September 17, 2023: An Unexpected Gift of Quietude
Quietude: a state of calmness, stillness and quiet in a person or place.”it highlights her quietude and wise passivity”
Being “quiet and still” is an anomaly for me. Normally I’m a high-energy woman, whose days are usually full of activities; from checking off items on the never-ending to-do home and work list, to socializing time with family and friends. I was used to having the desire and energy to maintain an active lifestyle. But two weeks ago, I became ill with a virulent, upper respiratory infection. It literally knocked me flat and I’ve spent this time recuperating in bed. I am an impatient patient, and truly thought, that like the saying about “mind over matter”, my body would cooperate with my determined mind that wellness would happen fast. This time, my body just laughed. I had to learn to be more at ease with “not doing and just resting”.
Initially I was disheartened and frustrated to think we had to cancel a show. I was despondent to not be outdoors in this beautiful part of Maine. Heading out with my camera is one of my joys. Spending time with our Summertime friends and neighbors was also out. But realistically, even walking to the kitchen, sent me coughing and staggering back to bed. Once I finally accepted the fact that I was really sick and that the healing process was going to be slow, I settled down into my covers and entered into a state of quietude.
Over the last fourteen days, I’ve come to realize that the resting I’ve had to do, has actually been a gift of time. Even though I couldn’t go outdoors, I still had a daily present from nature. My bed faces a window which looks out across a beautiful lake to New Brunswick, Canada. A hummingbird feeder has become a source of entertainment, watching the speed demon hummingbirds flit back and forth. I love to read, and have had ample time to explore new authors and series.
It has also given me time me to quietly sort through and cull thousands of photographs spanning the last few years. This process of reflection has brought back so many memories, bringing smiles of joy….and sometimes tears, of past events, places, and treasured times with family and friends, some who are no longer here. Each photograph represented a moment in time, and like the jewelry we create, each bead had an integral part of my life’s design. I am feeling grateful……for so many things.
Upon reflection, this time of quietude was an unexpected gift. My perennially, whirling thoughts have calmed down, and with all this time to think, I feel clear and more focused on what I really want to happen in the days and years to come. Each day, I see baby steps back to health, and today actually got out my watercolors to begin a painting. Ultimately, what I learned from this, is how important it is to create time each day for stillness. I already meditated daily, but now recognize how important it is to take time each day to physically quiet myself, close my eyes and just breathe. Our world is a cacophony of activity and noise. See if you can find time, each day, for a dose of peace and quiet. It truly is the best medicine for a world-weary soul.
Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy life to read this post. I was surprised at how many quotes, from sources over the centuries, emphasizing the importance of quietude. Please feel free to share it with someone who might find it meaningful and if you have thoughts or a quote that inspires you, I’d love to read it here in the comments below..
INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES ON QUIETUDE
“Withdraw to the untroubled quietude deep within the soul, and refresh yourself.”Marcus Aurelius
“The places of quiet are going away, the churches, the woods, the libraries.
And it is only in silence we can hear the voice inside of us which gives us true peace.”James Rozoff
“The resting place of the mind is the heart. The only thing the mind hears all day is clanging bells and noise and argument, and all it wants is quietude. The only place the mind will ever find peace is inside the silence of the heart. That’s where you need to go.”Elizabeth Gilbert
“If you keep looking within, you will find stillness, a tranquillity that you’ve never experienced before. It’s like this secret space your mind can visit that unlocks new levels of creativity and confidence that you never thought possible.”Joel Annesley
“Not only a truer knowledge, but a greater power comes to one in the quietude and silence of a mind that, instead of bubbling on the surface, can go to its own depths and listen.]Sri Aurobindo
“A happy life must be to a great extent a quiet life, for it is only in an atmosphere of quiet that true joy can live.”Bertrand Russell
“True silence is the rest of the mind; it is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment.”William Penn
“Allow the heart to empty itself of all turmoil! Retrieve the utter tranquility of the mind from which you issued.Lao-Tzu
Although all forms are dynamic,and we all grow and transform,each of us is compelled to return to our root. Our root is quietude.”
“This silence, this moment, every moment, If it’s genuinely inside you, brings what you need.”Rumi
“Learn silence. With the quiet serenity of a meditative mind, listen, absorb, transcribe, and transform.”Pythagoras
Ask the world to reveal its quietude- not the silence of machines when they are still, but the true quiet by which birdsongs, trees, bellworts, snails, clouds, storms become what they are, and are nothing else.”nging bells and noise and argument, and all it wants is quietude. The only place the mind will ever find peace is inside the silence of the heart. That’s where you need to go.”Wendell Berry
“When the restless activity of your mind slows down, when your thoughts stop rushing like waves on a windy day, then you will start getting glimpses of the sweet taste of inner peace and quietness.”Remez Sasson
“Today, find a point of stillness: brief, but precious slight, but full small, but luminously real. Find a point stillness in the balance of all things between the breathing out and breathing in.”Na’ama Yehuda