Perspectives Issue 1: Digging Into Quiet

Issue 1 — June, 2011

Digging Into Quiet

Well, spring is certainly making itself known, in all its amazing unpredictability! When I wrote the first draft of this, I was distracted by the cascade of pink blossoms outside my window, and the bush tits calling to each other as they flitted by. The distractions to the next draft come in the form of pouring rain drumming on my roof, and today I couldn’t get myself to sit at the computer at all until the sun went down. I love all the changes embodied by this season, and all the shifts they call forth in me.

My journaling practice has dropped to nothing for the last couple of weeks as I heeded the call of my body to be in the garden anytime I had a free-upable moment and it was not pouring. It felt great to use my muscles — shoveling mulch and soil amendments, turning the new bed for raspberries, hauling bucket after bucket of smooth stones from the bed across the yard (we now have the beginnings of an impromptu stone “wall” — or maybe cairn — against one fence).

I’ve also discovered that the internal quiet is infectious. Instead of grabbing meal times to read, and driving time to catch up on the news, I’ve found myself settling into silence, using those times for the reflecting I might otherwise only do when sitting with a journal and pen in hand. I’m intrigued by these felt connections between “exercise” — really using my whole body — and stillness/quiet.

I’ve certainly had these experiences before, but this time I am noticing them in a new way — perhaps because I am facilitating a coaching group this spring and so am reflecting on these experiences out loud. That reflection process is giving me a new appreciation of the gifts using my body brings me.

Do you have these experiences too?

I invite you think back to a time or two when you’ve been engaging your whole body in a task you really wanted to do. Breathe into it. Let yourself be present again with that experience.

Did doing that work quiet your mind? What other effects did it have on you, and your other activities.

Getting on an Accomplishment Roll

I’m also noticing that the deep satisfaction of getting a gardening task “done” (as much as any garden task can be done) made it easier to focus on getting some other tasks I’d been putting off done. It created a momentum that carried me through the resistance I was having to several computer-based tasks. How lovely it felt to hit Send on three things I had been working on for weeks.

If you are like me, you tend to get caught up in thinking about all the things you need to do, in trying to manage them, and trying to figure out how to push through those things you are resisting that “really need to get done.” These last couple of weeks have given me a new appreciation for getting out of my head and letting myself be carried along by the energy of an accomplishment roll that grows from being in my body.

Try It Out

Let go, even for just an hour, of all the noise in your head, all the mental attempts to get things to happen. Go do something that engages your full body and also nurtures your heart in some way — maybe it’s gardening, maybe its running, dancing, even scrubbing the kitchen floor — something that brings you deep satisfaction. And then see whether that makes it easier to do those nagging things you’ve been resisting.

[There was more to this newsletter — workshop announcements, etc. — but I’ve omitted them since they are no longer timely.]

© Tasha Harmon, June 2011. All rights reserved. You are invited to share this article with friends and colleagues as long as it stays intact, with all acknowledgements and contact information in place. If you’d like permission to reprint this or others of my articles, written permission is required. Please do contact me about this if you are interested. Thank you.

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