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Posts Tagged ‘stillness’

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Dear Lyla,

It has been a while since I have written, too long. While I have good intentions it seems that the busyness of life gets in the way. Papers to be graded, meetings to attend, dishes to wash, activities to go to; the list is endless. Yesterday my “to-do list” included attending a faculty meeting. Faculty meetings are fairly mundane and a routine part of my existence; this one was just like many of the others, with one notable exception. As per usual a faculty member stepped to the front of the room to open the meeting with a devotion or words of inspiration. While I expected Dr. Nolan to read some inspirational poetry or perhaps a famous soliloquy that would resonate with the ranks of the teaching faculty, she did something a bit unexpected. She asked each of us to close our eyes and “do nothing” for one minute, she would be the time keeper. I recognized this technique as it is one I use often with my students to get them to understand the importance of being still, quiet and reflective in a world that has so many distractions. Our faculty acquiesced to her instructions and the room, normally electric with chatter, was muted and peaceful. When the exercise started I was focused on enjoying the hushed environment because I knew that minute would fly by; but it didn’t. That minute stretched on for what felt like ten and I began to feel uncomfortable and agitated. We had things to do, was this a trick by Dr. Nolan? I am fairly sure that nothing duplicitous was happening with my colleague at the helm willing us reflect and relax. That minute humbled me. I preach to our students constantly about taking time for themselves and to purge the toxic buildup of banal worries. As for me, I confess I had a difficult time doing so. I have elevated my own status as to be seemingly above such needs; there is work to be done after all. I was wrong. If a simple minute of silence creates such angst, I have work to do. One of the things that I love about you best Little One is that you seek solace and isolation when you need it. You extract yourself from loud or busy situations when you need your “alone time.” That kind of self-awareness is precious; I hope you never lose it. Perhaps when it comes to nurturing myself with stillness you, my dear child, are the teacher and I have much to learn.

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