Life feels like a multiple-choice test without any easy answers right now. Virtual, homeschool or online? Mask or no mask? Who should you vote for and why? Take a stand, take a knee, or take a time-out from all of it? Every question is weighted.
Seriously, no easy answers. These aren’t even usual concerns, like work, relationships, or a slew of many other things one can be overcommitted to. What’s more is that there is so much loss, e.g. lives, health, bonding, seasonal traditions, and the comfort of stability found in routine. Weighted.
Days that were at first too long, are now coming too fast as things have yet to be sorted out. Cue anxiety, depression or aggression. This is a lot to handle, and we are merely human.
Last week, I saw two separate celebrities use their platform to indicate their desire to get “out.” To leave planet Earth, as there seemed to be no other way to fix the deeply troubling present. Thankfully, they are both still with us and are receiving the help they need.
What about the rest of us? I’m not suggesting we all want to leave planet Earth, just that I see and hear the fatigue in loved ones as they are trying so hard to maintain.
It got me to thinking… that nowadays just showing up, just “being” and choosing to exist right now, is a brave act of defiance. Being present. Being mindful. Being kind. Being counted. Being vigilant. Being still.
This is a moment for purposeful stillness.
Although nice, I am not talking about monetized stillness like spa days, massages, retreats, “staycations” or the like. I mean physical stillness as a vehicle to inner stillness. Feeling overcommitted myself, I gave being still a try by focusing on creating a schedule, a space, and intentions.
I was in the middle of everything when I decided I was going to be still. Housework, children, the day, even. At the time being still was an unrealistic amenity. I knew that I would have to readjust my usual hours of wakefulness because waking up any earlier was not going to happen. I found that a daily attempt within the first 20 minutes of waking seemed easiest, while the length of time currently reflects the limit of my ability to remain absolutely still. No movement at all. First morning — no distractions of any type — I was able to last two minutes. The urge to stretch, sway, and fidget is truly strong!
Once I had found my schedule, I realized very quickly that stillness is not synonymous with silence. Impossible. After removing all artificial sound, there were birds, cars, wind, etc. So as not to hinder the process any longer, I let that expectation go and welcomed what would be.
I found a comfortable place in the morning sun on my yoga mat. Next was finding the right posture. I found that sitting cross-legged staring ahead like they do on TV is not for me. Instead, I found the child’s pose, with my eyes closed, to be easier. Pre-stretching and deep breathing helped too.
I told myself to be still. That I am capable, and I am calm. I let go and became aware of my thoughts without trying to grab on to a single one. I noticed the absence of movement and sound, as well as the presence of movement and sound. There was my heartbeat, and the cadence of my breathing and the release of tension. In that moment, I was not trying to make sense of anything. Just defiantly “being.” Every time I did it, I rose empowered, having accomplished something “hard” and freeing.
Being still was more difficult than I thought. Outside of commanding my Self to be still, I am not the navigator. Only a vessel. However, having visited that state of being, I was able to return to stillness mentally whenever I needed. Knowing that the internal mind does not have to run as fast as the outer world makes dealing with outside pressure easier. So, even though there doesn’t seem to be answer key to life right now, I am much more equipped for the challenge. Maybe the practice of stillness is something we all might benefit from.
A native of Phoenix, Arizona Aundrea Sayrie is a firm believer in the power of words, faith and a strong spirit. Her greatest desire is to encourage those around her to discover and honor their truth, and to passionately live on purpose.
Any views or opinions expressed in “Living on Purpose” are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Watershed Voice staff or its board of directors.