CHAPTER THIRTY…Stillness of Heart
The shed looks forlorn from my window, its rickety wood structure and rusting tin a testament to years gone by. It even feels wrong and I have no idea why. I have now given up going in there, perhaps I will disappear, be swallowed by some unknown cosmic force. In any case I choose to finish my book from the comfort and safety of my office desk. This strange feeling isn’t helping with my final task, and particularly with this chapter’s subject, the last thing I feel is stillness, more heart palpitations and a nervous twitch.
As always, the show must go on, and regardless of this bloody shed, my words will find the comfort of ink, if its the last thing I ever do. So a few deep breathes and I begin…
Stillness is a concept much ignored in this hectic life, always something one has to do, and little time for real relaxation. Stillness is really a quieting of the heart and mind, much like when one is in a meditative state. The daily traffic of noise and activity, often winds us up to a frenzy of nervous energy, which is not good for the heart, mind or body.
No matter what we do there is stress, and often far too much of it to cope with, and that’s why we need to find time just to be, not to think, not to plan but just be, in a quiet and peaceful environment. Not easy you say, three kids and a mountain of ironing, cooking, cleaning etc. etc. Understand! I’ve had five kids and you don’t have to tell me, but in the end we all deserve to at least find some balance, and no matter how you do it, down time and treating yourself to stillness is now a necessity of living. For without it, we just get out of balance and find ourselves ground down to the point of breaking.
Technology has a lot to answer for; it of course gives us a life unknown in previous centuries, but at what cost does it come? People think that down time or relaxation time is to be spent on Facebook or Twitter and that certainly won’t help you. I mean real down time: alone in a quiet environment, deep breathing and stilling the mind, reminding it there are other ways to be. It is only then we begin to see the difference between being run ragged and being at peace with oneself.
In stillness we may free up those areas of mind that are not saturated by activity and the demands of daily life, rather free to explore the present, the now we are living in. Simple meditation is one straight forward exercise that will aid this task. The idea is to sit alone in a quiet uninterrupted place, close your eyes and just breath, trying to cull the constant and erratic thoughts that often ping around our brain like a million ping pong balls released by mousetraps. It will take time and effort, but the eventual calmness will bring life back into balance and that feeling is not just hoped but necessary to maintain a balanced life. Twenty minutes a day is fine to start, then whatever fits into your schedule, but daily.
When we achieve a calm and still mind we are able to respond to the world more authentically, not just knee-jerk or make snap judgement. We have learned how to be like this, so we know we can unlearn and become more rational and balanced in our decision making. Stillness is a powerful experience, a contrast to our frantic lifestyles and a momentary release from our hyped up expectations. Do yourself a favor.
I sit within the whisper of nature’s womb,
where life writhes in passionate struggle,
just to be, to imbibe the sensory splendour;
and all my petty solicitude s just fall to waste,
knowing what majesty prevails of its own volition,
that eternal cycle of which I am but a part,
a blink in a cosmic gaze.
How often I still my rampant being,
to ponder this unfolding, this miraculous deliverance,
and my paltry attempts at ingratiation,
but a flaw in a sentient mind of arrogance,
when life itself is beyond my learned mind,
life and truth of realms discrepant
with my wanting, inveterate reason.
I sit in awe, within the justice of life’s ensuing,
not pawn but pilot within its bounds,
and blame falls on deaf ears,
injustice the judgement of misunderstanding,
as the world struggles with ineptitude and hauteur disrespect,
when all conflict, contention and doubt
only leads to more, without inner acceptance.
How I struggle with human rapacity,
and the parlous directions of ambition and manipulation,
when these are but scratches upon the surface of life,
so far from worth and the truths that reside within,
with all that’s fought for the misgivings of an ungracious mind,
attached to primordial predilection,
simply echoes of our base beginnings.
A mind stilled, sees over that rise, a
sunset never complete,
for life is eternal and actions are momentary,
guiding circumstance to the balance of recompense,
and worth resides not within the circumstance, but within the soul,
the very thoughts of purpose and direction,
that give flight to those willing to see within, the miracle
Tony DeLorger © 2017