Isn't It Pretty To Think So?

A wanderer's dispatches on life, love and the human condition

Rain and the lesson of stillness

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I’m sitting here listening to the rain, which has been virtually nonstop (give or take a few breaks) and heavy since yesterday afternoon. It’s very romantic and beautiful, but prevents me from doing much outside. I didn’t bring any rain jacket (silly me–I almost packed it). And the surf is pretty big this week at the local beaches, so Aldo the guy I met on the beach yesterday who I hope to take surf lessons from told me, so getting in the water to surf is probably not a good idea.

But it’s OK. It gives me time to catch up on my blog and perhaps do some yoga here at home. I have found a woman in the nearby town of Lagos — the biggest “city” in the area — who teaches yoga, and I may take a private lesson with her tomorrow, or if not that then one of her regular classes either on Saturday or Tuesday.

I realize I’m not someone who sits still very often. I have a real problem with stillness, which is why I think I am drawn to yoga so much–it helps me slow down (even if I never really do “stop”). If nothing else I will learn from this trip how to sit still, how to be quiet, how to stop taking action and see what happens when you stop trying to make things happen and just let them arrive. I get antsy, I am impatient, I have never been the sort of person to let life come to me. I try to make life my bitch, make it do what I want, when I want it. (Next time you see me, ask me how that has worked out for me.)

I’m being sarcastic. Because of course, in so many ways, it has worked out. If I weren’t someone who took risks and made moves, I would not be here. But all of that movement has led me to a place where I must now sit still and be quiet. I said that about this trip all along, when people back in New York were telling me that maybe I’d meet someone or fall in love, or maybe I’d be out in the bars getting drunk and gabbing with the locals. Well, maybe I will yet. Maybe I will.

But I also knew that this trip was about being OK to sit still with myself and let that bring a new kind of awareness into my life. To make myself OK with really just being with myself and be content to see what arrives instead of trying to force every situation. To live in the moment and as close to my intuitive self as possible. To let my inner voice — the smarter one — tell me what to do instead of letting my anxious, brassy id rule the roost.

A very wise friend said to me recently that she believes the best things in life really come to someone when they stay still in one place for awhile. So this first week — not just because I am settling in or because of the rain, but just because it’s how it should be — is for stillness.

Author: elizabethmontalbano

I am a writer, photographer, lover, fighter, traveler and bon vivant currently residing in southwest Portugal.

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