Guest Post : Embracing The Quiet by Liz Lamoreux

Backyard spring
Getting outside to the backyard for a few minutes to breathe in Spring.

Those of us who believe in telling our stories through our words and what we create in the world, who dive into the inward journey to more deeply understand our stories and our paths, give such gifts to this world, to ourselves, through our truth. We do this through our art, our blogs, our writing. We uncover our most sacred dreams, hopes, and we hopefully encourage others to do this same. We share pieces of what it means to be us, to be part of our family, through what we create and weave with our words. Through this journey, this diving inward, we can learn so much.

And all of this is beautiful and brave and real and true.

Yet, we are trying to walk on this “deeper path” while playing many roles as partners, parents, friends, siblings, children, workers, and how the list goes on. Some days, weeks, months this seeking and heavy lifting of sifting through our lives to tell the stories doesn’t happen or it is simply too much. Our brains fill up with all that we “have to do,” and we lose the space to simply experience, well, all of it.

I believe that introducing self-care through spending time in the quiet, even if just for a minute or two, can help us seek a balance in our lives. Note that I say seek and not find. I am not sure we truly ever find a balance like the little kid who ventures atop the sea saw in a physics experiment of sorts as he walks toward the middle until the sea saw balances, arms lifted in the air in triumph. Rather, I believe in seeking this balance with the intention of giving ourselves, our minds, our hectic-ness, and for some, perhaps, our over-thinking tendencies a breather, we can be more fully present in our lives. We can be more fully present as we seek the stories but also as we cross things off of our “to do” lists.

A few practical ways to begin spending time in the quiet:

BREATHE : Close your eyes, right now, and take five deep breaths. Notice how your breath moves in your body. Let your shoulders and the muscles of your face relax.

WRITE IT OUT : Grab your notebook or a blank piece of paper and give yourself permission to write all that is swirling in your head right now. Don’t pick up your pen (or if you are using a computer, don’t stop typing) for at least five, maybe ten minutes. Just let it all out of your mind, whatever is sitting there that feels heavy, and give it a place to land so you don’t have to carry it all right now.

GET OUTSIDE : If you can, head to a favorite park or other nature area. If that isn’t possible, when your kids are taking a nap or on your lunch hour, just simply get outside to the backyard, to the front step, to the courtyard of the building where you work. Stand outside and just notice. Take those five deep breaths again, first with your eyes open, just noticing the world around you. Then, close your eyes, and find your feet beneath you standing on the earth (even if you are on concrete). Find your feet beneath you and breathe deeply, pulling up the strength of standing tall in your world with each breath.

SIT IN THE QUIET :  If you have more time than just a minute or two, spending time sitting comfortably and finding your breath through a meditation can be a wonderful form of self-care and for some people, it is an important daily practice. If you are new to meditation, beginning with guided meditations (either by listening to meditations or by giving your mind something to focus on that becomes a guide through the meditation) can be helpful. One meditation that I often turn to involves focusing on each of the senses. I use this meditation as a centering tool to simply push myself to clear my mind of the chatter and focus. I also use it as a way to bring myself to a new head space before I begin to write or create in my studio. It invites me to let go of what my mind and heart might be holding on to and come to a new, clearer frame of mind before I begin creating and writing. I have recorded a guided senses meditation for you to get you started, which you can hear by visiting my blog and clicking on “Senses Journey” in the left sidebar under the “Find Your Center” section.

Perhaps you already have a self-care practice. Maybe you take a daily walk or listen to a specific song that centers you or write each morning. We can learn from one another by sharing these practices. So if you feel moved to do so, I invite you to share in the comments what you already do or what you hope to do to give yourself permission to spend time in the quiet and take care of yourself.

ABOUT LIZ : Liz Lamoreux lives in the Puget Sound area with her husband and golden retriever, and they are expecting another family member very soon. She believes in the importance of time spent recharging and refilling the soul's well so that we can be present in our daily lives in a more open and truthful way. As a yoga teacher, artist, and writer, she sees creating as a meditative exercise for the spirit and is currently focusing on sharing this inward journey with others. Find out more about her adventures at


AE SPONSOR : This month Elle’s Studio is celebrating their 3rd birthday! To celebrate they are shipping one of their brand new Birthday Cut Outs free with every order in March, along with a raffle ticket for each item purchased. Raffle drawings take place every Sunday in March and the winners receive special birthday presents! Along with all this fun, their design team has been keeping everyone inspired at their blog with fun birthday cards made out of the Birthday Cut Outs! If you haven’t checked it out yet, make sure you do! You won’t want to miss all this fun!

20 thoughts

  1. jakki

    2010-03-23 01:30:13 -0400

    Nice to see you over here...this was PERFECT for first thing this morning...thank you!

  2. patty

    2010-03-23 01:53:01 -0400

    thank you for your insight. finally, after talking about it for 11 years...i started a yoga class. i have only had 2 so far, but really enjoyed it!

  3. renaissance costume

    2010-03-23 02:15:51 -0400

    Thank you so much for that.. I had a breather.. i've been very busy this past months and I definitely need to relax.. I need a quiet vacation. :) Thanks once again. :)

  4. jacqueline

    2010-03-23 03:09:56 -0400

    thank you for this...i think we all need it. i have just started blogging about my story.

  5. Vicky

    2010-03-23 03:12:27 -0400

    This was a great read first thing this morning. I am one that hates to jouirnal. I never thought of writing something down so it has a place to land and I won't have to keep carrying it around. Great perspective! I think I'll go grab a pen and paper so I can lighten my load. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Jennifer M.

    2010-03-23 04:53:56 -0400

    I really needed to read something like this today. I'm going to start doing the things on your list. Great ideas. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Christina Johnson (MI)

    2010-03-23 04:57:58 -0400

    nice ideas! Thanks for putting those thoughts in my mind. Now if i could just leave my cell phone behind and enjoy the outdoors!!

  8. Jana

    2010-03-23 06:41:27 -0400

    Looking forward to hearing your guided senses meditation after I finish with this computer - it seems to lock up with video/audio lately... so I'll move to the laptop & catch this. Thanks for today's guest post! Insightful :)

  9. Susi from Germany

    2010-03-23 10:15:51 -0400

    I needed that today: This week is just crazy! I'm recharging by reading three favorite blogs before I go to bed! So: Good Night :-)

  10. Pilbara Pink

    2010-03-23 14:24:43 -0400

    Hi Liz
    I like to walk early every week day. I think and sift and get perspective as I move my body, it seems to be easier when mobile! I find few distractions at 5am and take the same route so my mind is free to wander where it will. I don't take my ipod but allow my mind to roam, my thoughts to crystallise, my prayers to be formed. I look forward to trying your guided meditation, thank you :)

  11. Angel

    2010-03-23 14:54:34 -0400

    i loved this!
    I tried the typing what you feel part
    and it felt goood to let it out [:!

  12. Becky P.

    2010-03-23 16:13:30 -0400

    I LOVED this post! Thanks for the reminders...I need to spend more time outside for sure. I am a chronic list-maker, mostly because it is my way to empty my brain.

  13. EllenC

    2010-03-24 00:52:21 -0400

    Thank you for a creating a beautiful start to the day. Self care is something I am known for promoting in my work with child care staff. There are days that I am quite good at also practicing what I preach!
    Ideas I like to practice for self care--even 5-15 minutes is better than no self care--but 1-3 hours per day--or more is also an appropriate dose. If we have what we need we can do more, be more and share more. We really need the fuel to be who we are!
    playing the piano
    sewing--especially working on a quilt
    making cards and tags
    sending cards--sharing pleasure mail
    just sitting and breathing
    tending flowers in the yard--right now it's spring discovery and clean up
    calling a friend
    soaking in the tub
    playing with the kitties
    running, eating well and sleeping enough

  14. Rosa

    2010-03-24 04:56:43 -0400

    I really love this post! I've been meditating for 10 minutes twice a day for about 5 months now and it has made a great difference in my stress levels. This past month, though, I've been having so much trouble keeping my thoughts quiet so I can meditate. I did your "senses journey" yesterday and it was amazing how it was such a short but powerful practice. "I am here, I am present"

  15. Kristin

    2010-03-24 09:17:16 -0400

    Stepping outside, even just for a few minutes is so restorative! It can be hard to break away from whatever urgent demands are claiming my attention, but it's always worth it. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and affirming that it is the seeking (not necessarily the finding) that's important.

  16. christina

    2010-03-25 03:44:04 -0400

    i adore liz. each time i read her, she brings me to such a comfortable place.
    this is so lovely.
    : )

  17. rani

    2010-03-25 11:33:28 -0400

    thank you for that beautiful post by Liz! Made my day!

  18. lee

    2010-03-25 14:17:29 -0400

    What wonderful reminders! Thanks for sharing such lovely wisdom. =)

  19. Jill Green

    2010-03-28 01:10:36 -0400

    Ali, thank you for your guest posters this week. I hope you've enjoyed your unplugged family time. I have truly enjoyed the exposure to new bloggers and artists this week (even tho I'm posting here on your first one). They have been so enlightening, uplifting, and encouraging - just as you are. Thanks so much for all you do.

  20. Jenna/The Word Cellar

    2010-04-03 06:31:35 -0400

    a cup of hot Darjeeling tea on a cold evening can save my life. open windows just about any time of year restore my spirit. and writing it all out returns me to myself, reminds me what i love, and takes me beyond all of the mind clutter.

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