We can accomplish more in life — both by being more strategic and by moving faster and with a higher degree of precision, when we first take the time to be still. So if it seems like you don't have the time to just be, that's precisely when you should stop and go within.
By Cynthia Gomez It’s chilly this morning as I sit to write. It’s my first blog in a while, and this is a more personal kind of blog. So much has happened, and is happening in my life lately, that time has been in short supply. I bet a lot of people can relate to that, maybe even you. All this busyness, it’s not for me. But I’m powering through because I’m building something amazing, not just for myself, but for the world. That’s a tradeoff we often make right — spending the present toiling away at some worthwhile thing or things over the promise of a better tomorrow when we can rest.
There’s a problem in this though. We NEED stillness. We are human BEINGS, not human doings. Unfortunately, we sometimes seek balance in ways that don’t serve being. I’m guilty of this, of sometimes thinking that I can balance by adding things, rather than subtracting. This goes a little like this: Did I just finish a 16-hour workday? Yeah sure, but look, I’m finding some time to also relax in bed as I catch up on some reading. So what if it’s at 1 a.m. and I have another 16-hour day tomorrow?” It’s still doing. That’s part of the problem with doing; once you gain momentum, it’s easy to just keep going. We don’t reach balance by adding more things that require doing; we achieve it by subtracting until there is time and space for stillness. For self-care. For reflection.
As I found myself pulled in yet another million directions recently, a dear friend called me to retreat with her to the top of a mountain, where sure, I could stubbornly bring my laptop with the plan to squeeze some work in. Thank goodness for spotty Internet. It was exactly what I needed. Because I chose to spent time in stillness, I had to let go of some of those things on my to-do list. I made the decision to skip a month of blogging and e-newslettering. Part of my journey is learning to lead by example, and I cannot teach others to refill their cup first if I'm unwilling to do so for myself.
The Rewards of Stillness
The funny thing is that the universe rewards us for loving ourselves in this way. When we remove the sometimes-endless mind chatter that comes with all the doing, we can hear ourselves more clearly, we can hear the universe more clearly, and the people around us — those angels the universe has sent us to love, support, and co-create with — are better able to see how our missions fit together. There is less static over the light grid. And what came through during this weekend of stillness is a surprise I'm giddy to announce, and will be doing so in the coming months.
I hope you have someone who can do for you what my personal collective of human guides does for me — pull you away from the chaos of the world into stillness. But if not, I offer you this: We live in trying times. Between all of the crises occurring concurrently in the world and the increased pace it seems to take to just keep our heads above water, 2020 has brought a remarkable confluence of hardships for many. Yet, the unprecedented plights of our times bring important lessons about our interconnectedness and about the need to care for one another.
So I call you now to retreat, both physically and spiritually. I am offering you the equally unprecedented opportunity to step into the highest version of yourself, and in doing so, to be part of the solution and to play a role in creating a better world. Do it your own way or do it mine — I am co-hosting an intimate, Ayurveda-centered retreat called The Nature of Your Nature in Napes, Fla. this fall. This is an opportunity to go deep within you, to nowhere/no-here and no-time, to tap into the ever-overflowing well of unity, from which you can refill your cup.
Or, just head to the ocean or the woods, put your electronics away, and allow yourself the space and grace to just be. It doesn’t matter how you do it, only that you make the room for stillness. The many things to do will still be there, waiting for you, and sure, some work may pile up. Here’s the tradeoff though: When we are centered in our power, it’s easier to power through anything life may throw at us.
Balance Your Wheel
If life is a wheel with pie-shaped slices for each major component, like work, family, relationship, and finances, consider what area might be causing unbalance. Find the wobble. How is unbalance in one slice affecting the other slices? How is it affecting your wheel as a whole as you roll through life?
A big lesson in life for me has been that one way or another, the wheel will eventually just stop rolling, either because I take time for its maintenance, or because it breaks down on me from lack of balance from one pie slice to another. We get to choose how that happens. As others have lovingly pulled me from my busyness and reminded me to be still, so I encourage you to make the time for self-reflection.
I am so grateful for friends who remind me of the things I already know and preach, who reflect back to me what I wish to reflect to you. So I invite you, take my hand. We can retreat together, because our work here is important, and we need to be at our best.