I relocated my professional home this year and with this move I joined a new group of colleagues and friends. I cherish the times when we come together as a group and share matters related to our work, space, plans and concerns. I especially like the ritual of beginning each meeting with a centering practice. As a group we share a few minutes, not more than five really, of silence. From this practice I have made some very significant discoveries.
I value the sense of connection that this practice fosters with my colleagues. These connections are not processed verbally as much as experienced as a felt sense that I notice each and every time we come together. Creating this space brings me more fully into a presence for the meeting. I notice a clearing of energy in the room as well as inside of me. I love what feels like a “community exhale” just before we begin “talking the meeting.”
During our most recent meeting I noticed unexpected strong feelings and sensations emerge in my body. As is usual, I rushed to this meeting from a busy space, both internally and externally. The silence and stillness brought an awareness of an internal emotional space that surprised me and really needed to be brought to my consciousness.
I began to wonder what would happen if I took a few minutes of silence and stillness at other times during my day. I began to experiment to “take five”, so to speak, throughout my day. I realized that these breaks from the business (busy-ness) of work and life create a mini-vacation of sorts; opportunities to observe what I am truly feeling and what I need to do to take better care of myself emotionally, physically and spiritually.
Robin Okun, LMSW, is a coach, therapist, speaker and Founder of Mindful Movement, Ann Arbor, Michigan. Learn more about Robin at http://www.robinokun.com