It was the first time I had been off email and social media in over fourteen months, and I fretted about that even though scheduled Facebook posts work just fine as does an out-of-the-office email message.
No phone. No TV. No music.
There’s an itchy feeling at first, going into that much silence, that much stillness, until you realize nature is never still, never silent. It has rhythms all its own. You begin to hear new sounds, ones your ears have been deaf to with all the busyness and chatter going on: the way the leaves rustle with the wind, how the fire crackles and dances in the fire pit, and how rain thunders on the earth as the skies open.
Life doesn’t stop. But it does slow down, but only because I have.
Happiness is stillness.
From my screened porch, it was like I was nestled in a tree house on top of the mountain. The first day an entire rainbow stretched across the sky, a powerful sign if there ever was one.
I rested. I reflected. I read. I just sat and listened.
I have to work hard to counter my own hard work ethic sometimes. Taking off for four days and doing nothing? Especially when I have a million things to do? Well, it’s amazing what can happen. I hadn’t planned to think about anything book-related but my next three novels simply unfolded like maps rolled out before you begin an adventure. This happened without any prompting, and the characters talked non-stop in my head. My suggestion for anyone who has writer’s block: stop trying and get away. The story will come to you in the stillness.
When you open to the stillness, you are receptive to what wants to come and find you, to tell you what you need, what you have been longing for.
We all seem to be drawn into leading such busy lives, running from moment to moment, rarely being still.
And yet in the stillness, I found my greatest happiness. I just was, and that was more than enough.
Take some time off of your own in a special place. You might be surprised what you discover.
Image courtesy of Evgeni Dinev / FreeDigitalPhotos.net