After it got dark this evening I realized I had barely been outside all day. It feels like i've been running around. My breath has been short, my footsteps fast, my mind jumping from one thing to the next. Whatever actions I am taking, no matter how productive they feel, lack meaning if I don't pause and take those moments of stillness through out the day. I need those moments to make sure my attention is aligned with my purpose, with the bigger picture, and my heart.
As I grow with Expressive Arts I have learned to stop and ask myself, what is most nourishing to me? As I move into this California tempo, I notice the most nourishing thing for me has been my connection to nature. I like to start my day by going for a short hike in the hills or at least a walk around the block. And I try to end my day with nature. I absolutely LOVE dusk. It is such a magical moment when day turns into night. There is a kind of peace that I am always able to find in those moments. Something so simple about watching the darkness settle in. To witness nature in its greatness. Witness nature in it's steadiness and predictability. Every day turns into night, and that gives me a sense of comfort and stability.
This evening I went for a walk after it got dark. I purposely stopped several times just to admire something. The moon. The cactus. The lamp lighting up the tree which made me imagine some far-away garden with magical late night dinner parties. In the first moments of stillness I realized there is something scary about stopping. I think it's why so many people don't like to do it. They rather smoke, eat, do drugs, check their messages, and keep doing STUFF. It's a strange discomfort of stillness. But I noticed it's mostly the TRANSITION into stillness that felt uncomfortable. After I took a nice big breath of arriving into it, the discomfort slipped away, letting me settle into my own skin and the surrounding night sky. And then I realized that I really love those moments of stillness. I didn't feel alone like in those first, few, uncomfortable seconds and I was grateful for the spaciousness I could feel myself creating inside my body.
And that's all I wanted to say. It's ok to be still. It's ok to do nothing. It's ok to just pause and slow down the footsteps. It doesn't make you any less productive (whatever we think productivity is anyways). It doesn't make you lazy. It doesn't make you spacey. It doesn't make you boring. It doesn't make you anything else that you are worried it might. It's healthy. It's healthy to stop, look around, feel around, and continue from a new vantage point.