A Time for Everything
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
Can I add “a time to move and a time to be still”.
All my life – at least as long as I can remember -I have been in a state of movement, cycling, running, dancing, walking, jumping up and down when I attempt to sit still. I am at this stage so well programmed for movement. Even my teaching of the 5Rhythms has been a constant movement around this country. I loved so much of it, yet I had become more and more aware of how little stillness was part of this life. Yes I would pause momentarily to unpack and repack the car for the next period of movement. But a long pause was a source of anxiety for me- what if I never moved again, what if I became lazy, what if I lost interest in what I am doing etc, etc. And of course one of the great attractions of the 5 rhythms has been the fact that stillness came after so much movement – by then there was a chance for stopping and being quiet!!
I have always thought it was some sort of fault in my make-up that being still has been such a challenge. So one of the delights in now having so much time to study the workings of the brain I realise I am normal 🙂 🙂 Restlessness is part of being human, part of how we evolved from primitive life forms to being human. Part of our brains are always on alert for threats in our environment and that was extremely useful when survival was the most important thing for our ancestors. Now it is like a default mechanism within all of us that is helpful if our survival is at stake but not such a good thing if all is OK and being on alert is not required.
Having this information has allowed me to combine it with our great 5 rhythms practice as I can track the energy within my body, investigate its shapes and movements, link it with my thought patterns and name it for what it is- restlessness. In this practice I have been able to find times of genuine stillness. And in this new experience I am beginning to grow neurological connections in my brain that will over time grow strong and help support a new habit of stopping to counter the habit of constant movement.
In these new moments of Stillness. I have watched cloud formations creep around the mountain tops, weaving their way through the crevices and valleys …..I have watched the presence of wind whip up waves on the surface of Lough Inagh and watched its absence allow the lake to become like a mirror reflecting all in its sight……… I’ve seen hail stones gather on one window until it was covered in a lace curtain of icicles….. I’ve heard the different sounds as the wind blows from different directions through the trees surrounding the house……. I’ve watched my kitties wash themselves with such mindful attention, play with each other chasing, jumping and tearing round the house. I’ve watched them sleeping back to back……..
Yes, I have at last begun to develop a new neurological connection in my brain that can truly value a Time for Stillness.