Some challenges serve to grind us down. Others help focus our will and clarify our lives, will, and intention.
When we open ourselves to the stillness and silence inside for long enough, we begin to recognize what voice is that of ego trapped in stories, and what is the part of self, of ego, that wishes to move forward anyway, despite the odds, despite the struggle, despite the sense of shame, or hubris, or anger, or self righteousness… We come to what is important: our growth as a human and our contribution to the world.
Without returning to silence, this task is almost impossible. We have to cultivate stillness inside to have a healthy place from which to assess the wants, needs, and desires of ego, and to get these on board the larger project of our soul. Unless we do this daily, when push comes to shove, all we have to help us are teachings from the overculture about getting ahead, or voices from our past that keeps us down.
If we don’t meet each day from a pool of silence, we will drown in the noise of our own making. The clamor of the overculture will hijack our best intentions over and over. Our ego will never learn to be the strong ally it needs to be for us to manifest the lives we most deeply desire, the lives that will be of help to the world.
Next time we find ourselves caught in a story, repeating it to friends, colleagues, or our journals about why we can’t do this thing, how we’ve been wronged, why we are right, or what pattern keeps us back, I ask us to take a moment and answer the invitation given on each breath: come to life, to spaciousness, and to silence. Breath helps our frustrated and bewildered parts of self to meet silence again. When silence meets anything else, myriad possibilities open, giving insight and opportunity that were not available when all we could do was rail against the cages we perceived.
Stillness brings the ego back toward balance, love, and power. When we bring the ego into stillness, we can see and hear so much more, which gets us closer to the underlying truth of each situation, and of our lives as a whole.
This is not the silence of suppression that leads to oppression. This is the still silence of the self attempting something new: to live centered around a still pool at the core, in order to have true autonomy and choice. This stillness is the seat of all our power. With it, over time, we can do almost anything. Stillness helps to clarify desire, allowing us to recognize on a deep level that we are walking the path of our soul.