Last week I took myself up north on the Coast of Maine for my annual pilgrimage and retreat. The area is spectacularly beautiful – raw, primal – wildlife abounds. The sparse population of year-round residents are salty and real and connected to the Earth in ways that you don’t see in suburbs, or even my little corner of paradise in Southern Maine.
Then there’s the energy of the sea – the tides dropping or rising a foot every 15 minutes. The powerful currents, the shifting of the tides (low tide lasted 11 minutes before beginning to fill again – relentless!).
And what I found there this year was the energy of stillness. The quiet of being in harmony with my surroundings, flowing with the tides, letting go effortlessly, refilling with the extraordinary bounty of high tide.
My bulldog, Zoe, and I wandered a muddy, boggy path at Roque Bluffs State Park, trotting along the squishy trail, my shoes and her feet traipsing through black mud. I can’t speak for Zoe, but I know that I felt completely present, contained, within myself while connected to everything surrounding me. Unity Consciousness can be like that – concurrently within self while connected to All That Is.
As I quietly walked the trail, listening, seeing, perceiving, and surrendering – thoughts and ideas that were not germane to the moment, to do’s and reminders that would greet me on my return home. As I cultivated the stillness within, I let go of the busy-ness of with-out. I became conscious of the eagles, the crows, the breezes, the sun, the rain, the mosquitos, the moths, the ants, the mud. I felt completely and fully there, knowing that whatever awaited me out here would be out here when I got here. And that in that moment of time in there, whatever awaited me out here was completely and fully irrelevant.
And I regenerated. Renewed. Unglued from stuck thoughts, ideas, concerns, worries.
When was the last time you were still? Quiet within yourself? Relentless in your willingness to let go of chatter, rules, doing, thinking, planning, executing, implementing? Stalking the inner peace, sanctuary of a body-mind at rest, released, empty, in potential rather than in manifestation? What would your stillness practice look like?
Many of my colleagues, clients and students tell me of epic struggles with stillness, with sitting, with meditation. It’s a process that feels fraught with challenges; the quieting of the mind can be a mighty battle. And yet, when practiced, the quieting of the mind brings answers, ideas, efficiency, a cauldron of opportunities and possibilities.
After 5 days in the wilderness, living outdoors 24/7, falling asleep before dark and waking before dawn, I feel renewed, clear and whole in ways that can be difficult for me to easily access in my daily life. I meditate daily – but it’s not the same as the stillness that I cultivate up North during my annual pilgrimage.
So while my humor usually rings through these posts, today’s post pays homage to stillness. To quiet. To inner contemplation. To nature. To renewal and regeneration.
And don’t laugh, but I’m going to need it because late this week I fly to Portland, Oregon to participate in the World Domination Summit. It’ll be good to be there, amongst all of the other WDS’ers with my inner core intact and solid as plans are made for World Domination! Of course, I’ll be there representing Consciousness, Energy Healing and Energy Medicine – imagine domination through Consciousness, Healing and Energy! Bring it on…
Keep your vital energy flowing!