Trying to sit still in school felt like a straight jacket had been put on my soul. My feet jumping up onto my chair, scooting underneath my butt, shuffling themselves back to the floor.
Back and forth I would repeat this pattern. My teachers would comment at me to sit still and stop moving. If I didn’t, there would be repercussions. My insides felt like they were boiling. Every cell in my body bouncing back and forth between my bones and my skin. Faster and faster the cells would vibrate and rattle off one another, trying their best to break through the surface and reach the outside world. Much like my cells, I yearned to explore the outside world. I needed to run and roll and bounce and throw whatever I could get my hands on. Out there was where I shined. In here is where I died.
Now, in post schooling life, I find myself in a new kind of societal standard that mimics closely the same environment that school fostered. This place is the work environment. Oddly enough, you would think someone like me would have chosen a more active occupation but no, I succumb to financial pressures and continue down a stubborn path. Luckily, this is something I have realized about myself over the past couple of years. I’m still on the path to freeing myself of my externally driven decision making but nonetheless, I persist. I don’t believe any of these realizations would be clear to me though without meditation. Meditation is the trendy, woo woo word of the day but it takes on many forms other than sitting in lotus position and focusing on your breath. Pushing myself to try and sit in stillness has been a meditation in and of itself. The mere thought of sitting in stillness causes my Tourette’s to have a field day with my body and create a symphony of tics that would make Beethoven jealous. It’s this daily struggle that elicits the attention to my awareness that has shed light on my consciousness, revealing to me who I am truly meant to be.
Giving myself time to be aware of my thoughts and emotions, fighting through the stillness, has been the most painful and rewarding experience of my current existence. No acid trip or mushroom experience can bring to light the truths of my reality more than this practice of stillness. The key ingredient, I find, is in the practice. The daily practice. Each day builds upon the efforts of the last. Much like my movement practice, my stillness practice, brings awareness to my perception of my thoughts, emotions and spasms. It removes my identifying with these things as who and what I am. I am able to watch them from a distance and remember that they are the objects and I am a subject viewing these objects, much like you and I are subjects who can view a beautiful, emotion driving piece of art while also distinguishing that we are not the painting itself. My thoughts, emotions, and spasms become the beautiful painting. I can watch them more clearly and take them as they are, not passing judgement over them. They are there and I am here.
Without the practice of stillness, I may not have come to face my truth that sharing my journey with Tourette’s would have the power to help others overcome the stresses and anxieties they face. This acknowledgment of who I feel I must become gives me the energy to document, share, and teach my movement practice with others. Through this energy, I am able to continue to providing value to my clients in my sedentary web development job while I explore new ways to tackle my tics and pass this knowledge on to my futures students, those who need it most. Through a balance of movement and stillness, we can truly come to understand who we are at a deeper level. Take the time with this daily practice. All you need is 10 minutes a day to transform your relationship to your thoughts and emotions. Meditation is the daily reminder that you are not your thoughts and emotions, you are something greater. You are the observer.