Recently I started feeling somewhat restless. In one month we are moving to a new flat, new city, new country. Well, I am not a person who stresses out too much about changes, I feel more curious than scared. So why all this emotional fuss? For some reason my mind decided that it should not be peaceful now. It found a very good excuse to convince me that now is the time to put inner stillness aside and put worry first. Logical, right? There’s just too much to do now, there’s no time for catching ZEN vibes.
At the beginning I totally bought into this story. Yeah right, there’s plenty of things to be dealt with. All the papers, all the formalities, plus language courses, plus finding a good place for our family to settle in. And at the same time I still have a life here. My friends, my beloved places, activities. I want to enjoy it as much as I can before we set off. I want long nights of talking, I want cinema dates with my bestie, I want to go running in my favourite park, I want to sit in my coziest places and observe people, write. At a certain point I started feeling like I am being torn apart. I need to do one thing, I want to do yet another and finally I can’t do either. I get stuck in the middle, full of vain worry and powerlessness. The time is ticking and I just sit there staring into nothing, feeling paralyzed. It doesn’t work.
Today as I finally rolled out of bed at about ten, (sleeping is one of the mind’s best tactics to hide from life) I realized something had to change. I can’t go on zombying like this, letting time run thru my fingers while I am busy in my head. As always when I need some peace of mind I turn back to uncle Eckart Tolle. His very voice brings stillness into whatever havoc I have created. And so I randomly put one of his talks in youtube, while I am preparing my coffee and, what a miracle!, he nails my mind in an instant.
What he’s talking about in that particular lecture is what I am experiencing right now, i.e. mind’s tactics to trick us out of presence. I will practice stillness, when… First I’ve got to do this, that, and the other, and then I’ll be still… He even uses a parable from bible in which Jesus invites people into the wedding celebration and each of the guests comes up with excuses why they cannot come now. They’ve got all kinds of work waiting before they can free themselves for a party. Sure, the wedding is a symbol of joining the earthy and the divine and all the mundane tasks represent the busy mind which does not want to step into holy celebration of life. Bingo! I caught you again, sneaky little thing!
As I was sipping my coffee and listening to his words radiating everlasting, ever-present stillness, I relaxed into myself. Yes, it is still true this period might be a bit busier than usual, but I don’t have to make it more complicated than it is with my anxiety. While I am drinking my coffee I am present. When I sit down to write I can enjoy the stillness of the moment when the mind is not polluting it with stressful thoughts. And then I will go to kindergarten to pick up my little one rejoicing in each step of the way. I will later do my German homework, concentrated and peaceful. And I might as well pick up the phone, do some calls and handle the formalities still rooted in the present moment. I can do a lot and feel the taste of life fully. Here. Now.
It’s such a tricky fallacy to believe that we cannot be still now because we have so much going on. But once we lose stillness, more and more of the external stuff accumulates making peace of mind into some unattainable future goal. One day… when all is done I will be at peace. You sure will – when you close your eyes for good. But why wait? Why not let peace infuse the doing? Festina lente. Breathe in. Breathe out. Isn’t this rush beautiful in its stillness?
Back to stillness,