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Stillness: Or what happens when you never stop.

We only discover what supports us
When everything else we thought supports us
Doesn’t support us anymore
||Carl G. Jung||

A friend told me today to immerse myself in the stillness that suddenly had taken a tight grip on my life. Daily I tended to a routine of waking early, walking a morning loop with Marjorie through the city’s main park and back to grab a coffee, return to my desk and start working after a morning routine of journaling, meditation and affirmations. By mid to late afternoon I’d finish and venture out again, to a bigger park further out, a bigger walk, to return back and ease into an evening routine that consists of advancin personal projects, deepening spiritual knowledge or immerse myself in another world through a book.

My days are quiet, and all that I wanted was exactly that. Catch up on work, not have a demanding life, find a car to transform into a living space for Marjorie and I, see my two closest friends for this brief period regularly, and move on.

And yet unrest holds a tight grip on me and I seemed to not get the message until a friend, by chance, brought me onto this train of thought.


Merely hours have gone since that conversation on the phone and I find myself befallen by a deep sadness. It is not a life threatening, tightening the chest and making me unable to function sadness, it is more of a sorrow, or a grief. It feels like a little riptide within the middle of my chest area, connected to my upper stomach, giving me the impression of a churning within, and a rising up of  vulnerability. My eyes become teary with the slightest happenings, like a tune that reminds me of a time in the past, a child laughing hard in the arms of an adult telling them something funny, the wandering thoughts in the tiny rectangle of sky that is visible from the window of where my desk stands. There is a longing too. And without the noise and constant reactive need to organise the next steps or think about where to sleep, how to get by, I had forgotten that stillness is something to be eased into, I had even forgotten what it was, partly at least.

Until I was reminded again.

Also, I am not even sure I ever thoroughly practiced stillness to begin with.


I am reminded that there was a very quiet time before all of these situations started occurring, these surprises that constantly took up so much energy to digest and work through and find solutions to. A time when I had a routine, consisting of the care for others, tied to what the weather front may bring and the daylight there was to be had. A time that sounds like stillness, and yet, even that time was no stillness really. Or so I gather while pondering this subject.


Now my train of thought slows down, approaching that station of stillness by asking the simple question of when the last time was that I truly experienced stillness. When was the last time I let come to surface what a demanding period of days, or weeks, or even months does with me, to me. Naturally I experienced for the majority of these last three years a state of constant change and growth and adjusting to new environments, new people. Have I therefore ever truly experienced stillness, or given me permission to dive deep and reflect thoroughly. I cannot answer that yet. Partly because I rarely ever have a break from my brain thinking anyway. But I will follow my friend’s advice and make the most of this stretch ahead of me that is foreseeable.

Just me, my dog and no demands except whatever I ask of myself.

Moreover, I will make it habit to not try and ask too much either.


That is a good thing, I tell myself. And still my mind is appalled that I would contemplate such a thing. For there is so much to do, so much to think about, so much action required. It tells me I will fall behind on my plans, I will not progress on my goals and I will certainly be abandoned, rejected, cast aside as unworthy and useless. My core fears flare up in a rage, fuelled by a past long gone. I know it only means well, my brain I mean. The experiences from that past is all it knows. Survival is all it has learned in the first years of my existence, survival is what the majority of its years on this world has consisted of. I know my mind will always choose the safe, the known path, no matter the hurt, no matter the cost to energy or self-growth and development. My headwill always be a decide in favour of something known against something unknown.

Thus, listening to my friend and experiencing this riptide in my upper body, the flood of emotions that are bubbling beneath the surface of control and composure, I now allow my Self to take charge and soothe my dear brain to take a seat, at the ready of course, but on the side of the main stage.

Let us see where this course of action takes us, shall we.


Why grief?

Well, a lot has happened. Not just since February, as far back as when I started travelling and gave up all of the known factors that secured a quite comfortable lifestyle in January 2021. I’d say since last spring when I first got to know the concept of boundaries and found myself exposed to the inner conflict any people pleaser would meet whence commencing to find out what boundaries are, how they work and what they look like to themself personally. What I discovered was that I had suffered a lot during my upbringing, and that I would never want to let the personality, the fragment of me, that part of myself, that evolved out of that feel unwelcome, unwanted, unworthy, or repelled. And I was no longer willing to discard it either. Things have happened, pain was there, and as long as I tried to veil it, as long as I did not address them in order to maintain a degree of civility and protection for those involved, these wounds would fester, not heal. Somewhere along the line I found that I had truly discovered that depending on being liked, appearing likeable, and over all investing all of my energy into making myself believe that I like myself, was not doing the trick. In fact, it belittled me, condescendingly looking down on me as though I still was that little child growing up, yearning for appreciation, feeling she had to take on responsibilities beyond her age in order to be accepted for who she was and protecting the adults around her.

This was a discovery that shook me.

I thought I had done a pretty good job so far in working through these issues.

I was wrong, and technically that was quite a foolish assumptions. One is never really done working through anything, one should get comfortable in the knowing that it is a journey and not an end destination, healing, integrating, I mean.

The first three quarters of my life I had thought I was unlikable and need to mask my innate badness, a pinch of manipulation, in order to not be discovered as a fraud and evil person. It is only within these last seven years that I had build my base anew with the total opposite point of view, that I could indeed be likeable. With strings attached. Conditions apply. Nothing comes for free, so to speak. I had to earn that. I wasn’t likeable just because of who I was, I was likeable because of the things I was able to do for others.

So I focused all of my energy to be likeable and that made me feel good. It served a purpose. I am not saying I did not like it or that it was the wrong decision. I believe, it probably was the only reasonable step forward, for me at least.

And I had learned how to make myself be likeable and liked through the conditioning of growing up. Blood family, relations, school, teachers, peers and a system as a whole that taught me two things about that: Only your looks will guarantee you a spot among the tribe, and you certainly don’t have that, and how good you adjust to the needs of your external world will decide if you are tolerated. With that set of principles I approached the new blueprint for my new personality after a quarter of a century on this planet, and two burnouts, had crushed my soul and any means of a will to exist. All culminated when I started travelling, because I found that my way worked and people approved of me. And come last spring I found that I had no energy to maintain that approval anymore, not through the work ethic I had established (that on the flip side did good for me and enabled me to put myself on a track of self employment as a freelancer). Usually my work ethic to go above and beyond provided me with enough fuel of appreciation to mask the growing unease within. And yet, that spring started a new course of growth, because suddenly approval fell flat, there was no sincerity in it because it was based on what I had to offer. It wan’t offered because I was seen, understood heard and generally approved of unconditionally. Subconsciously I had played out the same karmic cycle again, from the other side of the spectrum. Near a burnout, questioning my life choices and my whole existence, the principles on which I had build my foundation of who I was within. Shattered again, this time though not to the point where I needed to get a full treatment through hospitalisation.

I, therefore, had grown and had established some kind of self-worth and self-love that anchored me in the knowing that I was on a path, I just needed to dig deeper and explore what went wrong this time.


So why grief?

Because I found that people pleasing wasn’t working as a healthy coping mechanism anymore.

Because I had this longing for Scotland, and I found a home there, and people, and I felt I had a shot, a shot at finding myself, finding a future or at least a glimpse of a possibility on how to approach a future. During 2020 while shedding my old life, I thought I’d venture into the world to find a new life.

One last time.

I now grief because what it truly was is a time of transitioning.

A life yes, but it was never meant to last. Not least because of the illusionary boundaries men drew on a map once a long time ago, fought over for centuries and still push these boundaries to this day, asking for sacrifice to extend or defend these illusions, bureaucracy and governments deciding where people can or cannot go or stay on this planet.

Also because I now realise I am a newborn soul, starting from scratch again. Caught between past travel depression and unable to settle in the old ways of a system I do not fit in anymore. I grief the years of the past three years because then, I still had the belief, or delusion, or sanctuary in a fantasy, that my life was bound to happen, develop, flourish in Scotland. I believed all this time while I was going back and forth between there and other countries, and finally, sitting here in this city where I spent my teenage and young adult years, I see that this chapter is closed.

I grief because I loved the land I left behind, its vastness, its wildness, its language, its promise of unconditional acceptance if I’d created my own way of life there.

I grief because I don’t have another urge within me, no craving, no destination, no calling, no plan, no next.

I grief because I did not give myself time to grief the love for this island that I left behind.

I grief that promise that was seeded within me back in the spring of 2020, I grief that unconscious people pleasing likeable self I was in the spring of 2023, I grief the loss of a love for a country that seems so far away it may well be on another continent right now in the spring of 2024.

I grief because suddenly nothing remains but stillness.


My boundaries were the key that opened a door and I wasn’t ready, or aware, that this door would ultimately mean that I would leave yet another life behind. So many lives lived, so many countries experienced, so many people bonded with, so many goodbyes, so many changes.

And no real stillness permitted through all of it.

Because there was not enough self-love, or understanding of self that I could have even named what I was missing, what was needed.

And now the avalanche of realisation hits that all I need is to celebrate having all the time in the world to get to know stillness, practice it.

My newfound, unconditional, intuitive self-love will guide me to find the courage to find this stillness.

I have the energy now to accept with love and gratitude all that will be revealed in this stillness. And I made a start already by taking to heart what has been given to me in the form of a friend’s advice.

Emerge into this stillness and be with it.

The first thing it showed me was the grief, the second thing that happened was my brain making sense of that grief, the last thing was to write it out of my system.

Rinse and repeat.

Be with that stillness, even within restlessness, particularly when restless. What does it tell me about myself, what does any feeling that arises tell me about my emotional body, my mental understanding, my spiritual belief.

Whatever will be next.

I’ll look out for it, or rather, look inward for it.

In stillness.


To all of you, my beloved souls, with all my heart:

The light in me salutes the light in you

Love and light

Nadine


Arrived within stillness
In der Stille angekommen ||Ernst Ferstl||

Arrived in stillness

In der Stille angekommen


I go within

Gehe ich in mich


Will I stand with my strengths and weaknesses

Stehe ich zu meinen Stärken und Schwächen


Do I care with all my heart

Liegen mir die Liebe und mein Leben


For love and my life

Am Herzen


Arrived in stillness

In der Stille angekommen


Will I see myself, you and You

Sehe ich mich, dich und Euch


With different eyes

Mit anderen Augen


With the eyes of the heart

Mit den Augen des Herzens


Arrived in stillness

In der Stille angekommen


I listen to my Within

Hoere ich auf mein Inneres


I feel Comfort

Spuere ich Geborgenheit


I learn Acceptance

Lerne ich Gelassenheit


I charge trust

Tanke ich vertrauen.


Arrived in stillness.

In der Stille angekommen.


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