Sunday, 10 July 2011

Silent Sunday: experimenting with calmness and stillness

Today was a first for me.  For months we had been planning to go away for the w/e camping with some of my hubby's University friends.  They all have children so it would have been great fun for the young as well as an opportunity for the adults to catch up on a year's worth of news.  About two weeks ago, the Universe, God if you will, decided to remind me that I was not in control of my life.  I had a huge shock and had to make the toughest decision of my life to date.  It was something I would not wish on anyone.  Anyway the upshot of it all was that I ended up having a surgical procedure last week and was advised to take it easy for a week or two.

I knew my hubby would want to see his friends; that the girls love camping; and my body needed to recuperate.  I realised that I had to convince my hubby to do the trip with the girls and leave me behind.  In fact he was all for it and needed little convincing which felt like a result. 

Yesterday our au pair was at home and whilst I rested, walked as a way to clear my mind, picked fruit at the old allotment, cooked a very healthy dinner of spicy greens with chick peas.  However it was not a silent time.  Today from about 9.30 to 16.30 I had the whole house to myself.

It felt very odd and I decided it was time to take a leaf out of Brene Brown's book on imperfection and experiment with calmness and stillness.  Initially I felt as if there were a million things I needed to do and I went into human doing mode for a good hour or so, whilst tweeting and facebooking for inspiration.  The lovely Rachael suggested the fab idea of lying on the grass watching the sky, something I enjoyed in the middle of the day when the sun was out, and yes I did apply factor 30 suncream on my face and neck!  I used my neck pillow and practised my Alexandrian technique which felt really good to my back.

What got me into a place of stillness and calm was a 10 minute guided meditation using conscious embodiment techniques.  It was magical and the key was focusing on the breath and that led to so much more.  Later I topped it up with a practice which works with one's energetic field, also about 10 minutes which is as much as I can manage in one go.

I may not have had any life changing insights however I did realise I need to slow down in the run up to Poland.  I made the decision to take about 65% of the next two weeks off which is a big step for me and focus on my family and getting fitter.  The house is also the tidiest it has been in months which I find hugely pleasing!

I can definitely recommend the benefits of creating space and time for yourself as a way to revitalise and grow especially if you are a working parent!  I had complete silence for around 7 hours and benefitted hugely from it.  What small step(s) can you take to build more calm and stillness into your life?


  1. Heaven, a day to yourself. And I'm just like you - get tidying because it makes me feel miserable to be surrounded by chaos. Sorry to hear you needed medical help though, hope all better.

  2. Hey Kate,

    Staring at the sky - that's a wonderful idea. I hope you can maintain the stillness over the next couple of weeks. I'm really pleased to hear how Conscious Embodiment brought you to calmness - Wendy has often said "centre yourself first, then extend out into the world".

    I hope you're well on the way to full recovery from the surgery.

    Love and best of luck for Poland