Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Gift of Stillness in the Midst of Chaos

“Art,” wrote Saul Bellow, “has something to do with the achievement of stillness in the midst of chaos… an arrest of attention in the midst of distraction.” quoted from World Enough and Time by Christian McEwen.

Thanks to Suzie Banks Baum, for introducing me to Gwarlingo, who posted an article about Christian McEwen and her wonderful, inspiring book, and thanks to Michelle at Gwarlingo for reminding me again this morning in her newsletter about the importance of finding stillness in the chaos.

It's not even Christmas yet, and we've had two big Christmas parties, one with friends and neighbours, one with family, some of whom drove 10 hours to come and be with us in a pre-Noel party.

It is always wonderful to be with close family, see the new babies and rock them to sleep on my knee, cook comfort food for the guests, and as this was a potluck Shepherd's Pie party, with champagne, the preparation was only getting the house ready and getting out a few dips and snacks.

But in the days after, with a scattered brain and nervous edginess that linger, I am needing to find the stillness again. This is my challenge in the coming 12 days of Christmas....

My kids are both home now, the house is more full of their presence and good-natured helping out (yes, after age 20, they do become human again). I love that they love this home, the full fridge, food appearing on demand, warm blankets and all the amenities of "home". 

So I'll be nurturing and providing for the family, as well as wrapping presents and stuffing stockings, and my reading and writing time will be curtailed. The SoulCollage cards sit in their special bag, keeping each other company, but far from my eyes. The only 'art' I create will be my presence, what I choose to speak, or write in a card perhaps. This heartfull presence needs nurture and care. I felt it ebb very low yesterday, and this morning I sat a bit longer in meditation, needful, and mindful of filling the well.

I wish you that awareness, and a few moments of stillness in the coming celebrations. Take a moment to watch the ducks fly by the window, or the cardinals in the cedar. Step outdoors and look up at the cloud formations or the night stars. Breathe a little peace into your day, into your heart. And know that in the slowing down of the season, the winter darkness, our bodies too need more rest and stillness. Try and find that, if you can, and make peace with the need to be still.

happy Solstice
ps there is a free sample of a meditation from my Relaxation CD on my website at

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

December Light Celebrations

Ok, it's an auspicious day, 12-12-12. And the ice has newly formed on the lake outside my window (actually a widening of the St-Lawrence River). Winter has finally arrived.

What I want right now, in this moment, is to breathe into this little quiet spot, this brief oasis of tranquility before the holiday parties are unleashed (well, we've had two already, but the crunch will be Dec 24-Jan1). My classes are over, my shopping is almost done, and I'm taking a break today to bask in the sunshine (even if it's freezing out there), and take a minute to be thankful for all that has come my way this year. All the new friends, and the new learnings.

I am celebrating peace in my heart. I can't wait for the whole world to find peace, but I can practice peace, now.

I am celebrating more joy and happiness, after a lot of self-work, self-love and body-work, to release the holding and negative thought patterns of yesteryear.

I am celebrating my children's accomplishments, as they wind up their busy exam and project schedule.

I am celebrating having a warm home and hearth to cook in, eat in, and to enjoy the company of my spouse at the end of the day in.

I am thankful for all of you who pop up on occasion to read Musemother's thoughts and articles.

May your world be a quieter, gentler, inner-directed, peaceful place this holiday season.  May you go at your own pace, and follow the rhythm of existence, slow down and enjoy yourself with all your company, family and friends.

Merry Holidays, Solstice, New Year,