Art created by Carol Emerson and IAMU Class of 2016
In 2014 I found my way to IAMHeart and entered their two-year program. As I moved through the University program, I gradually shifted more and more into a receptive posture. I was directed inward while learning to attune to my heartbeat and breath. What an inner landscape showed up! There was so much to pay attention to in the very active inner world which bubbled up for me. My teachers gave me practices to tend to my emotions, my history and the wounds of my Heart.
Things I learned, I passed along to Kelly. We were approaching Cancer differently. We had different paths but we were including new ways of approaching disease. We were on the fast track because Olivia was deeply engaged with battling Cancer. As well, Kelly was engaged in her own reformatting with Cancer.
Along with integrating Western and Eastern medicine, meditation became a central daily practice.
Heart Rhythm Meditation changed my life. Prior to 2014, age 60, I thought I was headed toward ‘the pasture.’ But Cancer called me back into action…a type of action that would require mastering non-action.
In SMP Sacred Story section, Jennifer recently posted a story called “Answering the Call to Non-Action.” When I first read Jennifer’s story, I paused and reflected on Action and Non-Action. She raises a perpetual question asked: How is it done? How can I be Still while in the midst of the daily storm? For the SMP February Newsletter, I planned to write about one of our Partners: IAMHeart. Funny how synchronicity works. Jennifer’s Action/Non-Action question dovetailed beautifully with what I wanted to say.
I have come to know that Stillness is an art. To get to Stillness takes showing up regularly and tending to it. I learned that the active engagement with my heartbeat and my breath strengthened my capacity to engage in the world rather than escape it. I learned to respond rather than react. I needed to bring my Stillness to my daily tasks because Cancer demanded Presence. A new presence though. A Stillness in the Presence. I could only get there through a meditation practice. Heart Rhythm Meditation became my practice. Your practice may look differently. The key is regular attention to the practice which takes you inward and assists all of that inward activity which needs attention.
Stillness offers a bounty of gifts. Jennifer noted the things that are of the Highest Value: Rest. Silence. Play. Happiness. Presence. Best ideas. Work done efficiently. Emotional accessibility. Thinking. Balance.
As we seek answers, one thing becomes clears: There is no one answer. There are many paths that lead to the Still Heart. What I learned is to pick a path and stay steady. I chose a path and took it into my Heart and made it mine. I continue to look around for what dovetails nicely into my practice. Cancer was my challenger. Daily, I work on changing my atmosphere, internally and externally. I imagine a world where Cancer cannot exist. “Let the change begin with me.” (Ghandi) Hard work? Yes. But I do it for Olivia. I do it for Kelly. I do it for everyone who loves someone who faces Cancer.
It is my hope folks will read writings here on The Mountain, take them into their Heart and be inspired to write. Bring their writings here and invite a dialogue amongst us. We are travelers on this path of life. Write. Read. Reflect. Be moved forward. Know others are seeking similar action and stillness within the midst of the storm that life brings.
I am so grateful for all I learned, experienced and continue to discover as a result of my practice with Heart Rhythm Meditation. If you have a practice which assists Stillness, would you write about it and share it on The Mountain?