“Stillness feels like knots of static straightening out —releasing, smoothing, flowing on and on . . . carrying me, resting me, loving me!”
The breath is portable. This is both obvious and a surprise.
Obvious because you are always breathing. A surprise because you could be using the breath to: calm yourself, relax, protect yourself from chaos. You could use the breath to experience stillness. To take yourself on vacation everyday.
Even if you don’t want to get away, following the breath will help you to stay present and to respond from a calmer, wiser, more creative place.
But how? How do you take this place into your life?
You take it by practice. A little at a time. You will be practicing stillness, too as they come together.
Start with 3 minutes (or more if you have a practice already) of following the breath In and Out.
You can say to yourself “In” on the in breath and “Out” on the out breath. Notice that after you do this for however long you decide, you feel more “still” inside.
A Maine artist, Joy Vaughan, has created an installation, that seems a physical representation of this stillness (picture below). The outside is covered with a great accumulation of her “to do” lists. The inside has several images and writings of her favorite dreams, for her the night’s version of the Stillness.
So what will you do with your next batch of “to do” lists to come your way?
To be continued….
You can’t go back and change the past, but through writing you can change your understanding of it, and in that way you can heal it. In the present you can gain clarity and/or acceptance of what is happening through writing. Gabriele Rico, Writing the Natural Way and James Pennebaker, Opening Up, each pioneers of the field, claim putting experiences into written words is healing in itself.
After you’ve had cancer, who you are changes; you have to find a new voice.
The Writing and Healing sessions will help you find it and write your stories. This voice tells you (and others if you wish) who you are and what you need to heal. To flourish. And as you write and share and breathe, in meditation and stillness, this voice gains clarity and carries its tune with more confidence and strength. It becomes a poet, a jokester, and a mythmaker. It embodies the resilient you. It becomes the best storyteller you will ever know, for you alone know what your stories are and what they mean.
The 90’s gave us lots of information about a healthy, active brain through advances in technology. We are able to study the brain and know that each experience and thought literally alters the neurons in our brain. You can make new neural pathways and change your experience of an event by changing your understanding of it. Writing can literally change the brain. (See Mind Wide Open by Steven Johnson)
What if I told you that you could find the peace of a Safe Place in about fifteen minutes — no matter where you were — then asked if you wanted it?
I bet you would seriously think about it.
Then, what if I said each time you went to your Safe Place it would be easier to get there and offer more relaxation and release of stress?
You might not believe me.
But I have seen it happen and I can get you there. Or, you can get yourself there with the Writing & Healing book and meditation CD.
“All these years writing about “safe place” and often — or at least for the past 8 years or so — it’s been inside of me. But today it is also in nature. I am stunned by beauty this year. Has it never been Spring before? Has it ever been so full of color? From the faintest pink to the explosion of new green – just beginning green. It makes me happy, grateful, peaceful, hopeful – the same things I feel when I have been practicing mindfulness regularly.”
(from participant of a Writing and Healing workshop, Safe Place session)