Learning To Be Still

About four weeks ago, the ice finally went off the NW Wisconsin lake where our cabin is.

This year, it took its sweet time, courtesy of a cold, wet Spring.

I love getting up early on summer mornings and taking the kayak out. Calm conditions offer a rare glimpse of a beautiful aquatic world normally hidden from view. 

Gliding across liquid plexiglass, crawdads are visible inching along the lake bottom attracting smallmouth bass. Minnows crease the surface as perch and sunnies weave through leafy pondweed. Sometimes I surprise giant alligator snapping turtles surfacing for a breath of air.

It strikes me that this beauty is always present, even when weather is turbulent or I lay in bed past sunrise. 

We are rarely both alert and quiet. Instead, we scurry around doing things. Even when trying to relax, thoughts create surface chop that scuttles our peace. 

Around twenty years ago, I initiated a mindfulness practice. It required getting up before daylight, which wasn’t easy, but it was the only uninterrupted time in my day. 

Learning to be still required practice. The first time I “dropped in,” I felt I had discovered an alternate state of consciousness, unaware that it was simply my natural state, void of distraction. 

Mindfulness practice is counter-intuitive, requiring both intention, and letting go! 

Over time, I experienced that the peace and unity of “Presence” was indigenous, but simply hidden from experience in the detritus of life.

I’m not sure I could’ve survived my high-pressure job without our cabin to escape to. Knowing there was a place I could go and be at peace made all the difference. 

Mindfulness revealed that peace wasn’t cabin-dependent. It has become an essential component  of my well-being, especially during turbulent times. I’m glad to see a growing interest in mindfulness practice. I can’t help but think it will contribute to a better world.

Recently, I wrote a five-part series on mindfulness. I’m hopeful that sharing my technique and experience will be helpful to others whom are considering beginning a practice. 

If interested, you can check out the series out by clicking Silent Fitness.


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2 Replies to “Learning To Be Still”

  1. I am lucky enough to have a lake place to experience as well…..Joanie and I are back up at ours now for the summer. It is a great place to get back to basics so to speak—- there is always so much to do and work on whether it involves mowing the grass, cleaning up the shoreline, chain sawing a downed tree, planting the summer flowers, fixing the boats or docks—– all things that would normally sound like tireless work !!! But if you approach them mindfully not as things you have to do but as things you “get” to do—-then life goes on with a sense of tranquility and fulfillment…..it has been a great lesson for me over my 75 years of our family lake place that has made me a better person elsewhere in the world as well…..God Bless Us All.


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