Invitation to Quietude

“In your haste along the way, take time to smell the flowers.”

QUIETUDE – a state of stillness, calmness, and quiet in a person or place.

Inviting quietude to my day enables me to allow the flow of life to unfold naturally and with ease. In lieu of my resistance to stillness, I have set up a speed bump in my common area. A two-tiered, round decorative plant stand poses elegantly in the center of the room. On this, I place a candle, an inspiring photo, an essential oil, and a few objects found in nature: coral, shell with barnacles, and a feather. I also place a book of chants and a prayer card. I combine religions, spiritual traditions, and decorative trends to call my attention. My sacred space resonates just for me. As I pass by, over thirty times a day, the stand is a subliminal objet de reverence. This subtle, redundant reminder infinitely invites me to pause for non-doing. Suggesting I sit at my altar, sing a chant, ring a bell, repeat my mantra. Seasonally, I replace the found objects, the inspiring photos and the heart-warming quotes to breathe life and vitality into the composition. Each time I pass the stand, I am invited to revisit my intention for that particular time of life, drawing me to my moment, commending the value of each period of my life as cherish-able.

  1. Choose a site for your space
  2. Select a stand, sconce, shelf, table, mantle, etc…
  3. Decorate with tchotchkes that you enjoy right now, remember these will rotate out – a lesson of impermanence

TIP: Add a journal so you can feel closer to the space as you begin.

POSE: Seated forward fold Paschimottanasana. Forward fold draws you to take time turning inward. Much like your new quietude space, this pose can return your attention to your supported condition at this moment. She is happy, healthy and free in this calming, reflexive pose.
Upright seated, extend legs forward, keep a nurturing bend in knees. Anchor to the earth through your seat, grasp the glutes, pull each out to the side to root firmly. Inhale lengthen the spine, reach crown to the sky. Exhale hinge at the hip 30 degrees, towards the thighs, keep heart open, shoulders draw back. Hold: inhale lengthen the spine, extend crown forward: exhale hinge slightly further to thighs. Maintain straight spine. Arms lay alongside the legs, at ease. The goal is to feel each part of the body as a reflection of grace and love. The goal is not to fold over like a pride-filled pancake. We are simply slowing down to accept our need for the moment. For me, this pose’s challenge lies in pulling back from what I want (flapjack) and being pleased with what I need (connection to the body through breath and noticing).  As you feel complete with the pose, draw abs to the spine as you lift your chest to upright seated. For additional variations, bend one leg at an angle and keep one straight. Complete on both sides for equanimity. Also, spread legs to a V shape, anchor, and breathe as you extend and hinge.

ESSENTIAL OIL: Rose the petals of the rose upon detailed observation are complex and imperfect, yet stepping back they are spell-bindingly, beautiful. I invite you to look inward at your complexities with gentleness. Connect with them as you would the maze-like variety of each rose petal. Accepting an invitation to quietude grows our self-compassion.

MANTRA: “I am my highest self: happy, healthy and free.”

STONE: Rose quartz energizes the heart. Leading with the heart instead of the mind invites clarity for seeing multiple perspectives. Take rose quartz with you in your pocket as a token to stop and smell the roses.

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