I was walking through a remote village in Myanmar some years ago. It was late afternoon, and the sun was burning. Kids were happily playing on a muddy road; men were in the nearby fields attending to their livelihood and women were working in tiny man-built mud houses. Curious, I stopped and peeked inside one such hut. The house had no electricity neither running water and certainly no Internet; there was a cooking stove in the centre of a tiny space.
My eyes were met with a beautiful smile by a woman. She looked perplexed but happy. I concluded that she must have never seen a foreigner in her entire life. So I smiled back and continued walking.
I had no idea where I was – hoping I was on my way back to the lodge where I was staying.
By now dusk had fallen and the hot sun vanished. Men were returning from their fields and children walking home. Candles were lit in the huts and fires were lit for cooking. I was suddenly overwhelmed by a deep sense of calmness and peace. I had caught myself daydreaming about the simplicity of life. Does happiness hide in simplicity? After sunset there is nowhere to go and nothing to do. Village life is controlled by the rhythm of nature.
The beauty of being still
Here in the Northern Hemisphere (from where I am writing) we are in winter. The days are short and often cold and grey.
Whilst the winter months are an invitation for us to live life more slowly, a call to go within to consciously rest, we are conditioned to the busyness of life. We won’t allow ourselves to stop for fear being seen inactive or lazy. And we wrongly equate busyness with self-worth. We are falling for the collective and cultural trap. Sadly, we are neglecting nature’s call for conscious resting, a call to connect to inner stillness to lay the foundation for our harvest later in the year.
Today, I remind myself to stop and pause. I allow myself to experience stillness as a dynamic space. There is nowhere to go but inward. I am one with the rhythm of my life.