The beauty of silence and stillness
Silence is essential. We need silence just as much as we need air, just as much as plants need light. If our minds are crowded with thoughts, there is no space for us.
With the summer months ahead of us, take your practices outdoors to benefit from the grounding and energizing forces of nature.
I savor moments of stillness in my day: the quiet calm of the early morning, listening to the rain, deep meditation, sitting by the lake, or relaxing in savasana after a yoga practice. Stillness is always my happy place, it’s where I hear the whispers of my heart and my inner GPS which helps guide my way.
Stillness is where the answers we seek are revealed. Don’t get me wrong, I love the roar of the ocean on a stormy day and I do like to listen to loud music and dance like no one is watching, and I am inspired by a good musical beat to work out to. There are moments when I enjoy the action and the buzz of the city or going to a live concert and feeling the upbeat energy of the crowd. Yet too much time in « noise » be it too much talking, traffic, abrasive sounds, being in public places, or being around large crowds for too long, I start to feel my body contract and crave the quiet of the trees where I recharge and feel my best.
Sitting is stillness we can listen to the heart and hear our inner whispers guiding us. The heart knows the way like a GPS guides us to where we want to go when we are not sure of the way.
Open your gateway home through stillness, prayer and meditation to tune in to your own inner GPS to access the guidance and answers you are seeking. Stay open and receptive to what you notice and explore the possibilities of being in the present moment.
Try this earth-heart-sky moving meditation to lead you into the stillness of your heart.
Earth-Heart-Sky Centering Exercise
Find a comfortable, quiet space. One of my favorite places to practice this exercise is outdoors first thing in the morning facing the sun rise. I enjoy feeling the warmth and the brilliance of the sunlight on my body. It can be done anywhere; the inward intention is more important than your external surroundings.
Stand tall with your back straight, feet parted about hip to shoulder distance apart so that you feel steady, balanced and grounded. Gently bend your elbows and turn your palms facing upwards in hasta mudra with relaxed hands like you are holding a very light platter in both hands. This is a gesture of receptivity. We always begin by taking 3 deep slower breaths.
The more you practice, the more you will feel the magic of this moving meditation to connect you with the energy of the earth and sky.
Inhale through your nose and exhale from your mouth to symbolize the letting go of anything that is in the way or holding you back from being here now; consciously release any holding patterns or tension in your body, notice and release your thoughts by following the rhythm of your breath. Let go of any judgments and simply become the witness to your own state of being right now. Breathe through your nose; slow complete inhalations, slow releasing exhalations.
Now bend your knees, squat down and reach towards the earth like you are gathering up a bunch of loose dry leaves, imagine gathering up the energy of mother earth with your hands and pause at your heart center with your hands positioned lightly on the upper, middle chest.
After a few seconds of time and breath suspension, float the hands skyward as though you are making an offering from your heart to father sky. Allow an inner smile of gratitude within you as you do each round. Now gather up the energy from the sky, pause again at your heart center, then return the energy to the earth.
Repeat from the earth, to heart, to sky, then back down from sky, to heart, back down to earth. Synchronize your breath with each movement. Inhale as you gather the energy up from the earth into your heart, pause, then exhale send the breath and hand gesture upward to the sky.
Inhale the energy from the sky downward to your heart, pause then exhale press the energy down from your heart to share it with the earth. You will begin to feel the energy exchange and movement through you as you become the bridge between the powerful energies above and below you. Express thanks to Life as you pause at your heart when you have completed, stay there savoring the energy for as long as you feel is necessary. Welcome Home to YOU.
Nourishing and balancing your energy field is just as important as physical exercise and consuming natural food and clean water. Practised daily, this process will help you stay centered, calm, focused, heighten your awareness, your connection to spirit and keep your stress baseline lower so that you can manage anything that comes your way without being triggered into reactivity.
With time and practice it will help you resist being thrown out of balance; to be less drained at the end of your day and to deflect the negative energy of others.
When there is a state of balance within you, you will naturally find more balance around you.
Be well. Be happy. Be YOU.
This complete earth-sky exercise can be found in the members library. See the session called « Just Breathe »