“May you trust that love-fueled actions, creative expressions come from the silent places-the inhale of inspiration.”
Excerpt from Abundant Heart: Thoughts on Healing, Loving, and Living Free
I recently heard the encouragement to “do nothing” even for two minutes. As a task-oriented person who enjoys engaging with many different ideas and activities during my days in the House of Joy, I felt the lightning bolt of this reminder permission slip. “Do nothing.” These two words can conjure up an image of a pajama-wearing, tea-sipping, sitting on the sofa woman failing to earn her right to exist while simultaneously utterly inspired by her relaxed state of being.
I learned long ago to bustle and hustle. Becoming a constantly moving target, I falsely thought I could prove my worthiness to exist. Hyper vigilance created a sensation of breathless running. This stress felt like an agitated, chronic, inner jumpiness aligned with an outer expression of flurry. I felt like I had an internal lever stuck on a hyper drive. Additionally, the mental chatter got so loud when I did become still, that moving quickly and doing seemed to create relief.
My son recently shared with me how he walks quickly as an adult. When his friends ask him why he walks so briskly, he tells them he had to as a little boy. He learned that if he didn’t keep up with his mom, he’d get lost or left in the grocery store.
To become still for a few moments and do nothing can seem like defiance in a culture of rushing, gathering, and accumulating. Have you seen coffee mugs with the words Coffee: You can sleep when you’re dead? Last year an enlightening book titled Keep Moving by Maggie Smith became a national best-seller. She got interviewed on television news shows. I doubt those results would have happened if her title had been Do Nothing.
Yet, the importance of daytime stillness in the body often allows you to feel whatever feeling you’ve been resisting. Over time you begin to experience a quieter mind. Closing your eyes while sitting in a chair, inhaling, and exhaling, gently guiding your inner voice to say, “Calm,” you can begin to become more relaxed, centered. You can gently focus attention on your torso expanding and contracting with each breath. Practicing daily, you can experience the many benefits for your body, mind, psyche, heart, and soul.
What could begin to astonish you inside these moments of stillness might be soft sliding doors opening to seemingly endless creative expressions and love-inspired ideas. Shifting away from the chronic stress of the outer world hustle towards inner realms of presence creates a transformation, a delightful inner dance with imagination, possibilities, and burbling sweet words emerging from somewhere and nowhere. The source of your daily actions can come from love and inspiration rather than demands and expectations.
During this holiday season may you create moments to do nothing and be loving. May the silent places inside yourself become the birthplace for your beautiful soul to grow, create, and live. May you know you don’t have to wait for a silent night to experience all that is calm, all that is bright.
The founder of Cherish Your World, Laura Staley passionately supports people thriving by guiding them to a holistic transformation of space, heart, and life. Laura is the published author of four books including Live Inspired which reveals the brave and deep work of self-discovery and her new book of short writings and poetry Abundant Heart: Thoughts on Healing, Loving, and Living Free where with her characteristic grace and candor, Laura shares thoughtful-sometimes comical reflections on healing, loving and living free as inspirational pathways for experiencing a soul-centered, fulfilled life.