By Karen Mehringer
Recently, I found myself feeling anxious and depressed. For several days, I attempted to analyze why I was feeling this way and what I could do to feel better. I questioned, “Would it help to go back to therapy or to get a massage? Maybe I just need to write more.” Feeling uncomfortable, I wanted a quick fix. But, what I found was that the more I resisted how I was feeling, the worse I felt.
At my wits end, I decided to reach out and ask for support by calling a friend. She suggested, “Why don’t you love and honor where you are. Take the day off to be still and silent.” What an idea…to take the day off in the middle of the week to be still and silent! Guilt wanted me to push through, get things done and strive to obtain more business and be more successful.
Hesitantly, I set guilt aside and took my friends advice. After getting off the phone, I meditated for about an hour. Quieting my mind, I was able to hear my body. It was deeply tired and needing rest. I had been on the go and working without much of a break for quite a while now. Even when I had a day off or a slow day without many appointments, my mind was still busy working and striving to move forward and succeed.
The rest of the day I spent napping, meditating and sitting still outdoors observing my surroundings. I noticed pine needles glistening in the sunlight, birds singing, a monarch butterfly floating by, and the clouds moving together to form larger clouds which were laced with my favorite colors…fuchsia, aqua, blue and purple. Sitting still wasn’t easy at first, as feelings of boredom and restlessness came over me. But, the more I sat and allowed myself to simply be, the more at peace I began to feel.
The next day, I woke up feeling refreshed and energized. Ironically, I had two requests for appointments waiting for me in my in-box. I didn’t have to do anything after all to get more business…it came to me when I was still, open and receptive. In Legacy of the Heart, Wayne Muller writes, “In stillness and silence there is possibility. Our eyes and ears are more present to the voices of the spirit, the teachings that are alive and present in our heart.” Not only did business flow to me, but I was able to hear my creative voice more clearly. For instance, ideas for an upcoming workshop popped into my mind without me having to work at it.
In our society, we are used to measuring our self worth and success by how much we accomplish, how much income we make, and how much we accumulate. We put unnecessary pressure on ourselves to perform and to compete, just to keep up. This way of working and doing only leaves us feeling anxious, depressed and depleted. It robs us of experiencing inner-peace and joy.
True peace and joy can only come from deep within…from taking the time out to be still and silent, and by loving and honoring ourselves exactly as we are.
“Whenever you deeply accept this moment as it is – no matter what form it takes – you are still, you are at peace.” – Eckhart Tolle, author of Stillness Speaks
“As you become still, you begin to drink from the fullness of your being.” – Wayne Muller
“Nothing in all creation is so like God as stillness.” – Meister Eckart, the fourteenth-century Christian mystic