I watch people rush around with frantic enthusiasm and smiling faces – busyness masquerading as productivity – and it wears me out.
Avoiding stillness at all cost. When did we lose the capacity for stillness?
I feel this strong urge to distance myself from the frenzy. But at the same time, I feel compassion, because I totally get it. And I’m grateful that I don’t live that way today (although believe me, that can change in a flash).
Uncomfortable Stillness | My Infamous Hot Tub Story
About 20 years ago, amidst a miserable divorce, this mind blowing thought came to me, “You’re under a lot of stress, Kris. You should treat yourself to something nice and relaxing.”
Not even 30, the notion of radical self-care was not on my radar. This revolutionary thought was definitely outside of my norm.
In search of a little pampering, I booked an hour at Sycamore Hot Springs, where I would soak in the natural spas under the stunning sycamores.
Damn. I’m good.
With my cucumber water in hand, I hiked up the wood slatted walkways, and found my isolated spa. Just what the doctor ordered.
I inhaled the smell of healing sulfur and stepped into the warm water.
Amidst God’s beautiful offering of nature and solitude, there I sat – alone, at last – away from it all.
I squirmed and fidgeted, fighting to find a comfortable seat. My gaze darted from tree to tree; my mind was equally as squirrelly.
Convinced that this stillness thing would kill me, I looked at my watch. I was sure that it was time to leave. I had 55 more minutes.
True story. I swear.
Stunned at my inability to sit still and absorb the beauty, the enormity of the moment overwhelmed me. I grieved for the woman who was unable to find comfort and ease.
Despite being extremely uncomfortable — not with the tears, but with the solitude – I forced myself to stay in the tub for the whole session.
Granted, I had never been the overtly “peaceful” type, but I had been trying to live a life on spiritual principles and considered myself a willing and persistent student.
I was so habituated to conflict, busyness, and chaos, that I didn’t know how to sit alone, quietly, with myself.
Happily Ever After? I Think Not
I’d like to say that I learned my lesson and that life changed. (Cue dramatic happy ending music.) But it didn’t. Rather, subsequent chapters included periods of exhaustion, stress, busyness, and discontent.
But each bottom taught me more about myself and created the eventual willingness to create space for radical self care, which includes quietude, despite the discomfort. And I still get uncomfortable, although I’ve become more comfortable with that.
Enter the yoga and learning to say no. I now try to approach this dis-ease with curiosity rather than judgement. And I continue to practice — over and over, giggling at the heart and humor of being human.