Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Eight years to calm

Almost eight years ago I was told that part of my destiny was to learn calm. To be calm. Might not sound like such a feat but at the time I had just emerged from severe exhaustion and ever-slowly out of what felt like an all-consuming frantic auto-immune disease and back into health. I was still recovering, and learning so much about my body and what worked and didn't work for me. 

I knew the opposite of calm had got me to that state. I knew I was learning calm. Very slowly. I was better at creating calm. But to be calm? That seemed impossible to me. And being told my destiny involved this invoked tears. Because what was calm anyway? And how? Staying healthy seemed so hard. Tell me how to be calm, I begged. 

Just the thought of having to somehow find calm as a natural state made me much less than calm. But of course, that was the whole point. Calm can't be controlled or manipulated. Calm just is. It can be invited though. And created, and embraced. And the instant this dawned on me, I surrendered - and all at once gave up on pushing myself to be the me I needed to be to remain healthy. 

Instead I focused on what felt happy to me, instead of doing and moving all the time I stayed still and breathed (and it was hard at first), I pulled away from anything that might equal busy which meant learning to say no (and that was especially hard for me). I read a lot, I spoke to a lot of people, I researched, I tried new ways of being/eating/moving and learnt so so much. And most definitely the eight years to this point right now (insert three babies, three house moves and various job changes) have seen me fine-tune my calm-for-me skills. 

Yesterday I cancelled plans (because rushing doesn't agree with me), a fortnight ago I booked into yoga classes again for this term (because I know my body, heart and mind will thrive in that one hour) and last week after setting up various creative pursuits for the kids I decided it was what I needed too and spent an hour drawing and painting. For the past three months I've been reading books and more books (on to my fifth) and for the past five days I have turned my meditating-whenever-I get-a-free-chance-habit into a nightly rhythm for as long as my mind, heart and body choose (sometimes five minutes, sometimes twenty). 

And today while I walked in the sunshine I wondered how my energy could feel so good when I'm on broken nightly sleep thanks to my beautiful teething almost-five month old baby. My answer to myself is this sense of nurture and self that's come from my investment in calm pursuits. Suddenly all the little things I've taught myself over eight years have come together. And I'm sure it's not one of them, but all of them. And I suddenly realised I'm doing more than okay. And I think I'm coming close to working out this calm caper. Well, for me anyway.


How do you do calm? And any book recommendations?


  1. Omg Google dramas mean I lost my comment. Gave me my answer- to stay calm I breathe!!! A lot. Sometimes through gritted teeth lol. Xxx

  2. What a lovely journey to calm. I think you put your focus in the right spot, and it all came together beautifully for you.

  3. That's lovely Elisa. To maintain my sense of calm, or to get it back, I do a variety of things. I think you learn over time what works for you. About 11 years ago I was burnt out from trying to do too much and from trying to be who I thought I should be. I took time out, rested and read a lot. I now know I need to keep my days fairly quiet. I can't have too much on my plate or I start to stress. I focus on keeping my kids happy. I slot in things through my day that make me happy eg. knitting, gardening, reading, stretching. If I feel my stress levels rising I take a step back from what I'm doing, I breath and I take a couple of minutes out to recentre myself. It is a learning process that you adapt over time to suit your needs. Isn't it great when you see you've made progress? I think too, that when you are a bit sleep deprived, you need to step back and spend time nurturing yourself and your babies and always remember that this too will pass. Much love xxoo

  4. SO great that you found what works for you to function well- I too find that i just need some time to myself to maintain the calm x

  5. So happy that you are able to find (well, create) the calm that you need. Calm is something that I should be working on much more than I have. I need more of it my life, for sure. Thanks for the reminder!

  6. So glad that you've found ways to add more 'calm' into your days. I am a big advocate for saying no to anything that equals busy / jam-packed days and purposely schedule quiet, go-slow days into our weeks xx


Thank you for your words and support. I'm so glad you stopped by xx