IN THIS EPISODE:
A follow-up to Maureen and Christian’s last episode about slowing down, Special Episode #8 takes it a step further and dives into stillness. One of the great paradoxes in spirituality, inner stillness does not equal outer inaction… In fact, as Maureen explains, it’s the key to more creativity, less stress and higher productivity on a daily basis.
Topics addressed in this episode include:
- How to maintain stillness within, while being active and engaged with life.
- The antidote to an anxious, chattering mind.
- Finding inspiration when you feel stuck.
- Routines that sustain stillness.
- How to access the vast pool of knowledge available to all of us, exactly when you need it.
- The relationship between stillness and Self-acceptance.
- Learning how to say “no” as a spiritual practice
- Having fun and the Return to Innocence
Learn more about Helen Keller who, despite being blind and deaf since age 2, grew up to earn a bachelor’s degree, write 12 books and give lectures around the world.
The teacher who was responsible for Helen’s communication breakthrough, and who was her life-long companion, was Anne Sullivan.
In these special release episodes of Miracle Renegade, Maureen and Christian take the covid-19 conversation to the Soul.
Support us on Patreon and get access to bonus recordings, meditations, outtakes and more! www.patreon.com/miraclerenegade
For behind-the-scene updates and a little taste of the miraculous everyday, follow @miraclerenegade on Instagram
Produced with ☕️ + 💜 by Missing Link Studios
Special Episode 8
Maureen: [00:00:00] We left off the last podcast with the idea of being more peaceful and at ease and more aware just by slowing down. And how beneficial that was to us during times that are trying or challenging or tumultuous, like the times that we’re in right now. And so I’d like to take it a step further. Just at the very end of our recording during that last podcast, I got this hit from a Course in Miracles about Stillness and abiding in Stillness. And so it’s sort of amping it up, or taking it to the next step, to what’s even beyond slowing down. And what’s inherent in that idea of Stillness.
Christian: [00:00:47] Yeah. I – I … It’s a concept that I have no idea about. I feel like I’ve always been moving. And even when I’m not moving I’m thinking, and even when I’m not thinking my heart’s beating, my blood is racing. There’s always something moving. So I understand that stillness in the mind is attainable, but I don’t know quite exactly how to attain that and what to even look for, because everything is always moving.
Maureen: [00:01:16] And it’s not unusual that you wouldn’t know what stillness is when you look at things from the perspective of being on the planet, engaged with other people – even if you look at a newborn baby, the only time that they’re still is when they’re asleep . They’re moving constantly.
Christian: [00:01:32] Hmm.
Maureen: [00:01:33] I know there was a study one time about people trying to keep up with their own baby for the first year as they were moving around and – trying to do that as an adult and how exhausting it was because they’re constantly moving. So it’s not about what appears to be happening outside. It’s much more about what’s happening inside. This state of being where we’re abiding. And you could say that that state of being is inherent in babies because they’re not really quantifying their experience via the outside world yet. After a little while, you can see how they’ll smile spontaneously if they see a face in front of them, when that starts to be something they’re aware of, but for the most part they’re self-referring. And that’s what we start out with in life – being very self-referring. How does it feel inwardly to us? And what does it mean to really hone that capacity as adults to notice how it feels deep, deep, deeply inside of us?
Christian: [00:02:41] Hmm.
Maureen: [00:02:42] So that’s the benefit of stillness you can’t feel what’s happening deep, deep, deeply inside yourself, unless you have that capacity to be still.
Christian: [00:02:53] So, um, I’m assuming this is like a practice. This is a meditation?
Maureen: [00:02:57] Well, you know, it’s funny because people who practice meditation and get very capable of falling into these deep stillnesses – capable of arriving at a place inside of them where there’s not so much commotion in their mental activity – the big benefit of that is not just sinking into those deep states when you’re by yourself in meditation, but carrying it over into your life, so that it’s affecting the activity in your life.
Christian: [00:03:27] Yeah.
Maureen: [00:03:28] So the art of this or the, the real important part of this conversation, that’s valuable for things like occupying time and space in a pandemic is that you approach all the activity in life from this Still point. Not because it seems like, you know, it’s cool and wonderful to look like you’re a patient person or that you’re an aware person. but because on the inside, nothing else feels as fulfilling.
Christian: [00:03:59] Yeah.
Maureen: [00:04:00] You can approach the same exact activity from a place of disconnect where your mind is really chattering about it. It could be washing the dishes. “Oh, you know, why am I stuck doing this?” Thinking of the 10,000 other things you could be doing while you’re washing the dishes, or the people who should be washing the dishes instead of you. But if you show up to that activity just being available to it completely, and you’re letting your mind to be still about it, you’re going to notice the things that are inhently amazing and beautiful in that experience. When people asked Helen Keller what she would most want to see, she said soap bubbles.
Christian: [00:04:39] Oh, wow.
Maureen: [00:04:39] So when you think of that, how beautiful and even what a work art it is to be able to do the dishes with that kind of stillness in your heart and mind.
Christian: [00:04:52] And Helen Keller is a, a great example of that cause she couldn’t see or hear right?
Maureen: [00:04:56] Right. In her early life, her own family had a really hard time dealing with her. She would throw tantrums and they would try to wrangle her in to sit at the table according to the stories. And she was more like an animal in the house, the way that they let her just have the rule of things.
Christian: [00:05:14] Yeah.
Maureen: [00:05:15] And when “the teacher” in quotes came in, the person who was able to show her how to function in life from a place of connectivity to something more that wasn’t just seeing with her outer senses, what she had to do was be able to teach her how to slow things down. And you’ll notice this – if you can slow things down, even if you’re engaged with someone else in a conversation or with a project, when you slow things down there’s also room for appreciation in that exchange and in that activity. Inherent in slowing down is the capacity to tap a greater Vastness.
Christian: [00:05:58] Hmm.
Maureen: [00:05:59] A greater capacity to engage with even more than what you’re looking at specifically, like that project in front of you. You’re accessing inspiration from this really Vast Field of Awareness. And you’re able to see things that are in the periphery in a way that they compliment what you’re doing. They’re not distracting or taking you out from the focus or the presence of being with what you’re in. And so someone like “the teacher” in quotes – I can’t remember what her real name was, I just remember the movies about this and reading about it when I was really young – uh, she showed Helen that she was appreciative by her slow and deliberate actions. She showed that she was more aligned with love than fear by her slow, deliberate, embracing actions. She held her to a specific focus, held her to a focus where stillness would be what she’d arrived to. And when that clicked, the-the day that that clicked for Helen Keller she was being shown sign language on her hand, over and over and over and over “water, water…” and then she felt the water on her hand and it finally clicked that water was the sign that she had been receiving in her hand, that she could communicate from the outside, but based on an inner connection. When that finally clicked it was because in the spaciousness, in the stillness of not judging, or being fearful, or all the other things that happen when our minds are moving 10,000 miles a minute, she had the space to be able to access “this connects with this”.
Christian: [00:07:52] Hmm.
Maureen: [00:07:53] The Spaciousness within us, this Stillness begets our capacity to abide in a Spacious, All-Knowing place which is inherently peaceful – not confusing, not comparative, not in a world of this and that, that you have to attain or accomplish things. It’s All Knowing and All Being. So when you abide there and you get a hit, it’s always of connection.
Christian: [00:08:22] Hmm.
Maureen: [00:08:23] Notice all the chaos that’s happening in the outside world right now is the disconnect. We don’t know what’s happening. We can’t quantify things. The things that seem this way, the next day they’re that. It’s confusing to people and it feels like you can’t think enough to get a handle on this.
Christian: [00:08:38] Yeah.
Maureen: [00:08:39] And you can’t! So the only place to get a handle on anything is to allow yourself to be with yourself in very kind and embracing ways, just like the teacher did as a symbol for Helen Keller –
Christian: [00:08:54] Hmm.
Maureen: [00:08:55] – and then you can go into a place of not knowing. Like, think about that: you don’t have the capacity to hear, speak, or see, and she’s faced with herself. If she wasn’t befriending the void, that’s living hell.
Christian: [00:09:12] Yeah.
Maureen: [00:09:13] But if you can befriend that, and be in that space in a way that you’re open and receptive and loving of it? You’ll see that there’s never a void, that it’s full. It’s full of the Divine. It’s full of Grace. It’s full of Miracles. Inherent with Miracles.
Christian: [00:09:35] You’re saying that like the missing element is love. Because Helen Keller, um, the family was tired, exhausted, and they didn’t show her more love in that, in that reality of hers.
Maureen: [00:09:47] Well, I think they showed her the human capacity that we have to love. You know, throw her this to-to get her to be quiet. Or if she threw a doll or ripped it up, then they just hand her another doll.
Christian: [00:09:58] Yeah.
Maureen: [00:09:58] And, and almost condition her into this activity that was not in anyone’s best interest.
Christian: [00:10:05] Yeah.
Maureen: [00:10:06] So sometimes we have to stop ourselves in the midst of what seems to be in our best interest, especially things that drive us when you’re being driven towards something, and you really have a strong attachment to outcome. That’s the time to stop, slow down and, at best, become still. That’s, when at best we begin to listen for that still, small Voice that’s not wrapped up in the chaos and confusion. We all have this. This is the Voice of the Soul. This is the Voice of our own best interest. Get so still, that that Voice can rise to the surface. And, and earlier on, when I was talking about this Voice, I said that, your mind and heart connect with this, we hear this Voice in a deeper place within us. That’s why you have to get still to listen.
Christian: [00:11:00] Hmm.
Maureen: [00:11:00] And you have to be able to connect inwardly to be able to hear this. So there are several ways that you can access this Power of the Void I’ll call it. The reason why we don’t go there is because it looks like a void. First of all, it’s so still and quiet it can even remind someone who’s very ego-driven of death.
Christian: [00:11:22] Yeah.
Maureen: [00:11:23] Because who wants to stop? It means that you’re, you’re not of this world anymore. And that’s true, but you begin to notice not being of this world right now can be really advantageous while you walk the world not really engaged with all the chaos and comotion.
Christian: [00:11:42] Yeah. That’s really interesting, cause you’re saying that it’s like you’re living a different life compared to what’s actually going on outside.
Maureen: [00:11:50] Well, listen to this. This Voice always speaks of one thing. It speaks of – you’re enough. You’re perfect. And feel what that feels like, if you really truly believe that just for a minute. Feel like you’re enough. You’re enough right now. You’re perfect and you’re perfectly safe now – somewhere within you knows this – if you dig deeper to abide in that place, where’s the ego-maniacal-driven world then?
Christian: [00:12:24] Yeah. There’s no question.
Maureen: [00:12:25] You’re-you’re just not engaging it.
Christian: [00:12:27] Hmm.
Maureen: [00:12:28] Look, the world is slowing down, whether you like it or not. It’s all slowed down for a very good reason. For us to be able to individually show up whole, and healthy, and resonant more with our completion, our perfection, our enoughness. And once we all do that, we’ll approach this life and this world so much more effectively and beautifully and creatively. And with all of our awesomeness, our inherent awesomeness, that we all have just by being a part of the Divine. We breathe it in every day. We are it every day, whether we recognize it or not. But recognizing it is what many of the spiritual traditions have called “Self realization” with a capital S. It’s inside.
Christian: [00:13:24] Hmm.
Maureen: [00:13:24] And even if you’re trapped inside without access to the outside world, like Helen Keller was, you can be entrapped or you can be enchanted by your inner world. Now, feel it right now. Take this moment, this heartbeat right now, to feel. If you were alone with yourself in a space of stillness right now, slowed down enough that it came to a screeching halt, all of it, and now you’re in a place of stillness – are you in a place of feeling entrapped or enchanted by your inner world? Really important question. If you slowed down and came to a place of stillness within you, where there are no outside distractions, where you’re really just abiding – it’s between you and you – are you in a place of feeling entrapped or enchanted with your life? These are the bigger questions that start us off on a path that’s really, really profoundly awakening and conducive to miracles. You start to ask more often and more effectively this most important question to yourself, “Why?” Why am I doing whatever I’m doing? Why am I washing the dishes? Is it just to get done with it and get on with the next thing or to get onto the 10 other things on my list that makes me perform all day every day? Or is it because I’m really here in this moment, enjoying that experience? I’ll tell you for all the parents who are out there now with little kids, this is the gift that they’re giving you right now, really soap up the dishes tonight with your kids and enjoy washing the dishes, just because that’s all there is to do. And don’t rush to get to the TV schedule, whatever movies you’re about to get into, just instead really slow it down so that this moment has an inherent capacity of infinite grace in it, infinite grace.
Christian: [00:15:33] Hmm.
Maureen: [00:15:34] Start to get more slow into still, your mind is still and not criticizing you or anyone else in your vicinity 24/7 – Because all the activity that our minds are occupied with, typically come from a place of not enough. You’re grappling with the next answer or you’re needing to perform more and better at harder and faster.
Christian: [00:16:01] Yeah.
Maureen: [00:16:01] So many people are discovering that’s just not working now. Just completely not possible now.
Christian: [00:16:09] So what are you actually uncovering when you’re, um, when you’re getting into this mode of slowing down? Cause a lot of people do live by a schedule, even if we don’t know it. Uh, you wake up, you go to work, you ride the train, and you do these things day to day, and then you take your weekends. And you expect certain things on your weekend. But if you took that all away, what are you actually uncovering?
Maureen: [00:16:34] Yeah, it’s really interesting. I heard Oprah Winfrey talking about her life during the 25 years that she had the Oprah Winfrey show. 25 years!
Christian: [00:16:42] Yeah.
Maureen: [00:16:42] And she said that her schedule was often marked by not just the, the weeks or the days or the hours, but by the second. The minute and the second. And think about that, you know, running a television show like that, or a whole production company like that, every second of the day is accounted for.
Christian: [00:17:01] Nuts.
Maureen: [00:17:02] And so she said things like learning how to slow down and just breathe and just be present and just be still was the saving grace of her life during those times. So see how practical it is and how powerful it is to incorporate this, even in, and especially in, a very active life. Right now we’re getting a chance during this massive, collective slow down, planetary slow down, to be able to say, what’s the value here? In the world of the miraculous we’re always looking for where’s the love? Where’s the grace? Where’s the peace? Where’s the joy? Instead of where’s the problem and where’s the pain?
Christian: [00:17:45] Hmm.
Maureen: [00:17:45] Our orientation is to say, “ And then there’s this…” We have a massive slow down now. People losing jobs, people having dramatic problems and pain physically, emotionally and mentally. If you slow down even further, and begin to appreciate just this moment you’re in, just this breath, just this capacity to engage with whatever it is that is in front of you right now, you begin to engage with it all more like an artist engages with raw material.
Christian: [00:18:19] Hmm.
Maureen: [00:18:20] There’s always something inherent in it that can be beautiful and that can be profoundly impactful and speak of the invisible, in what’s visible in front of us. The Invisible, that everything rides on remember, is the Spaciousness that is around and within all of us. But again, we often focus on all the commotion and activity, to the detriment of being able to abide in the space or, same thing – Stillness. you, You can feel when things are frenetic in the energy around you, and you can also feel the profound difference between that and going into a place that’s dedicated to solitude or dedicated to peace and presence. Even if it’s in your own corporate world – when we were all in offices – it’s frenetic in one room and it might just be more peaceful if you go to the bathroom.
Christian: [00:19:16] Yeah.
Maureen: [00:19:16] Or if there’s a space outside somewhere. The challenge with many places is that there’s no where to go where there isn’t activity that’s “Very important”.
Christian: [00:19:28] Yeah.
Maureen: [00:19:29] When things slow down, like say in the sports world right now, or in the financial world, people are trying to rev things up again, or get things going again without first taking advantage of this massively unusual, but profoundly impactful gift of slowing down to the point where you’re allowing it to become stillness.
Christian: [00:19:52] Hmm.
Maureen: [00:19:53] What would happen if some of those people who are driving their physical bodies to the edge, people who spend their days occupied with sports, now get a chance to heal? And do things that their physical body is saying, “Whoa, you’re being kind to me for the first time in 10, 15, 20 years.” What’s going to happen when they go back into those roles? Are they going to be stronger and maybe even more thoughtful and deliberate about what they can do?
Christian: [00:20:21] Oh I think the game is going to be better.
Maureen: [00:20:23] Way better, hopefully.
Christian: [00:20:24] Because, uh, it’s a business. So you have a season, you’re going through years, you’re-you’re training at least like four months before the season starts. And then you have a finite amount of time before you have to retire. So these people are just grinding it out, grinding it out, grinding it out. And the only time they have a, day off or something is when they get into surgery.
Maureen: [00:20:44] Right.
Christian: [00:20:45] Yeah.
Maureen: [00:20:45] And then push past that and train past that as quickly as you can because when we start to see ourselves as functions, as physical bodies, that’s where the vast disconnect comes from. And it’s why so many people worldwide are so panic ridden because of this pandemic, because they’ve been seeing themselves as bodies, and only bodies, for way too long.
Christian: [00:21:11] Yeah.
Maureen: [00:21:12] The gift inherent in this situation is, what if you’re not just a body? What if truly, you are meant to recognize that that’s just a small percentage of who you truly are, and then rise to that capacity and that genius and that ability when you show up in your physical body to whatever it is that you’re engaged in full time.
Christian: [00:21:35] Hmm.
Maureen: [00:21:37] So watch, like you said, athletes may become much more impactful in how they engage with a sport once they have a chance to reconnect with their physical bodies, but from a larger perspective. From this slow down. Not only that, just many people who’ve been driven in the world of commerce and capitalism… you know, it’s not really working the same way anymore. What if right now was a really profound opportunity to go from a more Soul-driven perspective? Where it’s a win-win inherently? You don’t even engage in something out there in the world of commerce and capitalism unless you sit down first, get Still, and ask yourself – if you’re going to engage thousands of people in an endeavor – is it a win-win right off the bat?
Christian: [00:22:29] Hmm.
Maureen: [00:22:29] Is it a win for the people who are the consumers, truly? Is it healthy and promote wellness for them? Is it something that inherently has them feel more connected and have a greater sense of wellbeing? Is it environmentally sound and you can sustain this for not only just the people who are consuming it and the people who are creating it and manufacturing it, but all along that chain? Is everyone engaged in this from start to finish, feeling blessed or more connected because of it?
Christian: [00:23:01] Yeah. The best restaurants that I’ve been to. They know the farmers that grow the food.
Maureen: [00:23:06] Yep.
Christian: [00:23:06] They know the cows that give them the cheese…
Maureen: [00:23:08] And the farmers know where the seeds came from.
Christian: [00:23:11] Yeah, it feels like, um, the time that you stay with what you’re doing – like if you actually break it down and see every step along the way – It’s going to be better – Like I can make a cake from boxed cake, or I can make a cake from, you know, farm –
Maureen: [00:23:28] Scratch.
Christian: [00:23:29] Yeah. From, literally from scratch. And it could be the same recipe, but it would taste differently.
Maureen: [00:23:34] Completely differently. And that’s because of what we’re talking about. If we were to all get Still collectively on the planet, the hush that would come over this place would be so profound that it would be louder than the most massive thunderclap.
Christian: [00:23:56] Hmm.
Maureen: [00:23:57] We would be able to hear the Stillness of our hearts. It would be so profound, it would bring us collectively to a place of awareness and most often tears.
Christian: [00:24:07] Wow.
Maureen: [00:24:08] Because of what we would feel, because that voice of Stillness in each and every one of us is the Voice of our own best interests, which is the Voice of Love, which is profound and impactfully the Voice of awareness and awakening.
Christian: [00:24:27] Hmm.
Maureen: [00:24:27] It’s what we came here to do. It’s what we came here to be.
Christian: [00:24:31] So there is, um, this Void – the Stillness. Sometimes, uh, I feel like my imagination comes from there. Like if I’m in the shower and I’m not thinking about anything, it feels like something bubbles up, and it’ll pop, and then I get like this idea. Something about a part of my life that I hadn’t even been thinking about. How do I bring those bubbles up where that bubble’s always popping?
Maureen: [00:24:59] Great. So let’s look at some practical ways to do this because what you’re describing is in-spiration. So it’s an inward dive that allows for you to be in-spirit, in-spir-ation.
Christian: [00:25:13] Hmm.
Maureen: [00:25:13] And then that world is always expansive because it’s oriented towards win-win. So it cannot be contained within you. Love is a quality that has to be expressed to be known. Inspiration is a quality that, you begin to see the bigger, larger picture. And why things hit the collective mind in a way that becomes a trend is because inherent in that is the Voice of, of connectivity. We look for connectivity in trends just because if one person’s doing it we feel more connected that way. But often the person who first came up with the inspiration or idea – if in fact it’s something that serves humanity – it came from the Voice of their own best interest, which is always the Voice of the Soul, which is one Voice throughout everyone.
Christian: [00:26:05] Hmm.
Maureen: [00:26:06] We are all connected to the same Voice – capital V – Voice. So there’s several ways that you can touch this. One way to be in that world of One Voice, is to begin to get out of that spin cycle of thoughts that are in our mind. You know, most people think that’s very valuable because we really, really value this chattering mind thinking that that’s where the inspiration comes from.
Christian: [00:26:32] Yeah.
Maureen: [00:26:32] But the best inspiration comes from that place of Stillness, where it can actually go beyond or pierce right through that chattering mind – the one that is thinking it knows everything. And so, I’d like everybody to look at it this way: think about a time when you went into the library when you were a little kid, and if you got really enthusiastic, you know, all these books and you’re excited about being there, you would hear a librarian most likely go, “Ssshh!” Think of your mind just like a library.
Christian: [00:27:04] Yeah.
Maureen: [00:27:05] But if you got into this library of your mind and you get all absorbed and caught up in it, and you’re taking everything in all the time and it’s just nonstop, it’s overwhelming. So think of yourself as hearing that librarian saying, “Shhhhh”. Get into that Stillness. From there you can access the library much more effectively.
Christian: [00:27:29] Hmm.
Maureen: [00:27:30] Because if everybody was talking and chaotic and loud and engaged in a library, no one’s getting any knowledge.
Christian: [00:27:37] Yeah.
Maureen: [00:27:37] You have to leave and go someplace quiet to be able to read anything. That’s the same as with our mind. If our mind is constantly engaged with all of this information – and it might be amazing and wonderful, and you might have a brilliant mind, we’re not knocking the mind – but we’re saying to use it in a way that you’re allowing this hush to come over your Inner Being first –
Christian: [00:28:02] Hmm.
Maureen: [00:28:03] – and then you engage what’s most important to you.
Christian: [00:28:05] So you’re saying like the mind is almost like a reference, it’s like a hard drive. Like I’m looking at the files, but first I need to see what files I’m looking for.
Maureen: [00:28:14] Right. And in order to know what the valuable file is, the most valuable file for where you are right now–
Christian: [00:28:20] Hmm.
Maureen: [00:28:21] -you want to be able to sit back and let that Voice, the capital V Voice, lead the way into that huge database. And tell you what’s the most effective time and place to do what, and how, and when. And what this looks like on a practical level is – during times of pandemic – you want to know what’s the best time to go shopping in a supermarket. You want to feel where’s the best place to be and at what time of day. You want to know what foods are going to enhance your health and wellbeing. You want to know which person needs uplifting conversation. You want to know from this place of total connectivity – the Stillness, which is the same Stillness in everyone, which has that same True Voice of their own best interests, but your best interests, it’s always win-win – you want to access that, so that all that library of information can be useful while you’re having a conversation with one of your best friends that you haven’t talked to in a while and just that minute they were thinking of you.
Christian: [00:29:26] Hmm.
Maureen: [00:29:27] Or just that minute they knew they could use a conversation with you and a good laugh with you. And that begets 10 other beautiful miraculous encounters. That all happens from Stillness. That all happens from slowing ourselves down. That’s our agreement with the Voice of our own best interest. When we agree to slow down, we’re in a place where the Soul of us can say, “Cool, here they are. They’re arriving. I’ll open the door now. Come on in. Come on in.” But you really can’t arrive at that place of Stillness from chaos, unless you at least ask, “Help me!” There has to be some kind of a bridge. This is free will. You got to choose whether you want to be free – you will be free – or if you want to stay stuck in that crazy chaotic world of tons of information, but you have no capacity to use it effectively in any way in your life.
Christian: [00:30:28] Yeah. It feels, it feels very confusing. The thing that bothers me is like, uh, if this was good for everyone – and it sounds good for everyone, but – everyone has free will and everyone has their own way to do things. So, even though I believe that stillness and listening to yourself and your guts and your intuition will lead you to knowing more about yourself, I can’t say it to someone who doesn’t believe that.
Maureen: [00:30:56] Yeah. What you also would have to say is if people don’t know that they’re loved and don’t know what it’s like to actually have a relationship with Love, then there’s more resistance to going into the Stillness because what you ultimately find when you’re in a Still place is that the Voice is always going to tell you “You’re perfect. You’re enough. You’re loved.” It’s really the underlying track for that Voice. That it knows this and knows it so profoundly and completely that it’s committed to that 100% unwaveringly. If you decide to go into Stillness, that’s what you’re going to find.
Christian: [00:31:44] Hmm.
Maureen: [00:31:44] There’s no other thing you’re going to find. And so then it’s a big question of whether or not you’re going to believe it. Now, if your outside world has been chaotic and primarily has been a world where there’s very little evidence of you being loved, then it’s a little bit harder to convince somebody of that. And I really do believe that all the drugs that are out there that help people overcome psychosis or help them cope with things like mental illness are to slow the mind down. The intention behind it is to slow the mind down from abusive thoughts or thoughts that are unloving.
Christian: [00:32:27] Yeah. If you look at MDMA, they’re using it as a, a PTSD treatment. But how MDMA started, it was in dance clubs. So people were pretty much taking this drug and then dancing the night away cause they were focused on something else other than their life.
Maureen: [00:32:47] Right. And most of us in that library of information have a lot of chaos and confusion and experiences that we could perceive as very unloving. And those typically are the ones that keep repeating on the spin cycle.
Christian: [00:33:00] Hmm.
Maureen: [00:33:01] So getting into Stillness is a reprieve from that, and is an Oasis from that. And a Still mind can also be a very engaged mind, like many artists who are painting away are doing it from a place of a Still Mind. People who are genius in their capacity to arrive and be very effective, and get things done, are primarily in their Still Mind. The Still Mind doesn’t berate us when we’re in process. It doesn’t say, “Oh, you’ll never be able to do that. You never did that before.” It just says nothing. In response to create, create, create. Show up a hundred percent, be present with that. Find beauty in that. It, it just engages with that completely and fully.
Christian: [00:33:50] Hmm.
Maureen: [00:33:51] So in this world right now, where we’re trying to make some sense of this, you gotta get out of the headlines. You got to get out of the people who are trying to tell you what they know one day that changes the next. Let yourself be Still before you do anything like watch the news or the headlines, and then you’ll be able to discern what’s worth looking at for you, individually. And what’s more profoundly impactful collectively.
Christian: [00:34:18] Hmm.
Maureen: [00:34:18] So, let’s give some tips how we can do this. There are going to be many ways that you find to connect with the Stillness, but number one: Slow down. That’s the Avenue into Stillness. Once you start to appreciate that you can slow things down and that time and space is relative, once you decide you’re slowing it down, things get done that you thought you had to speed up for or rush to. They get done, but much more effectively, much more sustainably and much more happily and joyfully.
Christian: [00:34:54] Hmm.
Maureen: [00:34:55] Next, you have to really want this. You know, if you’re so used to having the TV really loud and having a TV in every room or engaging constantly with social media, then chances are you’re in that place where you need to need to be still first. And that often comes from hard circumstances. Sometimes that’s what chaos does for people – it’s sort of like, this is too much! Gotta step back. Can’t engage it anymore. So that’s the desire, you have to kind of want to be in this state. Once you want to be in this state, you have to begin to cultivate things that help you resonate with it.
Christian: [00:35:37] Hmm.
Maureen: [00:35:37] So, begin to resonate with Stillness as much as you possibly can by spending some time alone that’s quality time or walking in nature. Or just sitting down and reading a chapter in your favorite book. Reading actually stills your mind, cause you can only be at one word in one line, on one page of a book at a time to comprehend it. So doing things that engage you fully like that, really do begin to still the mind. You have to show up. And Notice that it’s possible that there is Stillness happening. Even in chaos and activity, there are places of Stillness. Next, seek Stillness. That means really actively do this. Go into a place… it’s funny, an oxymoron actively seek stillness…
Christian: [00:36:29] Yeah.
Maureen: [00:36:30] But you know that. You know times in your life when you just felt more Still and peaceful, it’s not when you’re being ambitious. That’s for sure. It’s not, when you’re thinking of the 10 things you didn’t do today that you should have done. It’s when you’re feeling satisfied by doing whatever it is that’s right in front of you, in the way that you’re present and available and loving it. Show up. You pay attention, you love it. You don’t judge yourself and you let go of the attachment to results.
Christian: [00:36:59] Hmm.
Maureen: [00:37:01] The next one is you begin to seed Stillness in other people. Start to notice this – as you start to love yourself and being alone with yourself at times, or being in this Stillness at times, you’re going to notice that it feels really good to be you at those times. Well guess what? That’s contagious – feeling good and feeling peaceful. If you walk into a room or if you engage with other people they’re going to feel it. And I call that seeding stillness. And before you know it, the things around you become much more capable of fostering that kind of Stillness.
Christian: [00:37:34] Hmm.
Maureen: [00:37:35] Again, it can be really engaged activity with your family, but there’s not a hypercritical mind that’s talking and clamoring in the background. It’s the creative part that comes forward, the spontaneous jokes and laughter, and the joy.
Christian: [00:37:50] So I’m a parent let’s say. And, uh, I have a bunch of kids, they’re running around. I’m doing work from home. How do I get to the place where I can actually feel that stillness?
Maureen: [00:38:05] Really great question, because again, this is about win-win. So it’s not about giving to the kids first, as the parents of Helen Keller found out when their life was chaotic – they thought they were being really loving parents and they were trying hard to be really loving parents, but they gave everything – their all – to her.
Christian: [00:38:23] Hmm.
Maureen: [00:38:23] They were constantly in a space where they didn’t feel good enough, and where there was a lot of room for mind chatter and that incessant cyclone of thinking. So when you are in this place of win-win, it means you have to receive first from this Voice of Stillness and calm and peace and ease. And again, you have to begin to cultivate things that help you resonate with it. So even if it means just going out and taking a breath outside, looking up at the stars, doing something that feels as though it slows you down and it’s a win. Then you can engage and you’ll be so much more effective when you show up and the kids will soak that in and appreciate it, because they’ll feel 100% of you showed up. And that feels like, guess what, enough. Because it’s a hundred percent. For the parents who are feeling really strung out right now, because they’re feeling like there’s never enough of them to go around – get to this place where you can finally feel and hear that voice of Stillness. The number one mantra of the Voice of Stillness is, ” You are enough. You are enough. You’re enough.” And if you start to hear that and know that and believe that, then you’re going to go in to life with your kids and engage in a way that they feel like they’re enough. And they’re important and they’re valuable. You’ll feel appreciated by your own True Self, even when you’re alone, you feel appreciated. Really sincerely – and your heart is speaking this, not just your chattering mind. Your heart is saying you’re enough, and it’s your heart speaking it so it’s a knowing. There’s no one between there, it’s between you and you. When you start engaging with that kind of Stillness, that only has your own best interest in mind and loves you impeccably, all of a sudden, you believe that you’re enough. And no one from the outside can give you that that’s not fleeting.
Christian: [00:40:25] That’s, uh… it’s, it’s beautiful. And I’ve heard this message before. But it seems like it’s really hard for people to stick with this kind of practice, you know? They can really will it, like ,”I’m enough, I’m enough. I’m enough.”
Maureen: [00:40:39] Right.
Christian: [00:40:40] But even saying that in the surface level, even if you’re not into meditation or anything, is this valuable, is this a win or are you just lying to yourself?
Maureen: [00:40:52] Really great question, and that comes along with spending more time in this Stillness. It’s a feeling of knowing what’s in your best interest. Literally knowing what’s in your best interest. So you could be an amazing parent and almost a hundred percent engaged with your kids all the time. And that feels right for you, and then all of a sudden during something like a pandemic or a virus, or you’re just feeling a little bit down or have a little bit of a lack of energy, you feel like I need some me time. I need some time alone. I need some space. And if you don’t take it during that time, you’re not going to be engaged fully with your kids. You can’t! You didn’t recognize that a win for you is a win for them. You show up for yourself a hundred percent and really feel inside what feels as though it’s healthy and balanced and, and loving to you. And you don’t apologize for that. We weren’t taught not to apologize for this, you know, spending quality really, really good time with ourselves. We didn’t learn how to do that. You know, during kindergarten, first grade, kids got the time out for not being a good kid.
Christian: [00:42:08] Yeah.
Maureen: [00:42:08] Not when they were really doing good. You know. Great! Now take a time out! Go over there and spend some time just cheering on your self for all the great things you’re doing.
Christian: [00:42:18] Yeah.
Maureen: [00:42:19] So we don’t know how to spend that quality time with ourselves. We have to relearn that. But once we do – and again, this isn’t effort filled, this is just doing things that feel peaceful, inherently peaceful for you, letting yourself take a break from things that don’t feel peaceful from that chattering mind – if you spend quality, peaceful time with yourself, you’re going to walk into other situations feeling full of peace. Then you can give some to people around you. Along with that then, along with this slow down and get familiar with yourself, is know when and how to say no.
Christian: [00:42:59] Hmm.
Maureen: [00:43:00] Or at least make me your last resort.
Christian: [00:43:02] Yeah.
Maureen: [00:43:03] That was a massive one for me on my own spiritual path. I was someone who showed up primarily, you know, a people pleaser.
Christian: [00:43:11] Yeah.
Maureen: [00:43:12] And that was really who I would have identified myself being. That was the “good girl”. And that was the “good” adult woman, the people pleaser that I had learned to be. So obviously, I didn’t know who I was because how do you spend quality time with yourself when you’re always busy and have your radar honed into being a people pleaser for other people?
Christian: [00:43:32] Even in your off time.
Maureen: [00:43:33] Always thinking about how you’re going to perform, what’s the next performance, and how are you going to get the acceptance and wellbeing of being connected to other people when you’re not connected to yourself. By the way, you’re going to need a lot of relationships and a lot of situations where you feel you need connection with other people, if you’re never connected to yourself. Because then you are so alone. So if you know how to connect with yourself effectively and lovingly, then you have quality relationships and they really are deep enough to be sustained in situations where you’re not having physical contact, say like a pandemic.
Christian: [00:44:13] Yeah.
Maureen: [00:44:14] You’re able to know that you can spend quality time with yourself. And when you engage with other people, it’s also quality time. It’s not just complaining or moaning about things that you cannot change right now.
Christian: [00:44:27] Hmm.
Maureen: [00:44:28] The voice of your own best interest is always also knowing that this is an expansion we’re in. Always expanding. So it’s saying “this too shall pass” or this too shall evolve or morph. Because we’re amazing in our Still space, we are creators that can create beyond any challenge. So when we start to connect there we know that, and it feels much more true for us. So you have got to know how to say no.
Christian: [00:45:00] And that’s probably the scariest thing that I have come across. I don’t want to lose the people that I care about. Cause like you’re saying it’s expansion. So if you always have this relationship where you were commiserating with someone, right? But the relationship isn’t because you like to commiserate with each other, it’s because you care about each other.
Maureen: [00:45:21] Right.
Christian: [00:45:21] It just happens to be that the subject is commiseration.
Maureen: [00:45:25] Yeah. There’s a part of this – I remember the spiritual teacher Ram Dass talking about – when people begin to really get this, that there is a place of Stillness, and they start to commit to connecting with it. And then they realize, whoa, I did so much that was just time and space filler, and just so happened to include other people. But I wasn’t really resonant with that. I just needed a lot of outside relationship because I had no relationship with myself. He said sometimes it’s like, you know, you change your resonance with bowling, and then you have to give up all your bowling buddies.
Christian: [00:45:59] Yeah.
Maureen: [00:45:59] And it feels a lot the same. That, you know, wait a minute I don’t really like to bowl anymore, but I really don’t want to lose my friends. And unfortunately that’s sometimes part of a spiritual path, where if people want to stay the same and they’re threatened by you being a deeper thinking or more present person who maybe has some new interests, they may become friends that you see once in a while and not always, or they may decide to jump in, but it might not be for five or six or 10 years. This is a time when you really want to learn this art of appreciation that the Voice of your own best interest, that this Voice of Stillness, has for you. You really want to be able to resonate so deeply with that voice that’s always saying you’re enough and you’re perfect, that you can really, truly extend that feeling even to your old “bowling buddies”. I’m using that as the metaphor for people who are now resonant with different things, but you can appreciate them for where they are. Look, we’re all humans doing the best we can. We’re all evolving to our own individual capacity, the best we can. So you want to be appreciating everyone on their journey. And that allows you also to spend a lot more quality time with yourself because you’re not in a state of constant judgment.
Christian: [00:47:24] Yeah.
Maureen: [00:47:25] Or feeling attacked because you’re attaching the results of whether other people can understand you or resonate with you.
Christian: [00:47:31] Hmm.
Maureen: [00:47:33] This sounds a little mundane, but especially at times like this: build better routines. You want to practice it. So you have to have routines that you build that let you practice Stillness. So that would mean, waking up in the morning and not just picking up your phone right away to look at headlines. Letting your mind just be still on purpose. And often, we have to occupy the chattering mind, the one that’s, you know, in the library trying to talk and cavort with all that information, jump right into the day. What you want to get practiced in is sometimes using a tool. Like just breathing deliberately. One full breath in, one full breath out. And then your mind is focused on that breath. And you can’t think at that time because you’re breathing deliberately. Or in some spiritual traditions, they use mantras or just a sound. “Love. “
Christian: [00:48:32] Hmm.
Maureen: [00:48:33] Just repeat it over and over and over again until you literally fall into a space of love. And this is between you and you, so it’s self-love. If you’re finding your mind is really chattering and there’s so much occupying it, just repeat over and over in your mind with each breath on the inhale “peace”. On the exhale “peace”. It can be something a little bit more involved, like “I am peace” or “I am in peace”. Let yourself feel the waves of the ocean moving through your physical body, just that repetition, and something that takes you out of the chattering mind. Can you feel it? It’s, it’s a different world. It’s an oasis compared to the chaos. So step out, into those places by having a routine. Meditation or contemplation these are what you could describe as disciplines.
Christian: [00:49:30] Yeah.
Maureen: [00:49:30] Eating mindfully throughout the day. Like when you eat, really taste that grape. Eat one grape instead of a handful. Let yourself slow it down until you start to see that Stillness starts to permeate your experiences. Like you’ll say to yourself, “Whoa. I never knew there were so many seeds in a grape.”
Christian: [00:49:49] Hmm.
Maureen: [00:49:50] Or, “I never knew that the skin cracked on a fresh grape when I bite it.” Or how this was part of a cluster of other grapes on a vine. Where was this connected to, and the sun and the earth and – the connectivity is what we crave.
Christian: [00:50:06] Hmm.
Maureen: [00:50:06] So connecting instead of separating ourselves out of fear from crazy headlines, that’s setting up a routine where you prioritize sanity.
Christian: [00:50:17] Yeah. I even noticed myself during these times where I have nothing to rush for, or nothing to do, and I’ll think about, “Oh I gotta, I gotta hurry.” It’s just like, I’m rushing myself to eat that handful of nuts or whatever. Or I’m rushing myself to meet somebody to help them out with something. But, it’s all fear based.
Maureen: [00:50:40] Yeah. So –
Christian: [00:50:41] Cause I’m not even thinking.
Maureen: [00:50:42] So here’s really key in what you just said – now you’re noticing, cause we’re slowing down the conversation and we’re not judging this – if you find that you don’t have the inclination or the will, or the available bandwidth to do things with people, don’t feel bad for saying no if it’s not peaceful. Because what’s a win for you is going to be a win for them. I didn’t know this until I started doing it when I realized that there were miracles inherent in every day and I was missing them, that the reason why I was missing so many is because I was going so fast on everyone else’s agenda.
Christian: [00:51:18] Yeah.
Maureen: [00:51:18] When I started saying no, or make me your last resort, there was no word that was more difficult to say, in the entire English language, than “no”. And I started to realize, “wow, when I said no, did you see how that worked out even better for them?”
Christian: [00:51:36] Yeah.
Maureen: [00:51:36] How they got somebody whose whole heart was in it, or they had the opportunity to do it differently themselves, and then they wound up smack in the middle of Grace. So you start to pay attention to not just each thing, but the connection between each thing. And you start to see if, if it’s a win for you, it’s a win for them. So slowing down, learning how to say no and building better routines that are self honoring and conducive to Stillness of mind, peace of mind, and connectivity. It’s really important because what we crave here on the planet more than everything else, and anyone can see this now during this pandemic, is connectivity. But we have it a little bit better backwards in that we think we want to connect to everything out there and now we can’t –
Christian: [00:52:21] Hmm.
Maureen: [00:52:21] – no, we wanted to connect with ourselves first and then engage with everything out there fully in a way that was in everyone’s best interest and super fun, because we don’t lose in the process, we win. And so does everyone else. Sleep more, if you have to. Don’t feel bad about that – sleep and meditate. They’re very complimentary to this slowing down phase of things. Let yourself enjoy a good night’s sleep. And know that that replenishes you. It’s the pattern interrupt in that crazy mind, especially a busy, busy mind is exhausting. I have to say as a lifelong meditator now – or at least for the last 25 years – that when I started to meditate I wasn’t as tired because I started acting more deliberately in more self loving ways. And then my days weren’t exhausting. I didn’t fall into bed at the end of the day, you know, because I had learned how to say no, or “make me your last resort” more effectively. And then I realized that sleep was just a way, again, for us to relax and to get Still. When typically before that, I never knew how to get Still.
Christian: [00:53:42] Hmm.
Maureen: [00:53:42] So to slow down and get Still, sleep and meditation are the ultimate compliments to that.
Christian: [00:53:50] Wow.
Maureen: [00:53:50] Letting your body be replenished. Letting your cells and systems and organs all start to function without your chattering mind in the way, because the mind does affect our physical body.
Christian: [00:54:05] Hmm.
Maureen: [00:54:05] So be well. Let yourself sleep and meditate more.
Christian: [00:54:09] Now, as a person who was depressed for such a long time, I used to sleep a lot. And I know that I used that as an escape –
Maureen: [00:54:17] Maybe, and also though, as a compliment to healing and keeping you alive on the planet because a chattering mind that’s an abusive mind is exhausting.
Christian: [00:54:29] Yeah. Okay. Yeah. That makes sense.
Maureen: [00:54:32] And so you were giving your yourself the pattern interrupt. When you start to get really comfortable with befriending the Stillness and the Voice of your own best interest that speaks in Stillness, then you start to realize there’s no defense needed here. This Voice is really cool. It’s kind. It’s amazing. And I don’t have to defend all day long. Depression is one big defense.
Christian: [00:54:59] Yeah. Yeah, that’s what it felt like.
Maureen: [00:55:00] You’re defending against yourself all day long because all you have is a barrage of thoughts and feelings that are, completely oblivious to who you truly are and your worth and your value, and you keep on thinking them.
Christian: [00:55:13] Hmm.
Maureen: [00:55:14] So that’s exhausting. Do your best to get rest. If you start feeling depressed, drink lots of water. Just let yourself feel a connectivity. Realize, wow, this is affecting every cell of my body right now, and it’s something I can do so easily. And really appreciate the fact that we have running water, if you’re in part of the world that has clean, fresh running water right now.
Christian: [00:55:42] Hmm.
Maureen: [00:55:43] Do things like that. Appreciate something as easy and available and accessible as drinking water.
Christian: [00:55:49] Hmm.
Maureen: [00:55:50] Next, have fun. If your focus was fun, then you wouldn’t do nine/tenths of the things you’re doing. You know, if you don’t have fun, then life becomes very empty. Because if your purpose driven all the time, and you have these things that you’re trying to do or accomplish, just recognize this, the goal post always moves.
Christian: [00:56:12] Yeah. Obviously living in society, there’s always been rules, you know? And rules are the least fun thing about my life.
Maureen: [00:56:21] And the eye is pretty much always on success.
Christian: [00:56:24] Yeah. Like I don’t know how to break out of like – how do I actually have fun? Cause it’s all based on rules of what other people think is fun.
Maureen: [00:56:34] Oh, that’s great –
Christian: [00:56:35] So like, I –
Maureen: [00:56:36] – to notice.
Christian: [00:56:37] It’s a, it’s like a pattern now. Like I don’t know what to do and it’s kind of scary to ask, how do I have fun?
Maureen: [00:56:44] Yeah. I love that you just said that because, uh, I found in working with younger kids getting to know themselves that often they didn’t know what to do. And the hardest thing for them to discover is what they would do with themselves, without anybody else looking as if they were in a vacuum, and you just say, okay, go have fun. So if I were to ask you now, what you would do if you were in a vacuum – no one else has good or bad opinions on it at all – you had some time and space where it’s not affecting anyone else negatively. It’s just time well spent between you and you. What does fun look like for you right now?
Christian: [00:57:29] To be quite honest, it looks like me in an empty room and just like spinning around and screaming, just making funny noises. Making stuff with my hands, making like antlers or something, or… I remember these moments in my life where it was, uh, it was these silent moments that really, I probably shared with an animal or something. And, uh, it was just between me and the cat or me and the dog. And just me pacing around having ideas. I’m like, “Oh, that’s a good idea!” And then like, making like a funny voice. Yeah.
Maureen: [00:58:03] So what you just described is a return to Innocence.
Christian: [00:58:08] Hmm.
Maureen: [00:58:08] If most everyone on the planet knew that that’s what the spiritual path really is, the miraculous – most miraculous – spiritual path, is all one big return to Innocence. When and how were we in life when we knew that fun was the most important purpose here? That true, deep fun was wellbeing and creativity and joy and laughter and genius, all rolled into one at best. And we weren’t told to grow up or have ambition towards other things. We were just living in the moment fully and feeling that true approval of the Voice of our own best interest saying, “You’re enough. Celebrate that. Expand that.” That’s what fun is. The expansion of our own inner acceptance.
Christian: [00:59:09] Oh, wow. Yeah, I mean, you just blew my mind. And all I have to do is have fun.
Maureen: [00:59:17] Yeah, no kidding. So I want to acknowledge that if our basic needs are met, it’s much easier for us to be in that space where fun is relevant, and joy is possible. Every single individual deserves to have their basic needs met –
Christian: [00:59:33] Yeah.
Maureen: [00:59:34] – and more. To a place where they really feel secure and safe. And then what happens next? We evolve to feel that there’s love and caring, tangible care, and belonging. We’re walking ourselves to the door of awakening, when we will all feel this Vast Stillness and peace, by knowing that all this activity and gyration on the planet, that’s driven by our feelings of insufficiency and lack and disconnect from safety and security is living an impossible dream that can’t continue or be sustained any longer.
Christian: [01:00:09] What better time to do this?
Maureen: [01:00:11] Yeah. What better time to do this? Then finally, do good. It stills our mind, makes us feel more peaceful, because we inherently know this is about win-win. The Soul of us knows it’s about win-win. So when we do good or when we show up, it’s not from a place of lack. It’s not from a place where we’re trying to make ourselves feel better because we gave. It’s coming from the place where we’ve learned to tap the Stillness, learned to be in that space where the chattering mind isn’t completely overruling our worlds. When we sit down and abide in that space, we’re going to know how best to serve and show up for other people. It feels more like a plugging in rather than a disconnect because we’re plugging into our Deepest Self as we plug in to others. That’s the best experience of love that we can have. That we’re loving ourselves so much that we spend this quality time with ourselves in Stillness that says, “You’re awesome. You’re amazing. You’re perfect. You’re enough.” Why? Because you are Love, you are the essence of Love. And that’s the space that all miracles arise from. There’s always this paradox to the Divine, where you can imagine that you’re Still, you’re going to be comatose – but there’s alot of capacity for inherent activity in that. So when you show up to life this way and you start to do good, you’re going to realize that, not only do you feel really good and connected, but that all is right in the world. That’s the feeling that you have. All is right in the world. If you’re doing your best to help rather than hinder connectivity, then it just feels like you’re part of what’s most important and the reason for being here.
Christian: [01:02:08] Wow.
Maureen: [01:02:09] There’s a poem about this that I’d like to read by Jellaludin Rumi, a mystic poet, Sufi who was amazing and was able to abide on earth this way. So supremely connected to the Divine. It’s very short and sweet:
Why are you so afraid of silence? Silence is the root of everything. If you spiral into it’s void. A hundred voices will thunder messages you long to hear.
Christian: [01:02:39] Wow. That’s beautiful.
Maureen: [01:02:41] Really beautiful.