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I heard that some people don’t know what to do with all the time on their hands during this “stay home, stay safe” period. Others have begun amazing new hobbies or are running around with their hair on fire juggling work from home, homeschooling, home cooking and home dramas.

By chance, I picked up a book by Pico Iyer called The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere. He extols the virtues of doing nothing, of simply sitting. By taking time to do nothing, he says, we become better at what we’re doing. He goes on to cite how corporations are adding meditation rooms. (I’m guessing it’s less for their employee’s spiritual welfare than to increase profits.) Conversely, in the most recent issue of Parabola Magazine, author Nancee Neel celebrates her adopted Mayan grandmother, who is “the first one up in the mornings, starting the kitchen cook fire and warming tortillas…Frequently, she is the last one to go to bed.” Which should it be?

Stillness has never been my forte, although I did do more than my share of “living statue” gigs, during my time as a mime. While standing frozen on a podium, my mind would be racing. “Look at that woman’s hair! What time is it? Damn, I’m getting an itch under my eye. Uh oh, that guy looks like he’s coming over to mess with me.” I may have looked still, but there was a whirlwind inside. Paradoxically, when I move with intention, whether it’s following the directions of an Awareness Through Movement® lesson, or hammering a nail or wildly dancing through a field, my mind is still. 

After any intentional movement, the rest, or pause, is spacious. For a brief moment, both mind and body are still. In that moment of silence, both being and doing become possible. 

First published June 1, 2020 in the Creative Body E-newsletter. Don’t miss another update!

 

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