I sit with myself I fall deeper in love with myself. I realized it was okay to be still–actually it was a nobel act. To not focus on the doing, on achieving something or reaching a goal, but to let it all fall apart with grace, humility and tenderness so I could begin to rebuild myself from a state of peace and contentment.
Happiness is not what we think of it for happiness is not what we truly seek. We seek a deeper, more authentic relationship with ourself and the ability to find stillness even through the chaos. It’s being at peace with ourself, being able to quiet our minds and be present with stillness–this is our ultimate goal to live a “happy” life.
We aren’t here to change anyone but ourself. The more we learn to like and love ourself the way we walk out into the world, the world also changes with us. We become kinder, more gentle and patient with ourself and eventually others too. We find peace in and being rather than focus on our happiness in doing.
Learn to live from the heart. For living from the heart is what truly brings you peace and contentment–meaning: what is, is enough. You become at ease until things are internalized you have integrated your emotions into a peaceful state of being, not relying on doing to prove you are enough in this world. You are already enough and you have everything you need inside yourself.
Take time to be still and embody the precious human being you are.