Stillness.

Not out there, mind you, it’s wild and woolly and full of VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complexity and Ambiguity) news, and events. 

And, maybe it’s the several hours of each week spent on Zoom calls where I can see myself, and how I am showing up when with others, that is making me more aware of how I want to be or not be. More self-conscious. More SEEN.

And, maybe it’s the fact that I can’t hide anymore. My own Authenticity radar is on high alert when I’m out of integrity, off-balance, or when others are operating out of their wholeness and truth.

Or, possibly, and more likely, it’s the felt need to constantly be looking at my phone. What messages have I missed? What’s the latest COVID news? Or, like me, the draw to play a silly game that rewards me for solving a puzzle?

So, spending time with mySelf is on the agenda this month. Yet I’m already finding lots of distractions. Ways to NOT look at me. Ways to run, tune out, or turn away.

My calendar is full of deadlines to meet my Self-Imposed date of heading into Tech Sabbatical as well!

My house here in the City is disrupted with plaster repair, new wiring for dining room lighting, and incomplete projects making my craving for Sacred Space dial-up to palpable energy.

The lovely meal from Thanksgiving is needing some cleanup too…stock from the turkey bones to be made, and lots of squashes and root veggies asking to be made into soups.

So, the more I slow down, breathe slower, feel into Center, into Presence, and into my own body’s power center…I am finding more of everything.

And, how am I finding space and the Grace to be Still? Tune into Stillness? Tune out busyness? 

Practicing. Centering. Breathing. Slowing down when I remember. Allowing myself to visit it here and there, in between little rants about messes or full schedules or the physical call to go outside and let it all go.

It’s when we most need it that it feels the most difficult to do. To allow. To receive the blessings that come when we stop or even pause to notice them.

What do you plan to do to complete 2020? This month? The transition of seasons from autumn into winter? (here in the Northern hemisphere that is. For you folks Down Under, as you head into summer?)

This STILLNESS thing is not easy for me, and from what I’m hearing from clients, colleagues and friends, it’s not easy for most. 

We are feeling the frenetic anxiety, hearing the high-pitched hum of millions of media sources trying to capture our attention, sensing the collective grief and trauma of a year that has changed us all in unforeseen and previously unimagined ways…breathing in (through our masks) the air of change, uncertainty, fear, anger.

And, it’s easier to stay busy. Stay above the fray by keeping our minds occupied, with work, solving problems, looking for problems, even! 

Or, numbing out in exhaustion (doesn’t matter if it’s not physical, could be mental, emotional or spiritual exhaustion) through Netflix, eating, alcohol, drugs, over activity, sleeping, _________.  (name your favorite numbing activity here)

I feel like if I stop and sit still, it will all come falling in on me.

And, it may.

Or may not. Maybe, sitting still, letting the grief of Mom’s passing, anger over unfinished projects or lost creativity, sadness of missed opportunities and traditions, or simple discomfort of BEing in the unknown…unfamiliar…flood me. Wash over me. Cleanse, heal, or take me over with emotions. I’m not sure what will happen.

Yet, be still I must. Sitting in it all is a devotional practice I choose over and over now.

It’s one way to hear my Self. That quiet loving voice under all the noise. The stirrings of creative expression. The sighs of desire, or of hope, or of loving compassion. The opportunity to sit in and be held by Divine Light and Grace!

And, rediscover the resilient strength of Me. The beautiful receptive quality of being-ness. The open-hearted feeling of passion and excitement and quickening. The expansiveness of potential, possibility, hope, emerging new ways of Being and Inter-Being.

So here’s to Stillness. For however that looks and feels for you. For following Winter’s guidance as we go inward, go quiet, go dormant and hibernate a bit.

As for me? This month I’m excited as my birthday is also the Winter Solstice, when the days begin to be a bit longer and the pagan celebration of the LIGHT. 

For years I woke up my daughters (and any friends they could rustle up for such an outing) to put on their winter layers and armed with a stack of cinnamon-raisin toast and a thermos of coffee and another of hot chocolate, we would head in the darkness of early morning to nearby Cahokia Mounds to climb Monk’s Mound and await the sunrise.

It’s a ritual I have always enjoyed even though the sunrise was hardly ever visible! 

This year? Not sure if it will happen, but it will be different, with my daughters not around. Maybe I’ll create a new ritual. At the cabin on the River, maybe!

Please Look for a few gifts coming before the end of the year as well…a self-guided or facilitated Wisdom Walk contemplation, and a Solstice to New Year ritual to guide you into a self-renewal celebration to share in a circle, with a dear friend, or on your own. 

Sending virtual hugs of Huge gratitude for each of you and how your Light has connected with mine this past year!