Find Pockets of Stillness

“Wonderful things happen when your mind is empty.” —Maira Kalman

I’d been struggling for many months with what to call this blog. I’d tried out a couple of names that either felt too ambitious or too obscure. I’d even written a handful of posts, but the blog (or maybe I) was suffering from Failure to Launch.

Then, as these things happen, I took a moment to watch this video where Maria Popova, the brain child behind the website Brain Pickings, talks about 7 things she’s learned in 7 years of blogging.

I was so curious about the person—or the force of nature—behind that prolific blog, I was busy marveling and barely paying attention by the time she got to #4.

Thankfully, my ears heard her when she said, “Build pockets of stillness into your life.” And not just my ears. I immediately felt a spread of warmth through my body, my shoulders relaxed, and there was a silent but resounding, “YES!”

Yes to stillness. Yes to time for reflection and rest. Yes to awe and wonder. Yes to anything that makes me pause and remember I’m not separate from this vibrant, pulsing, infinite, mind-blowing universe.

And yes to building these moments into life however possible, tucking them into my day like mini-vacations, or maybe more like stay-cations, where I drop everything else and am simply right there with myself—stunned into silence or joy or ecstasy by the (sometimes heartbreaking) splendor of it all.

I’m excited to share this practice with you. Because it is a practice. It’s something that requires attention, awareness, mindfulness, and presence, which float in periodically on the surf of grace, but which require cultivation if they’re to be experienced with any regularity.

The pockets of stillness are there. My work is to wait like the proverbial cat at the mouse hole and to slip into them when they show themselves to me.

I’ll let you know what I find. And I hope you let me know when they show themselves to you. #pocketsofstillness

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