“Learning how to be still, to really be still and let life happen—that stillness becomes a radiance.” Morgan Freeman
What effect does constant activity or noise have on you? Are you able to find any stillness in your day? How does a time of stillness help you?
I’m always amazed by the thoughts that appear when I find a new quote to use for my blog post. Of course, the first thing that came to mind as I read this quote was meditation and how, as the meditation deepens, it feels like my energy is expanding radiantly.
But the second image that appeared this morning was a medieval castle surrounded by a moat. What could that possibly have to do with life now? The answer appeared quickly. The castles were surrounded by moats in order to make it more difficult for the enemies of the people who lived there to attack them.
Living there was also a kind of isolation from the world around them. There may have been many people who lived there, including perhaps a king and queen, but the walls defined a limited area where they could be active. I also suspect that the coronavirus is less predictable than the medieval enemies who could be seen from the high towers approaching from miles away.
How Confinement Affects Us
While most of us don’t live in a castle, we are confined to our houses and apartments, most of which are not huge or built on a large expanse of land. These spaces can feel very confining. At least here in the mountains, those people who live close to forest trails where they can walk are fortunate, and the trails are certainly more inspiring than the paved street in front of my house.
Being isolated isn’t always pleasant but it does have some advantages if we choose to acknowledge them. A friend on Facebook recently posted a picture of herself and her husband smiling and looking extremely happy. She pointed out that she had been afraid that in the isolation they would be uncomfortable and argue with each other, but in reality, they are more loving than before.
I must admit I had the same fears about my husband and me. But we have been very loving and peaceful with each other. Even the amount of corny jokes we share has increased. We’ve also been busier than we expected with work we have created for ourselves or which is a result of the limit on business because of the virus.
Because we are retired, there is more time to be still, and in that stillness, we may let the anxieties of the day slip away for a while. Meditation is always a good way to calm ourselves or listening to soothing music. I often just sit and watch the squirrels in the yard chase each other and fly from tree to tree or walk through the yard to see what new wild flowers have popped up.
The Unknown Makes Us Fearful
It is impossible to know how long our isolation will last so we have to live in the moment. When we start feeling fearful or angry about it, we could make some bad decisions because these negative emotions lead us to negative thoughts. Some people think we don’t still need to keep our distance, but going out of our homes is foolish and endangers us and anyone who comes in contact with us because this virus’s symptoms can be very hidden or misleading.
Finding Our Hearts
When we feel fearful, angry, or just frustrated, we most need to take a deep breath, find the stillness, and sit with it until we can release our negative feelings. In the stillness we can ask for spiritual guidance and the wisdom peace can bring. This wisdom that comes from deep inside when we are quiet nourishes us in a way nothing else will, for it is not just an activity of the mind. It is also from the heart.
Finding the stillness within transforms us. Mary Oliver reminds us of the beauty of transformation in nature—a transformation that may occur in us as well.
“When the praying mantis opens its wings
By opening its wings, the praying mantis becomes more beautiful. By opening our minds and releasing our fears, we are able to understand how to act from the heart not the head. When we are in touch with our hearts, we may flower into a stronger person and find a better path through the stillness of isolation.
© 2020 Georganne Spruce