Hitting The Pause Button…or Not

Sandbox Writing Challenge 2018 — Exercise 3

by Calen over at Impromptu Promptlings

(Reblogged from August 25, 2015)

It’s Tuesday again, and time for the next prompt challenge from the Sandbox. Just a reminder to anyone reading this that you can jump in at any time. Do one. Do two. Do all if you want. These prompts are a way to get your mind and heart working on a not-so-superficial level — which is REALLY hard to do with all the background noise in our lives these days.

Plato once scribbled in his written works that “…to talk every day about virtue and the other things about which you hear me talking and examining myself and others is the greatest good to man, and that the unexamined life is not worth living…” I think that’s very important because it’s the only way the injustices of our world can be changed. (‘Course that’s just my opinion…)

So here we are at exercise 3. Have fun!

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The Sandbox Writing

Challenge — Exercise 3

What is it that keeps you from being still?

When I read this…I had to smile. Why? The first thing that popped in my head was that scene in Forrest Gump where he’s running……………and keeps on running….

From the moment my feet hit the ground after returning home from the hospital knowing Jim was gone, I was full-steam ahead. Not only did my feet hit the ground running..I ran a 7 month sprint … almost to the day, non-stop. I decluttered. Shredded old papers. Donated his clothing and most of the household things, not knowing who, what, where when or how. I was channeling my inner-energizer bunny and just kept on going, not taking to much time in between to pause.

I moved, not once, but 3 times in that time period….again, not hitting the pause button.

While living with my children and grandchildren was a blessing, there wasn’t an option to being alone, much less still. Instead, I was thrown head first into being mom and nana. As someone who needs her solitude and quiet time, while the living arrangements didn’t allow for that, looking back, it did keep me pre-occupied. Which in some ways kept my grief at bay.

But, I was able to find quiet moments in nature. I was still being drawn to the movement of water…….(as most of you know, for almost 10 years, we lived by the sea, and it was her movement, her ebb and flow, that I found solace, peace and healing, and stillness?.) This time, it was to the movement of the waterfalls, small rivers, and ponds of Pennsylvania that I was pulled to. And it was in those moments I began to once again heal….

7 months almost to the day that Jim died, I closed on my property and new ‘home’. For the first time since he died, I was ALONE. Still, stillness didn’t and doesn’t necessarily come. I’m drawn out of doors again, this time to the trees….the whispers of the wind..the chorus of the birds…..the flittering of my dragonflies. It is in the movement of nature, of life, that my real healing began and continues….

So, as I’m writing this, I’m thinking….Can anyone really, truly, be still?!? I mean, our breathing is movement. The blood rushing through our veins, our heartbeat, movement. The 1000 thoughts a minute that run through my head, (does that constitute ‘movement’?) Even in my mediation practice, monkey mind sneaks in……

Seems to me, when Jim died, and his Spirit left his body, stillness came, in a physical sense, for him. But for me, is stillness attainable as long as I’m breathing?!?!

Attaining stillness

One cannot help but be moved

By our beating hearts


So, at this moment of non-stillness writing, I’m putting the final period at the end of this post, and going out to hug my tree…..to find ‘stillness’ though even a tree has sap flowing through their ‘veins’….again, is anything ever really still?!

Day 11 Of My Meditation Journey 🙏

Here we are in Day 11 of the 21-Day Meditation Experience….is all about improving upon our own self-awareness.

Day 11 – Awareness Is a Skill You Can Master

“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.” – Charlotte Brontë

Self-awareness is not just something you either have or you don’t – it’s a skill you can improve upon. In today’s meditation, we learn that we improve our awareness skills with three basic practices. First, we learn to pay attention to what is happening in our environment. Second, the skill of focusing attention allows us to explore our experiences with clarity and without judgment. And finally, by learning the skill of stillness, or wholeness, we allow awareness to encompass the entirety of our experience as our own self. All these skills together as one mode of knowingness gives us the creative awareness that prevents life from getting stuck.


Oprahs message and story of Being Still and of finding her Spiritual Moment was one that stood out for me today. Hers happened upon a hike up a mountain…I’ve experience mine on my Soul Strolls…both along the beach and my hikes in the forest…..though the Stillness is open to interpretation…Even with the  ebb and flow of the ocean, or the gentle sway of the treetops, there is Still an ‘air of Stillness’ that overcomes me…..an awareness of All That I Am and All Of My Blessings…Namaste 🙏

Love the equation of Attention/ Focus/ Stillness/ giving us the answer of Creative Awarenss..and all its possibilities! 

Om Pragyanam Asmi
My true self is pure intelligence.

The Sandbox Writing Challenge 3….Stillness

The Sandbox Writing Challenge…Stillness…..What is it that keeps you from being still?



In the past, remembering the ugliness of my childhood and the toxicity of family relations would constantly pop up in my head, like scenes from a movie…..so hard to turn off. It wasn’t until I made peace with all of it, accepted my past for what it was, forgave (the forgiving was/is for me, not them.) and finally letting it go. Until I could do that, the mental, emotional and spiritual stillness I was searching and craving was never going to happen…….this didn’t happen overnight. It was, and in many ways, still is a work in progress…I’m a work in progress. But, I’ve come a long way………

There was also the guilt factor….the feeling of selfishness, especially in my first marriage, when the kids were younger. As far as the ex was concerned, I was a wife and mother..that was my job…there was no me. The whole idea of me needing or wanting some me-time was positively ludicrous……..

Pain….physical pain, does prevent me from enjoying my meditative stillness I had so recently found….I’m finding new ways (walking meditation for one) to roll with it and make it work….I refuse to let the pain win this one…I’ve worked to hard on the mental stuff to have the physical take it away from me.

…and of course the proverbial monkey mind that likes to come and call whenever I try and be still…..which is why I do use guided meditation a lot of the times…it helps drown out the monkey mind…sometimes!!

All in all, at this point in my life, I can honestly say I have found some stillness…I no longer feel guilty about….and I AM selfish with my stillness and alone time, sometimes to a fault, but I make no apologies for this…as far as I’m concerned, I’ve earned the right to Be STILL…….