Living in the modern age of connectivity, we are constantly stuffing our minds with "things" to fill in the "void" within us. We are so afraid of the emptiness that silence and stillness might bring up once we have a moment of "nothing to do". We open our eyes, and our hands reach for the smart phone to check in with what we've missed out the night before, we turn on the TV and let the images flicker and the static drown out any awkwardness we might feel about ourself. We go to work and have meetings and chatter and gossip about nothing at all. We collect information to feed our minds constantly, especially when all the voices in our heads are screaming for attention. And when the work day is over, we continue to fill our heads with trivia at any possible given moment, scrolling through endless news feeds and food photography...
"We act as if the human intellect were a runaway monster which must be fed continuously at all costs." ~ Ram Dass
I am guilty of this too. It's so easy to keep finding "something to do", even in-between little pockets of time so we can be "productive" and "efficient". Sometimes the biggest challenge is to give myself a reason to slow down and do absolutely nothing... un-tether myself from my phone and devices... free up the social calendar, sit quietly, and just listen. Listen beyond the clutter of stuff that I've been trying to push away, listen to where they are coming from, go into the dark corners, clear out the cobwebs, and let the light in...
Every time you leave home,
Another road takes you
Into a world you were never in.
New strangers on other paths await.
New places that have never seen you
Will startle a little at your entry.
Old places that know you well
Will pretend nothing
Changed since your last visit.
When you travel, you find yourself
Alone in a different way,
More attentive now
To the self you bring along,
Your more subtle eye watching
You abroad; and how what meets you
Touches that part of the heart
That lies low at home:
How you unexpectedly attune
To the timbre in some voice,
Opening in conversation
You want to take in
To where your longing
Has pressed hard enough
Inward, on some unsaid dark,
To create a crystal of insight
You could not have known
When you travel,
A new silence
Goes with you,
And if you listen,
You will hear
What your heart would
Love to say.
A journey can become a sacred thing:
Make sure, before you go,
To take the time
To bless your going forth,
To free your heart of ballast
So that the compass of your soul
Might direct you toward
The territories of spirit
Where you will discover
More of your hidden life,
And the urgencies
That deserve to claim you.
May you travel in an awakened way,
Gathered wisely into your inner ground;
That you may not waste the invitations
Which wait along the way to transform you.
May you travel safely, arrive refreshed,
And live your time away to its fullest;
Return home more enriched, and free
To balance the gift of days which call you.
~ John O’Donohue ~
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
Registered Yoga Therapist, Somatic Movement Educator, Bodyworker, Yoga Teacher Trainer