Stillness

Well here I am, neither late nor early, arriving “precisely on time” like Gandalf, true to my promise of not bombarding you with too many emails and overloading your inbox!

As 2018 draws to a close, I want to let you all know I am thinking of you and give you the opportunity to have a look at my 2019 offerings, especially the Diploma in Practical Spirituality and Wellness, which will be in its third year.

First, though, let me take you on a journey through some of my thoughts (it is quite safe, I assure you!).

If, like me, you can’t help checking your Facebook feed every now and then, you will come across “inspirational” quotes. Some are helpful. Some are challenging. Some are questionable. I have chosen two to share here:

Let’s start with an actor who has experience of playing God! Morgan Freeman:

“Learning how to be still, to really be still and let life happen– that stillness becomes a radiance.”

Don’t we all aspire to be still? To simply “be” and let life happen? Surely, we all want to enjoy a feeling of calm and equilibrium, especially in this fast-paced life where we are often expected to respond to events immediately. Learning to be still paves the way for developing a more open, accepting and equanimous attitude to our emotions and thoughts. Stillness is not a specific technique or method to be learnt with hard and fast rules, but more of an attitude we can develop, that leads to a more peacefully awake lifestyle.

A little voice may now be asking: “Isn’t simply ‘letting life happen’ a bit risky? To passively let things happen to us, giving up what (little) control we may have in our lives?” It may feel risky, for sure. But living in a perpetual state of conflict with our circumstances, battling with what we see coming towards us or straining to divert a course of events that is unfolding can be utterly exhausting. The warrior in us won´t take kindly to the prospect of just standing by to see what happens. However, personally, I have come to believe we can interpret our ability to observe, witness and contemplate the world around us as a way to opening up new perspectives on the way we participate in life. And there’s nothing passive about that! In fact, it becomes a form of nurturing and personal development. Even warriors need time and space to re-group. And the natural radiance that comes from it would be a warm glow that lets others know that they can relax and feel safe in our presence.

The other quote, for now, is by Ellen DeGeneres:

“I get those fleeting, beautiful moments of inner peace and stillness – and then the other 23 hours and 45 minutes of the day, I’m a human trying to make it through in this world.”

In her humorous way, she really nails the difficulty of maintaining the radiance of stillness for any length of time, and connects us to a humanly visceral way of “making it through”.

Those moments of stillness are often fleeting, but we can develop a practice that allows us to connect with them, extend them, remember them and absorb them.

We are all exposed to stress. Time pressure, overstimulation and high demands are often accompanied by dissatisfaction, sinking life energy and physical symptoms. The practice of being still can empower us to find a greater degree of clarity and serenity, inner calm and acceptance in difficult and challenging circumstances, and to develop a wider repertoire of being and responding.

There are many ways to learn to experience greater stillness. To slow down and to reconnect to an innate sense of ease. To explore our connection to the wonder and energy of life. To nurture ourselves and others.

You are most likely already aware of what relaxes you quite naturally. What is your gateway to greater stillness, calm and nurture? Meditation? Walking in nature? Cooking? Reiki? Stroking your cat? Knitting? Music? Gardening? From these simple actions, we can develop a practice.

The Diploma in Practical Spirituality and Wellness focuses on helping you develop and sustain a personal practice that works for you. It supports you to reflect, from a place of stillness, and gain a deeper understanding of your own spiritual journey. And it helps you to develop a calm and open-hearted presence in the face of the challenges of the world.

And because it is a quality-assured diploma, you receive a professional qualification at the end of the course – an added bonus for all you mentors, counsellors and helpers out there. So, in addition to increasing your personal wellbeing and developing a more mindful, compassionate and caring presence, you will also have another string to your shining bow, allowing you to mentor others who want to discover and explore stillness.

The course runs over 8 weekends, starting in March 2019. To find out more, just drop me a line and I will send a more in-depth description with details on cost, venue, etc. for this personal and professional development Diploma.

If I do not see you in person soon, I hope you will continue to give yourself the space you deserve to find and practice stillness in your own best way.

Until the next time, I wish you a safe journey and leave you with the words of one who knew that not everything can be explained.

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.” (Albert Einstein)

With love

Martine