Growing up in the '80's and '90's, all I remember was the doing. There was rarely any time for stillness. Only in moments of ecclesiastical service would I feel some semblance of connection to my inner voice. I would often retreat into the world of dreams, but they were fleeting.
As an adult, calmness always felt like a dance. Two steps forward and one giant step back. Responsibilities, deadlines, and worry always took front and center. Daily meditation, journaling, yoga, and Pilates all required tremendous amounts of effort - effort that took too much time, when time in itself was a precious commodity.
Buddhist monk and peace activist, Thich Nhat Hanh once spoke of tranquility in the following way:
"Allow yourself to be like that pebble at rest. The pebble is resting at the bottom of the river and the pebble does not have to do anything. While you are walking, you are resting. While you are sitting, you are resting. Breathing in, I feel calm. Breathing out I feel at ease. I am not struggling anymore."
This may not be practical in our digitally connected, yet fractured world, but it's definitely a start in the right direction.
♬ We all know that people are the same wherever you go
There is good and bad in ev'ryone
We learn to live, when we learn to give
Each other what we need to survive, together alive ♬
💿 Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder / Ebony and Ivory
💓 When I tap into my heart, I see a picturesque beach with its untouched beauty. There is no one around except for the sounds of nature. It feels like a place I have escaped to time and time again. It’s calling to me. I fear I would be losing myself if I stayed too long.
🧠 What does my head say? It's the practical side that always thinks the trade-off is not worth the effort. How can I get anything done when I am frittering my time? But calmness is not generated from the outside; it can only be tapped from the inside.
🤰 My gut is telling me to make the changes necessary to find a harmonious place where both needs can be met. I guess the first step is to ask myself some deep questions: What do I really want? What is important to me? How can I make this a reality?
I invite you this week to explore ways in which calmness can be a balance to your daily grind. How would life look like now?
Every Monday morning at 10 AM EST I will post a powerful prompt which can also be synced to your smartphone calendar here and follow it wherever it leads. The aim is to resource all “three brains” — head 🧠, heart 💓, and gut 🤰 — in hopes of connecting the dots to those sticky parts in our nature that matter.