Several days have passed since our last Dialogue, as the holiday ‘staycation’ took over. I practised the ‘breathing through concerns’. All good… but for one episode where I thought genuinely I was surrounded by malign beings and the world was drawing to a close etc etc, and it turned out to be yet another PMDD day… Anyway, I’m working on hormones with Noom and following some of Michael Moseley’s approaches to stabilising my blood sugar levels.
A couple of days ago, Untamed by Glennon Doyle arrived.
I love what she has to say on mindfulness practice – not that she even names it as such. She sits in stillness, on the floor of her closet, for 10 minutes a day – and practises sinking… in to the Knowing she discovers deep in her (see pp56-61 – so beautiful). It’s written up with commentary here in an article in Medium:
At first, just getting ten minutes to herself, closing the door, breathing and emptying her mind—felt like an eternity.
I checked my phone every few moments, planned my grocery lists, and mentally redecorated my living room. The only things I seemed to “know” on that floor were that I was hungry and itchy and suddenly desperate to fold laundry and reorganize my pantry. I was an input junkie thrown into detox. I was tempted to quit every second, but I was stern with myself: Ten minutes a day is not too long to spend finding yourself, Glennon. For God’s sake, you spend eighty minutes a day finding your keys.
It felt like an athletic process as well, like a gymnast in training, except it was her mind that was exercising. Practicing every day — ten minutes in the closet — she found she was “dropping lower” every time.
Eventually I sank deep enough to find a new level inside me that I’d never known existed. This place is underneath; low, deep, quiet, still. There are no voices there, not even my own. All I can hear down there is my breath. It was as though I’d been drowning and in my panic I had been gasping for air, calling for rescue, and flailing on the surface. But what I really needed to do to save myself was let myself sink.
It was possible, she realized, to let the senses drop below the noise and commotion, the anxiety, the chatter, into a place that was silent.
Every day, I returned to the closet, sat down on the floor littered with T-shirts and jeans, and I practiced sinking. The Knowing would meet me in the deep and nudge me toward the next right thing, one thing at a time. That was how I began to know what to do next. That was how I began to walk through my life more clearly, solid and steady.
It felt to her like an encounter with a sort of intelligence.
A ‘guide’ that was waiting to be a guide—as a source of information and as a cooperative activity. It was not barking orders.
I can know things down at this level that I can’t on the chaotic surface. Down here, when I pose a question about my life — in words or abstract images — I sense a nudge. The nudge guides me toward the next precise thing, and then, when I silently acknowledge the nudge — it fills me. The Knowing feels like warm liquid gold filling my veins and solidifying just enough to make me feel steady, certain.
What I learned (even though I am afraid to say it) is that God lives in this deepness inside me. When I recognize God’s presence and guidance, God celebrates by flooding me with warm liquid gold.
She doesn’t try to explore the theology involved. But I was at work, going through Bible references. I read her descriptions, wondering if this could be understood as learning to listen to the Holy Spirit.
I sink beneath the swirling surf of words, fear, expectations, conditioning, and advice — and feel for the Knowing. I sink a hundred times a day. I have to, because the Knowing never reveals a five-year plan. It feels to me like a loving, playful guide, like the reason it will only reveal the next right thing is that it wants me to come back again and again, because it wants to do life together. After many years, I’m developing a relationship with this Knowing: We are learning to trust each other.
She’s describing what happens in our Dialogues..! It’s the dipping into the internal Knowing that occurs here. I’m so grateful.
And developing your Presence practice will give you so much more.
Shall we practise ‘sinking’ into your knowing?
I feel like I’d like to write up my reading from the Presence project over the last couple of days.
Tomorrow. Today’s priority is to reconnect with your sinking in to Knowing. Ten minutes… With breathing… <3
At about 9m45sec I ‘saw’ this beautiful new flyer for my work… It was a real insight. Ty.
You know we are here, always. Practise this sinking into Knowing. Glennon says:
- ‘There in the deep I could sense something circulating inside me. It was a Knowing.
- Every day, I returned to the closet, sat down on the floor littered with T-shirts and jeans, and I practiced sinking. The Knowing would meet me in the deep and nudge me toward the next right thing, one thing at a time. That was how I began to know what to do next. That was how I began to walk through my life more clearly, solid and steady.
- I now only take orders from my Knowing.
- When uncertainty rises, I sink.
- When I talk like this my wide raises her eyebrow and asks, “Aren’t you just talking to yourself down there?” Maybe. If what I’ve found in the deep is just my self – if what I’ve learned is not how to commune with God but how to commune with myself – if who I have learned to trust is not God but myself – and if, for the the rest of my life, no matter how lost I get, I know exactly where and how to find myself again – well, then. That is certainly enough of a miracle for me. Why do we worry about what to call the Knowing, instead of sharing with each other how to call the Knowing… p59.
You’ve found something special in these Dialogues. Maybe it’s time to share your way of calling the Knowing.
And if so…?
And if so, you’ll receive all the guidance you need by sinking in to your endless, unfathomable, infinite Knowing.
“I now only take orders from my Knowing” as Glennon says. And your order for today?
Be still and… practise sinking in to your Knowing.
I am practising sinking in to my Knowing
PS. Background on the book Untamed…: