The Art of Sitting Still

The Jade Plant Sitting Still

I’m imagining myself sitting still. Motionless. Of course, this is imaginary because my hands are typing. Well, let’s just go with it. I am sitting in the lawn chair with the springs, and gently rocking, every so slightly. The breeze scrubs my face clean; the soles of my feet are soft against the smooth, warm hardness of the wood deck. I gaze out into the trees until the leaves become an abstract palette of greens, yellows and blues. Now, I lower my eyes to gaze at my knees until my eyelids kiss and are closed. My hands, tired from gripping pens and ideas, fall slack against the cool metal of the chair. I am filling up my creative tank.

I have to imagine this scene, because I haven’t been practicing the art of sitting still lately. I’ve been practicing the art of frenetic motion, yep that’s me, just a blur in the cosmos. But without sitting to ponder, to mentally doodle a bit, my well runs dry and I find myself unable to think, to eat or even to love.

I was visiting my sister this weekend. She had no internet. Gasp! I know… chill down. So, I sat and sketched this little jade plant that was on her porch. I was completely bored with that plant. I mean do you Know how slow a jade plant grows? You must absolutely ooze patience to own one. But as my eyes followed its lines, and my pen followed my eye, I could feel the tension seep out of my jaw; the burlap in my head turned to silk so that instead of rough and edgy, I felt soft, like gum, all chewed up and spit out.

This is what sketching does. It softens my edges. It lets me see the world around me. It helps me breathe,  focus and  give myself permission to sit still and fill up my tank.

How do you practice the art of sitting still?


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7 Responses to The Art of Sitting Still

  1. Ruca Cao September 27, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

    You’re so right about sitting still. Take a page from the book of dogs. We really know how to just chill. Sounds like you’re on your way to enlightenment now though.

  2. Cathy Holtom September 27, 2011 at 7:59 pm #

    Lovely sketch, I love to switch off and just think!

  3. Donna September 27, 2011 at 9:52 pm #

    So glad that one little jade could help you breathe!

  4. Alex Tan September 28, 2011 at 9:11 am #

    simply love the colors of this one =) Lovely drawing!

  5. raena September 28, 2011 at 3:58 pm #

    Wonderful post! Your words have the flow of someone who has just found some time to let everything melt away. Reflective, dreamy. It is certainly a matter of balance. Too much sitting can lead to lack of inspiration…not that you have that problem at the moment! When I worked, all I wanted was some ‘still’ time, now that I don’t, I’m always looking for something to do that will inspire me!

  6. delph September 28, 2011 at 5:10 pm #

    I like the angle you chose, and the close up! Great drawing, and great colors. I have a hard time sitting still too, so when I’m not drawing, I sometimes use the alarm on my phone to set up a “sit” time, and I just sit and let go, knowing the alarm will be there to get me back on track soon enough! (feels very good, like a freestyle meditation!)

  7. virginia_d September 28, 2011 at 6:36 pm #

    thank you for the comments everyone! Delph, love the timer idea. I like your idea for the timer. Kids hate “time out” but I think it sounds like a great idea!