Stopping to See Clearly
It’s been a busy year for House of Who. Gratitude-inducing and inspiring, it’s also been intense, without much room to come up for air!
So when the team told me that this quarter’s zine would be about vacation and travel, I laughed.
Sometimes I get a flash of what it might be like to watch me from the outside. People probably think I’m always in a whirlwind. Does she ever stop?
But I do, internally.
At home in my garden, of course, and more recently, abroad!
I went on a working vacation (highly recommend) in France this summer, where the World Cup was being won, train strikes were halting movement, and my time with the team got squeezed into the handful of hours when timezones nine hours apart meet with (relative) ease.
It wasn’t a relaxing time, exactly (I did manage to squeeze in three days of real vacation at the end of my trip) but it was illuminating, as these departures from “real life” tend to be.
And when I returned, I had an executive meeting with myself, saying that I need to take responsibility for more spaciousness. It’s time to prune my activities, my thoughts, my actions. Get back to simplicity so that every action, every thought, every bit of energetic telegramming out into the world is thoughtful and intentional.
Increasingly, I don’t like being reactive. It’s a very easy thing to do in this life, this industry, but my greatest strength is to stay put. To not go anywhere, but to reside exactly where I am. And it may look like I’m outputting - writing, or moving, or laughing, but sometimes that’s just the aftermath of coming back to stillness.
Like taking a long exposure photograph. It’s because the subject has stopped moving that you see the clear expression. If they move too fast it becomes blurry and you can’t make out a particular mood or thought or feeling. But when the movement stops, the longer exposure of light and shadow in a particular pattern emerges and makes a mark. Something you can recognize.
I feel like that’s the same thing now as I come to rest. To take stillness. That when I stop, the photo becomes clearer, but when I move, it blurs again.
Pruning is integral to a plant’s growth, and so it for us humans. When we cut things out of our lives we pull back our energy for more promising future buds to bloom. And it takes actually stopping to get that clarity. I wouldn’t want to prune something while the image is blurry. I need to sit still long enough to see the patterns.
I’ll be doing some more traveling shortly, as will various members of my team. Soaking up the stillness where we can, while the work continues on.
Want more words from the House of Who team about their travels? READ ON.