The quiet centre – November 2012


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The kitchen in our cottage has a low, beamed ceiling so it would be difficult to have fitted wall cupboards. As I have a weakness for collecting crockery, most of the surfaces were cluttered. Last week my daughter came to design and fit narrow shelves which seem to float against the wall. I had painted the wall prior to to the shelves being fitted and when I saw how beautiful my much loved and used pots, plates and mugs looked, once displayed properly, I set to clearing the rest of the kitchen, painting the walls and washing and displaying only those things I really like. The finished kitchen made such a difference. I felt calmer, less stressed and was energised to start de-cluttering the bedroom. I even slept better, which could have been due to the madly energatic day!

It is easy to let out lives as well as our kitchens become cluttered so that we cannot safeguard the space we need for the things which really matter to us. On radio receently I heard a non-religious man talk about a retreat he had taken. He said that the most important thing he had learned was the value of quietness; to go into another room on a regular basis and be quiet for a few minutes. He told how the stresses and clutter of life lost their power after a time of quietness, when his inner wisdom was allowed space to work. Our bodies heal naturally, for example by growing new skin over a graze. In a similar way our minds can sort out problems if we allow space for this to happen.

At church on Sunday we sang a new hymn which could have been chosen especially for me this week. It can speak to people of any faith or non, in this hectic world. The first verse is below and I also give a later line;

Come and find the quiet ceentre in the crowded life we lead                                                  Find the room for hope to enter, find the frame where we are freed:                                  clear the chaos and the clutter, clear our eyes, that we can see                                                all the things that really matter, be at peace, and simply be.                                  and — There’s a place for deepest dreaming………

So, in the rush to prepare for Christmas, the shopping, travelling, anticipation of seeing loved ones, take time to look after yourself, ‘come and find the quiet centre in the crowded life we lead’. Take yourself into a quiet room, the ‘place for deepest dreaming’ and see where the dreams lead.




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