I grew-up in generation when children were taught to be seen and not heard. At a very early age I learned to bite my tongue, and not correct, contradict or challenge anyone even if it meant I didn’t get what I needed. As a result I became silent.
In the silence I lost touch of my self-worth, my gifts and myself.
When I look back, I can see that it was movement, and my connection to nature that helped me slowly shift from the debilitating silence to healing quiet. The process was instinctual and natural.
I can remember walking home from school when I was in second or third grade. The distance was about a mile and during the walk I would hum, sing, and drag a stick across the picket fences along the way. I can also remember noticing the changes in people’s gardens and talking to the plants, and animals along the way.
That was many, many years ago, but as an adult I still turn to walking, observing the changes in other people’s gardens as a way to restore my inner quiet. The slow repetitive motion of walking silences the chatter in my mind and brings about a profound sense of stillness. In that stillness life always seems to reorder itself. It is not something I do or have to think about: the insights, and ordering happens spontaneously the minute I become quiet. I can feel my shoulders drop, my breath get fuller and a sense of peace and contentment washes over me. I am home again!
As a child, I didn’t know that my walks home from school were activating my conscious mind, suspending the negative tapes in my subconscious mind and restoring balance in my brain stem. I just knew that walking in an ambling pace and connecting with the natural world around me made me feel good and happy inside.
With the weather getting warmer and the days longer I suggest you try taking more walks around your neighborhood or different neighborhoods. Find a pace that feels right—not too fast and not too slow. In the process, you may find yourself cultivating a deeper quiet and gaining a deeper sense of yourself.
I also invite you to explore some of the ICWIB! art activities and videos for FREE because they are also a wonderful way to cultivate inner quiet and peacefulness.