Truly Powerful People (108)

Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

The first time I understood stillness was in Bali. It was a very hot day. I’d been in the country for almost 5 weeks, long enough to leave behind my very American need to be someplace other than where I was. For the previous few weeks I’d been playing a game that morphed into a kind of practice: walk behind a Balinese man or woman and imitate their gait, their rhythm of walking. I started this practice because it seemed to me that the Balinese were never in a hurry to get anywhere. Walking was not primarily about getting from point A to point B. Walking was not about arriving. Walking was about walking. Walking was process, not outcome.

At first my game was hard to play. I found it nearly impossible to sustain, my body tensed and ached as if I was detoxing my hurry-up-and-get-there addiction. After a while, time began to change, it slowed and sometimes disappeared. I acquired the capacity to walk more on my heels than on my toes. And the real benefit: my thinking also went back on its heels. The pace of my thought slowed.

On that very hot day I no longer needed to follow a Balinese man or woman, the practice was incorporated in me. I walked a path that led through fields and occasional clusters of house compounds. Somewhere on that path, I recognized that I was no longer in a story; the story was in me. I could turn it on if necessary and it was rarely necessary.

Stillness is not the absence of action. Stillness can be very active.
Stillness is to act without story and is immediately available when you recognize that you are telling the story, the story is not telling you.

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