Sitting in Stillness

I’m trying to get better at something I traditionally have not been very good at…Sitting in stillness. My high energy, constantly in motion state has done much to help me get a lot of things done in this lifetime. For that I am truly grateful. Somehow I can’t help but feel though, that one of the few missing pieces for me is my awakening that I need to spend more time in stillness.

The funny thing is that I spend so many hours of my life practicing arts that are designed to promote stillness. I have practiced yoga, martial arts and meditation for a combined 50 years when you add it all up. The thing is that most of those years it’s been all about the doing for me. How many times did I do class this week. How many new forms did I learn this year? How many days did I meditate this month? What can I say? I’m a doer.

I’m so grateful for the multitude of people I have in my life. I have my long term personal friends. I have my newer friends. I have my family. I have my fellow yogis. I have my work family. I have the storytelling community. I have my fellow Toastmasters. I have my unbelievable Ippie Framily.

From each of those groups I have a number of people who have become deeply personal inner circle guides for me. One of the things I’ve been hearing over and over again the last six months from some of those people is that they think I’m….calmer.

Honestly I don’t know that there is a higher compliment that anyone could pay me right about now. Each time I hear it my heart melts.

So as I trend into a new state of accepting more stillness in my life, the hardest place for it to take root is in the everyday activities: The things that need to get done around the home and in the business.

unnamed-7Yesterday Christiana and I were finishing up lunch while looking out across a snow covered yard in Michigan. The sun was streaming through the trees creating an arc of light that could have made Angels walk across a bridge from the cosmos into our hearts. Maybe they did?

As Christiana was finishing up her sandwich, I started to clean up the kitchen. I put away the dishes in the drain sink from the night before. I rinsed and stacked the plates. I put the leftovers in the fridge. Then I asked her if she would wash the remaining dishes while I finished an email I had been working on. She said she thought we could just talk for a bit after lunch.

My reply to her was, “We can talk while you do the dishes and I work on the email, can’t we?” She then said, “I was hoping we could just sit and talk for a bit. I don’t always feel like I have your undivided attention when we are doing two or three things at once…”

And right then and there it hit me like it never had before. Multitasking is a wondrous skill in many moments in one’s lifetime, but when it’s time to sit in stillness it’s probably a good idea to give it your undivided attention.

So I stopped what I was doing and we sat and talked while we finished our tea as the sun-bridge streamed into our kitchen. Not surprisingly it was the most enriching time in our entire day. It’s amazing how often the messages we need to listen to are right there for us. There is a time to do the work. There is a time to sit in stillness. Finding the harmony between the two creates the symphony of your life. How lucky am I to have a master conductor living right there at my side to help me move deeper into my awakenings…


About Jim Herbert

I've been wanting to write my whole life. By age 45 it had amounted to nothing more than a storage locker of half full journals and a lot of unfulfilled dreams. Then Paris in the fall of 2011 happened. It was the catalyst I needed to consistently blog. At first I had a hard time hitting the publish button, but now two blog sites and over 300 posts later I'm hitting my stride. I'm also a budding speech writer. I've recently been heavily involved in the Chicago Storytelling scene and have also won the Chicago Toastmasters Area 66 International Speech Contest. Check out our website at for more details about the amazing things that are happening in my life. A book or two are nearing completion. With another Paris trip on tap for Easter of 2015 I can only imagine that there are Infinite Possibilities on the horizon!!!
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