Being still is a precursor to truly listening, paying attention and opening up to possibilities, novelty, creativity and aliveness. What is beckoning you? Racing around may be helpful to get things done. Being still allows things to come. Embodying stillness is a source of creativity.
Table of Contents
- Introducing Gail Condrick
- Defining Embodying/Embodiment for Ourselves
- Responding to a Calling
- Being Still to the Fullness of Being Alive
- Connecting to Gail Condrick
- Become a Sponsor of Positivity Strategist Podcast
Introducing Gail Condrick
Gail Condrick is a life-long lover of the ocean, which she considers her source of inner balance. She moved home to Florida in 2007 where she lives in a restored 1935 vacation cottage and enjoys almost daily dolphin sightings. She is a frequent speaker and facilitator of workshops on spirituality, creativity and personal empowerment. Gail’s first job after college was as a cable news reporter, a position that later moved her to the Washington D.C. area to write and produce local and national educational television programs. She spent more than 25 years in the area, where she founded two award-winning government access television stations and led a creative team that won hundreds of awards for programming excellence. Gail is also a Caroline Myss Sacred Contracts consultant, as well as a member of the Nia International Training Faculty and Veriditas certified labyrinth facilitator.
Gail is author of Walking the Grove: Journal of Sacred Encounter.
My Joyful Encounter with Gail
Over lunch one day, I shared with my friend, Gail, my concept for Season 4 for my podcast, Positivity Strategist. I played around with language, saying something like: "I want to have conversations with people about appreciative being. I want to inquire into ways of embodying the appreciative world view." Appreciative Being made sense to me, as my life and work is guided by Appreciative Inquiry and its Principles, and my two previous seasons were on the topics of Appreciative Voice and Appreciative Leading. I wanted continuity for my show.
So, I asked Gail, "what does appreciative being mean to you?" She took a deep breath, she closed her eyes, and after being still and quiet, she came back to me with it "sounds like it's about embodying." I felt that so acutely in my body. Excitedly said, "Yes! That's it! People are more likely to understand that more than appreciative being."
I am grateful to Gail for the name of this particular season.
Defining Embodying/Embodiment for Ourselves
In this episode, Gail shares her personal origins of embodying and how she responded to a calling to write her book.
Gail: "In my own life I discovered that while I may have developed my intellect, I neglected the physical aspects of my development. I took care of my body, I dieted my body, I dressed my body, but I didn't feel I was living in my body; and I didn't know I wasn't living in my body until I had a movement experience – a dance experience that opened me up.
And so, as I moved on through that process, I realized that it was this connection of mind and body that brings me into alignment and is what I refer to as embodiment. We are so much more than just being smart or just being physical. It's this connection that creates full ways of being and a full life experience. And that awareness for me really changed everything. I felt it physically and emotionally and spiritually. It was a real shift."
Gail talks about waking up to the fullness of the mind, body, spirit, emotions experience. Even though, in the ideal situation, we want to be working on all cylinders simultaneously, it's a developmental process. These four dimensions of what it takes to embody being human are there to help us come to that fullness of who we are. We can develop that awareness to draw on each dimension as we choose. We don't walk around in total alignment at all times, yet we can learn to know the difference. That knowing, that awareness of when we are out of balance invites us into the place of slowing down, of being still, of taking beautiful breaths to reflect on what we can do to bring ourselves back into balance.
Responding to a Calling
The impetus to write the book, Walking the Grove: Journal of a Sacred Encounter came to Gail as a calling. She awoke one morning to an invitation: "Can you spend a month with God?"
Acting on that intuition, and with a love of nature, walking and journaling, and in search of filling her soul and deepening her purpose, Gail trusted this full body experience to say "yes!"
The book is a series of journal entries in which Gail shares her adventures and relates her insights, the gifts of her encounters with the local flora and fauna, the weather, as well as other humans on her daily walks through the mangrove forest near her home. She tells the story of how she came face to face with a deep spiritual yearning that had been beckoning her for years.
Gail: "What happened for me is that I began to see everything as sacred. Every breath, a prayer. Every breath, every step on these mornings became special for me. And I began to look around at nature to receive inspiration, stories, gifts and challenges."
This book is an invitation—from Spirit, from nature—enticing you to answer the call that has been beseeching you, whatever that may be. If you respond to being still and to listening, nature will offer itself up to you, revealing its mysteries and marvels, giving you spiritual solace and guidance for whatever journey you have embarked upon.
Being Still to the Fullness of Being Alive
Gail is not alone in her experience of "walking the grove." It serves as a beautiful metaphor for how we can all open up and pay attention to the gifts of being alive; to experiencing our interconnectedness to all things and the complete fullness of our aliveness.
In writing the book, it's one of Gail's hopes is that we all find our sacred Grove, wherever that may be. She describes hers and offers her process. It's different for everyone. For some it maybe in that cup of coffee in the morning reflecting on something in life that brings pleasure and is positive. It could be a spot, a physical spot. It could be in nature. It could be walking downtown in a busy city and, and seeing the flower that comes up through the pavement. There are thousand ways to find your "grove".
In essence, experiencing the sacred encounter in your own Grove is an affirming concept and life-giving. Taking the time, being still and checking in with yourself, learning to listen and being as conscious as you can just changes your life completely. It changes the way you react to the world around you, how you respond to difficulties, how you respond to joy, and the whole gamut. It is a complete opening to the wholeness of who you are in relation to the world.
Gail reveals that for her it was a slow build. It took courage to do the walks in the mangroves under tricky conditions where she had to carefully negotiate the gnarly terrain, changing weather patterns and copious crawling and flying creatures albeit small.
Gail: "[I was] forced to slow down. You cannot walk barefoot in a mangrove forest maneuvering through roots and tides and rising waters without slowing down and becoming conscious. You just cannot do it. Finding these things in nature for me was a revelation, a complete revelation, and also the way that I was reacting to it. So I felt that the Grove, the walk, the experience was teaching me small, step by small step, by small step, what it meant to be alive and experience all the different body sensations. I had a greater understanding of the world around me on a very small scale. But the lessons were big. The lessons were very big."
Connecting to Gail Condrick
The following links will help you connect to Gail, access her book and learn about her trainings.
Especially exciting are training class to help people say "yes" to their own sacred encounters. From first hand experience, Gail is gifted in helping others address issues that come up and guide them to move more deeply into their own awareness and share insights that she found through walking the Grove.
Hot off the Press:
The online course, Deepening Your Connection with Nature: Creating Your Own Journal of a Sacred Encounter begins January 10, 2020. In this four week session you will learn tips to enhance your writing and experience the natural world as a vehicle for relationship with the Sacred. For more information and to register, please go to Gail's Website – top link below.