As you might know, I lived in Japan for a while and learned to speak Japanese. There is a word that I have always been intrigued by which comes to mind right now.

Nigiyakana means lively, bustling, noisy, like the busy office or crowded party. There is motion and lots of it in all directions. Voices are eager, emotions are high, and the energy can be intense. So intense that Nigiyakana can sometimes move into overload, a bustling, noisy rattle in your awareness that can be overwhelming. Nigiyakana in my head is not always a good thing. Nigiyakana can be too much, like an eggbeater in my brain where lively may become a deadening mess.

In contrast, I also am intrigued by another word: Shizuka. Shizuka is stillness, quiet, peace. Shizukano tokoro is the quiet place, the point of calm. In my head, Shizuka feels comfortable and safe. Oddly, it is not necessarily a place of no motion. In my head, Shizuka is the point where I can witness the motion of me inside and out. In my head, Shizuka is the opposite of Nigiyakana.

One way of describing life is to acknowledge life’s shift between the bustling, sometimes exciting, sometimes burdensome, motion on the one hand, and moments of tranquility which can witness balance and clarity. Bouncing between a flurry of motion and the calmness of quiet, life can seem to be both distraction and focus, uproar and serenity, trivial and substantial.

Though I tend toward moving away from Nigiyakana whether it is in my environment or just in my head, I have realized that part of this busy motion is a drawing in of an abundance of potential. Nigiyakana is offering me possibility. However, my job is not to figure out all the motion. My job is to learn to focus on what works for me in this moment. My job is to find the point of Shizuka, the point where I can give attention to the one motion needed by me now.

I am deceiving myself if I think that the only place to witness my motion is in the stillness. My challenge is learn to witness all of me in all moments. Learning to witness when there are fewer distractions helps me develop the skill and the awareness to not be so picky on when and where I get who I am in this moment and how I want to live now, in this moment.

Shizuka offers the gift of awareness and Nigiyakana offers the gift of discernment. Both offer me the opportunity to find quiet in the noise and my sound in the stillness. I hear because I can feel in all places the motion of my truth. What I learn in this moment, guides me to my next moment with its infinite and eternal possibility. I hear the mountain and begin my journey.

In Joy!

Cheryl