Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Week 6 - Cultivating Stillness

Sometimes in order to hear my intuitive voice, I have to cultivate stillness enough to experience a connection with my soul. ~Shakti Gawain

With a layer of snow now on the ground, cultivating stillness should not be so hard to do. Walking outside, any time of the day or night, there is a silence that can only be described as "winter" as the snow insulates every noise, every footfall -- even the shhh-shhh-shhh as my dog gallops across the lawn to pounce on imaginary critters is soothing as it hits the ear.

Oh, but we don't like stillness...not like that. Or at least most of us don't. We like to say we want peace and quiet but the truth is, it makes most of us uncomfortable and edgy. To be so quiet as to hear what's rattling around in our heads, witnessing the ego on some rampage about a past hurt or barking orders about what all we need to accomplish before we're allowed to rest. Or worse, to hear what remains when the ego takes a break. It can be unnerving to hear the Voice beneath the chatter. Yet it is the one that knows who we are at our core, the one who will guide us on our way if only we will listen. If only we will connect and allow ourselves to hear.

I've been thinking much this week about why I'm really doing this meditation project, and it's this -- to foster this connection with my soul in order to more clearly hear my intuitive voice. This is accomplished by cultivating stillness, by meditation or walking in Nature or creating or even by doing the dishes. Yet I wonder: this cultivating stillness, is it a goal or an intention? An expectation or a hope? Does it matter? If not, why do I keep wanting to name it?

It seems that if I can name it, I can put it in a category that has a known outcome -- when I do x, I get y. It strikes me odd that the unknown -- especially in this case, where the unknown is my deepest wisdom -- should be so scary that I seem to want, above all else, to be able to anticipate the outcome. Why not open to what my inner voice has to share with me? Why not, indeed. What am I -- what are we -- so afraid of?

As the holidays approach and life gets busier, what I do anticipate is that I will hear more chatter and less wisdom, where working more is my x and feeling frazzled is my y. There is a certain amount of comfort in this known cause and effect, even if I truly wish for it to be different -- slower, calmer, more peaceful, more connected.

Perhaps the best we can do for ourselves this season is to cultivate stillness as often as, and in whatever ways, we can. To let our inner wisdom know that we are interested in what it has to say and to create the space it needs to shine through, in whatever way it arrives.

And to remind ourselves not to peek, because a surprise makes the best gift of all.//

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