This week has focused on stillness, but my week has felt anything but.
With Christmas soon approaching, packing for Florida still in order, and ongoing training at work in December, life feels full!
Usually, if I haven't been writing, it's indicative of the pace of things in my life.
Right now, it feels fast.
I'm looking forward to moments of actual stillness -- with my body -- on beaches like this in just a few weeks.
The amazing thing is that, due to my focus on stillness, I have felt incredibly centered amidst the busy-ness.
Yeah, I know I last wrote about the power of passive meditation, with the hopes of persuading you to give it a try. I have still been practicing this Journey into stillness each morning, and it's been giving me inspiration and clarity with which I can approach my day.
But, I've also noticed that I'm tapping into stillness during other activities ... and I'm still finding that meditation-like zone.
I found this peace when I was taking a yoga class in Roseville on Saturday morning. I did volunteer to jump around and create funky shapes with my body along with the 40 other crazies in that 90+ degree room. But, moving my body and breath felt so good! I could definitely place my focus in the moment... which is really what I had to do in order to keep from passing out. Present and aware I was.... ready to sweat out the old and welcome in the new!
Moving meditation. Check!
I found this zen while driving to, and from, Roseville. The spectrum of gray in the sky, the formation of the clouds, and the flirtation with the rain brought my senses to life. With my attention on the road, my thoughts could roam. Yet, somehow I had to keep coming back to this single desire; arrive safely at my destination. And, in the meantime, I could allow new ideas to drop into my mind since my body had no where else to be.
I noticed the stillness as I had dinner with a good friend, who recently had her husband make his transition into the non-physical realm. I was able to ask questions, listen, and be quiet. It actually reminded me of the quote "Listen twice as much as you speak." Amazing how when you close your mouth, and open your ears, you can hear messages you might not have otherwise -- another key component of meditation.
I also discovered this sweet spot while spending time in my kitchen. I feel like a bit of a mad scientist as I create, and re-create, mocktails on my four-foot counter space. With shakers, and ice trays, and hand juicers, and mixers all a-whiz, I can't help but want to find the perfect concoction to please the palate (and hopefully yours, too).
This happens when I begin cooking a new meal... like the tamarind-braised roast with sunchoke mash and watercress purée last night (Find the recipe for inspiration here... email with any questions on how I modified for simplicity, but kept the deliciousness). I had pots, and pans, and blenders, and cutting boards spread out everywhere. It looked like an explosion in my kitchen. But ask me how it felt when I was in the process?
Mesmerized. Intent. Joyful. Clear-minded.
All attributes we cultivate in the meditative process.
So, while I may hardly be sitting still for most of each day, I know I'm able to tap into the benefits of stillness.
Where have you noticed this for yourself this week?
And what has been inspired from this space you've created!?
Christmas Cranberry Mocktail
- 1/2 ounce cranberry puree
- juice of 1/2 small lemon
- 1 ounce OJ
- 1.5 ounce ginger brew
Shake the first 3 ingredients with ice in a shaker. Add the ginger brew, stir, and double strain into a new glass. Add one giant ice cube, and enjoy!
To make the cranberry purée, place 1 bag of cranberries in a medium pan with 1/3 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water. Simmer over med-low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let the purée cool before using in a mocktail.
If you want the naughty version of this drink, use the proportions below and follow the same instructions as above to create.
- 1.5 oz Sailor Jerry spiced rum
- 1/2 oz OJ
- 1 Tbsp cranberry purée
- juice of 1/4 lemon
- 1 ounce ginger brew