Be. Still.

by Elizabeth Newcomer in , , , ,



Growing up my dad use to say that when either one of my four siblings or I was being rambunctious…in car rides, on the sofa, at the dinner table, “Be. Still.”  It always annoyed me because it was usually when we were just having a good time, laughing, and being silly. 
Yesterday, I pulled the muscle located on my right side, somewhere midway between my shoulder, and all the way up my neck.  I returned from the Enneagram Intensive last Thursday night and since I’d been back, I’d been go-go-going.  Creating this blog, setting up an accompanying Facebook and Twitter account.  I’d been reconnecting with my beau, with my friends.  I am doing Dallas Travers “Actors Business Breakthrough,” an Eight Week Tele-course designed to help actors break through whatever current blocks they are facing.  I’ve been trying to incorporate all that I learned in my Enneagram Intensive: meditation, staying with myself when I feel reactive, eating healthy, exercising, etc. 
Occasionally, I get stuck in old familiar loop patterns.  I loop back around to the place where I feel anxious about where I am on my path.  I play the “should game.”  I should get another agent.  Should I quit acting?  Should I go back to my restaurant job?  Should I eat this or eat that?  Should I wake up earlier so I can meditate?  Should I?  Should I?  Should I?  It’s gosh-darn crippling!
So…it’s no big surprise that with all my striving, aspiring, trying, that a part of my body just pulled back and insisted.  “No.  Just slow down. “  I recalled my dad’s voice, “Be.  Still.”
Ah!  What a relief it was!  To lie down on the couch yesterday as the Nor’easter tore its way through New York’s still-recovering streets.  To watch “The Good Wife” on television while feeling the warmth of a heating pad on my back...to dismount that hamster wheel of my own creation. 
The ironic thing is, if I learned anything at all from my Enneagram Intensive, it was be still.  Stay with you.  Breathe into your belly.  Receive.  We are a nation of strivers and doers.  We are slaves to our egos.  We praise those in our culture who can multi-task the most, who can make the most money by being workaholics, who put so much of their energy out into the world that they are left as depleted shells of their former selves.
I don’t want that.  I want to be awake and present to my life.  Yes, I want to support myself financially.  I want to make a difference in this world.  I want to give freely with the gifts I’ve received.  But there has to be a balance.  I was taught this past week, that we cannot have a spiritual experience unless we allow ourselves to receive.
I’m not sure what my next move will be.  For today, I am just going to be still.
“Make your ego porous.  Will is of little importance, complaining is nothing, fame is nothing.  Openness, patience, receptivity, solitude is everything.”  -Rainer Maria Rilke