Embrace the quiet

If I am given the option, I choose in most situations to be alone. I am not a loner despite what others think. It’s just that I don’t require the presence of others to be happy.

Too many people, too much noise especially from people who talk and say nothing. These are the people who talk because they find their happiness on that side of the world. Unfortunately I and others like me are outnumbered and as such we are the ones who are looked down upon. We are often questioned “Why don’t you like people?” There are an assortment of other questions and with my response I do not mean to be mean or nasty when I say, “I don’t like most other people.” I certainly do not require the presence of for my happiness.

I like the peace and solitude in which I find quiet.

John Burroughs the naturalist who never really reached the acclaim of other outdoor philosophers such as Thoreau, Muir and Emerson was heard to say, “Communing with God is communing with our own hearts, our own best selves, not with something foreign and accidental. Saints and devotees have gone into the wilderness to find God; of course they took God with them, and the silence and detachments enabled them to hear the still, small voice of their own souls, as one hears the ticking of his own watch in the stillness of the night.” Those who struggle to find the beauty in silence are condemned to hear the utterances of their own voices and have only that noise as companionship.

life guard house panorama B & W

As I took the time to saunter along the beach, crowded with others but alone with the thoughts in my head, I was reminded of the contentment which I achieve when I saunter alone. I enjoy just taking in the scenery and wish to share it with others and am dumbfounded by those who look at the scene in which I find awe and simply state, “That’s nice.” Those are not the individuals with whom I wish to spend my alone time.

When I saunter, I prefer to do it by foot. Either walking or on one of my daily runs will do. When I run, especially on the weekends, I prefer to do it at a time where I can reach certain locations at just the right time. The “right time” is the time I can be on a certain bridge or along the river front to be able to stop and take in the sunrise or to simply stop and take in the beauty which is often missed by others.

I need to saunter more often and embrace the quiet.




I lost it!

I lost it this week. I lost my balance, my mojo…Whatever you’d like to call it…I lost it. Somewhere between driving to the office Monday morning and the end of the day Friday, I lost it!

I drove to the office Monday morning, the sky still dark. My head heavy, tired. I caught myself daydreaming at a couple of red lights wishing I had the day or the entire week off. It wasn’t a full moon but there was a sense of dread. I thought, “I have to get myself out of this funk.” The looming shutdown of the Federal government. Patients telling me they’re depressed or anxious. We explore their issues and I can only think, “You’ve got to be kidding me!” The pinched nerve in my shoulder began screaming at me. I fidgeted in my chair trying to get comfortable. The days of the week counting down in my head. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday… the days not dragging but not seeming to move any faster than I had hoped they would move.

I sought solace on my meditation cushion, behind the lens of my camera and while out for my solitary morning runs. All three provided me with the energy to keep going, to keep moving, one foot in front of the other, one step at a time.

I blame no one and nothing. Sometimes things just seem to happen out of nowhere like walking around a blind corner directly into a door. Wham!! We burn the candle at both ends and either deny the actions which contribute to our imbalance or we simply become so consumed with ourselves, with our activities that we completely miss the ever present signs. For me, it was a combination of both. I have the ability to put on a smile and unless you look ever so closely, you’ll never see the seams. You’ll never see the cracks as they begin to appear around the edges.

I returned from the office Friday evening ate dinner and retreated to my meditation cushion, this time taking it outside. The natural sounds of the world my only company. The thoughts which previously raced around my head like a rubber ball, gaining momentum with each impact now began to slow until the only sound present was that of my breathing.

Balance is being restored. I do not say it “is restored” because balance is one of those things which with the slightest breeze can  push us off course. If we fail to pay attention to the signs, we can find ourselves, as I did far off course as I found myself.

Know your signs. Know when to say “Enough.” know when to ask for help or for guidance. Practice these things and balance becomes your friend. It becomes something which can be easily tamed and not something which tames us.