Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Soulful Stillness

Stillness is our most intense mode of action. It is in our moments of deep quiet that is born every idea, emotion and drive which we eventually  honour with the name of action. In stillness every human being is great; he is free from the experience of hostility; he is a poet and most like an Angel.

Leonard Bernstein

I was contemplaing the idea of stillness this morning after I overslept. Beaker and I sat up chatting late into the evening last night which, as you can imagine, was not conducive to an early rise. A precious moment for me that I'm becoming tentatively accustomed to and growing to cherish.

I know I touched on this in my last post, but having that opportunity to lose the calm has served to confirm the rule and brought up some deeper reflections on the subject.

Without that moment of quiet in my day, 
I am definitely NOT like an Angel!!

I realised I become vague, inefficient, hazy and lethargic (Even without a glass of wine over lunch!!!) I hesitate over which of my tasks I should do next, not being able to decide until necessity decides for me. Necessity may be the mother of invention for most, but in my state, all I get done are the basics: breakfast, lunch and dinner for the family, the resulting cleaning up afterwards and the schooling just.

That's barely half of what I achieve if I get up before the birds, start with some breathing and meditation exercises, roll up my sleeves and get stuck in. That sounds obvious doesn't it. We all get more done if we start earlier - although the job may expand to fit the time available. Last week I said that I saw my own, personal path more clearly when I take that 'me' time early morn, before the first chirp, while the rest of France is still asleep.

It's taken me a week to experience that it has more far reaching implications than I'd first thought. (I'm hoping that at the rate of one Eureka moment per week I may reach Buddha hood by my 90th birthday ;-)

Seriously though, it's the snowball effect on efficiency during the day that most takes me by surprise each time. My whole day becomes more organised AND fun if I get my 'stillness' time. Taking the early morning hours to define and work at my personal project gives me the extra energy to move mountains for everybody else and still find time for my calligraphy in the afternoon, almost effortlessly.

Whether this is pure imagination, due to my happy perception of the world which makes me more patient and open to what arises during the day, or whether everyone actually does cooperate and things slot into place naturally, I'm still unsure. It's maybe a mix of both. Often I wonder how much of my frazzled nerves mental state my messmonsters absorb and express in their own way.

What do you think?
How much time do you spend in contemplative stillness?
Do you yearn for it?
Do you allow yourself the luxury? How often?

I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts…
IF you would like more of mine, on wellness, pop over to Simone's gorgeous blog: The Bottom of the Ironing Basket. Simone has spent all of November interviewing women from around the globe on their perceptions of what Wellness means. You can find my contribution by clicking here

See you next Tuesday with an advent calendar 'Signed by Ange' style.  It's a little secret I've been working on for grown ups as a precurser to the inevitable New Year's resolutions list…


PS. This piece is in my Etsy store. 
You can find it if you look on the right hand side bar for the Etsy mini icon.


  1. Contemplative stillness... I absolutely crave it on a regular basis... "like a deer pants for water," as the saying goes. When I go too long without, I begin to feel that need, that desire for it churning away within.

    Your new piece looks amazing, by the way!

  2. Beautiful post! I do yearn for stillness. It always makes everything better. and yet i dont always make it a priority. i really need it in the late afternoon. yesterday i forced myself to lie down to do a body-scan meitation at 4:45. and whoa, i was struck by how much i needed it to take stock to let the stress roll out in great waves. then i was able to approach the rest of my day without a melt down.

    I just love this painting.

  3. I'd like an audio recording of this, read in your (doubtlessly) gentle, lilting voice, to be read to me when my alarm goes off at 6 in the morning rather than the 7 am it is usually set for.

  4. J'aime tout dans cette nouvelle création : le dégradé des couleurs, l'opposition bleu/bois flotté, la répétition, les effets de matière. Bravo !

  5. I've never been too good at this contemplative stillness stuff, a nature of practicality & pragmatism have always been a hindrance. I wonder what I'd find if I was able to toss that cloak of reason to the wind Ange!
    Millie xx

  6. Hi Ange
    Stillness and clam is something I need a lot of in my life.. right now I'd like to smack my noisy neighbours around the chops! but that wouldn't be calm at all would it?

    Hang in there and keep up that morning routine.. sounds like it is working.. ciao xxx Julie


Can't think of a famous quote that says 'communication makes the world go round' so you 'll just have to get my clumsy way of putting it instead ;-) Your comments are precious. Thanks for dropping by!