There is one common thing that prevents me from being happy, being successful, feeling love fully – all of the good things in life: a lack of stillness.
When I think about being still, I remember being 12 years old, high up in a tree, watching the world go on below me and feeling invisible and free.
I think about the first time I was traveling alone at 20 years old in Italy, sitting in a piazza. I didn’t have a phone and nobody new where I was. I sat on that bench for a long time, sitting next to an old woman reading quietly, and not feeling the need to be anywhere but there.
I think about the way that my mother would calm me at night as young child, stroking the hair from my forehead, softly shushing my nightmare fear away and gently gesturing to skyline outside and saying “Look at the pretty lights…”
All of these memories are moments of immense calm, presence and sensory richness that are hard to come by now. They hold the essence of life, but pausing long enough to observe those moments seems harder the busier I get.
I float because it helps me regain stillness. The dark helps me shut out distraction. The perfect temperature of the air and water give my body weightlessness and relaxation. Eventually the thoughts transition from a gnarly traffic jam to the occasional tumbleweed. And eventually I am able to either totally space out (and sometimes go to space in my mind) or just play – either moving my body around or work on just breathing.
I had to get over significant anxiety of closed spaces to float for the first time, but it took me about two minutes to close the door completely and escape.
It’s a different experience every time, but most of all, it gives me exactly what I need to create new moments of stillness, presence and sensory richness without regret or worry.
Want to join me (Lindsay) and a group of other adults at Make.Do.Camp? It’s a four-day camp for adults, focusing on personal and professional development. It takes place annually in September on the northeastern shore of Nova Scotia where participants unplug, learn, collaborate, play, and find inspiration and new friends in a camp setting. See you there from September 7th – 10th, 2017!