Sunday, December 28, 2008

December 29 - The Fifth Holy Night - The Need for Calming

The Holy Nights provide your soul with spiritual calm. They soothe and comfort your soul. You drink in spiritual nourishment. You bathe in spiritual light. You find spiritual blessing. For twelve nights your soul breathing is deep and regular. Center your awareness on this spiritual peace.

Tonight, the Fifth Holy Night, look at a calm soul life.

Certainly in our very agitated times, our souls need constant calming. It is obvious. There are whole industries around creating calm - spas, yoga studios, retreat centers, books, CD’s and DVD’s. I am fairly certain that if you are subscribed to Inner Christmas, you are well aware of the need for calming. To attend to calming during the Holy Nights is quite meaningful and quite different from the seeking of calming activities during the rest of the cycle of the year.

Calm Soul, Poised Soul

A calm soul is poised between spirit and matter, and between inner life and outer life. The calm of the Holy Nights keeps us poised between the past and the future, between the known and the unknown. A calm soul feels composed, elegant and ready for what comes toward it from the future.

Agitation is the opposite of calm. An agitated soul is chaotic, distracted, irritable, edgy. Poise, composure and elegance are absent in an agitated soul. Agitation drives a soul to the extremes of too much and not enough. We get caught in thinking too much and doing too little or we are crazy busy and don’t really think clearly. Feelings roam from fire to ice. Our consciousness is slippery, not steady.

In overcoming agitation and establishing an inner calm, we find self-mastery. Do not resent your areas of agitation. Resentment is an agitated response. Rather calmly accept the experience and patiently transmute your energy in simple ways.

Words and Phrases for Calming

In the mysterious mood of the Holy Nights imagine calming words and calming phrases for a few minutes.

What are words that describe calm in your soul? Stillness, openness, gentleness, serenity. Write them down. Say them silently in your mind. How do you feel as each word finds its meaning in your heart? Say these words in a soft voice. Sound them out slowly and notice the feeling of each sound.

In the last four nights we have worked with nature, divinity, others and self. Look to these four for calming images and phrases. Sky, pond, breeze, rose. Being brushed by an angels wing. The gaze of a Renaissance Madonna. The Buddha's smile. The touch of my grandmother's fingers. Reading Emily Dickenson by myself. Write them down. Speak the phrases in a soft voice. See the images with soft eyes. The calm soul is soft.

Keep a list of these words and phrases. Add to the list during the year. Share your list with a good friend. Let these words and phrases keep you soft and calm. You might take crayons or colored pencils and write out these words and phrases. Put them in places that you see in the ordinary course of your day: on the bathroom mirror, on the kitchen cabinet, even as the screen saver on your computer desktop. When you see them speak them in your soft voice. Let them instill calm in your soul.

Sounding Calm

As a spoken word “calm” is extraordinarily calming. The sound that forms the word “calm” begins in the back of your mouth with a closing between the back of your tongue and your palette. It then it opens up in a rounding way to end with the gentle closing of your lips. To me the forming of the word, calm, creates a protected space in my mouth.

When your soul needs to be calmed, perhaps just slowly sounding the word “calm” and feeling that protected space in your mouth can be calming. The sounding of the word reminds or restores to consciousness stillness, grace, openness, gentleness and serenity.

The Holy Nights are like the word calm beginning with Nativity, allowing this sacred space for the renewal and the repurposing of our lives and closing with Epiphany. It is a time of holy calm.

Do you notice that calming requires will. In our modern agitating times, we must engage our will, our intention, to provide our soul with calming. But we must also bring our attention to that activity for the calming to be restorative. Many of us have developed self-soothing behaviors that are automatic, even addictive. These activities of will without thought do not offer restorative or “holy” calm.

Conscious activities require a balance between activity and thought. In the sounding of the word, calm there is a conscious willed beginning, a rounding fullness of doing and then a soft completion. The “k” sound at the back of the mouth takes a real force to make. The “ah” rolling with the “l” flows to the closing “m” sound. Calming activities take a conscious force to begin. They roll forward with a purposeful goal. The goal is achieved and the activity comes to a close. Calm is an active experience, not a passive one. Calm intention, calm attention, calm engagement and calm completion is the evidence of a calm soul.

Calming activities seek to bring beauty and harmony into being and into consciousness.

Calm in the Past and in the Future

What were the calming moments of last year? What were you doing that created the calm. How was your will engaged? What were your thoughts.

Think of the coming year. What imaginations fill your feeling life with holy calm? Do you have the calm will to take the needed actions? Do you have the calm thoughts to direct and sustain your attention?

Surrender your soul to the holy calm of the Holy Nights.

Please share you calming word, phrases and images by leaving a comment.


  1. Lyn - this writing of yours has resonated with me so much more than anything I have ever read. Thank you.

  2. A still forest pool

  3. Sitting on a high rock in the forest overlooking the views, feeling the breeze, and smelling the leaves and damp ground around me.

  4. A much needed reminder of where I want my soul to be...Thank you.

  5. "Do you notice that calming requires will." Thank you.

    I use a Steiner meditation that Mark Eisen recommended (his translation and the one I've found most calming):

    I bear within me peace.
    Within myself
    I bear forces to make me strong.
    I will imbue myself
    with the warmth of these forces.
    I will saturate myself
    with the might of my will.
    And I will feel
    how peace pours itself
    through all my being
    When through my striving
    might I strengthen myself
    to find peace
    as strength within me.

  6. surrender ... let go ... be still ... forgive ... give thanks

    Kate/New Mexico

  7. Just the message I needed. I felt like I didn't get enough done yesterday and woke up feeling agitated that I was agitated. I surrendered to the moment. So much will required to surrender!

    12 deep breaths transmuted the energy. One for nature, one for the divine, one for the other, one for the Self, one for calm and 7 more in still anticipation.

  8. Each day as i go inward, i bring into the heart chakra my clear and precise intention. The words that have come to me in this stillness are: deep and profound knowingness, beingness, and oneness. Awesome!
    Catherine Whitney

  9. As in the last years messages,I find a profound
    change in my thoughts. like a soothing warm bath. This is a calming step by step understanding.I have aways been willful,but yet see that this can be changed

    Thank- You Lynn

    Carolyn D

  10. A seeker for calmness in her soul said:

    C larity in our thoughts,
    A ttention in our gestures,
    L ove for our whole beeing,
    M aturity in our deciding.

  11. Its an inner quiet thats wanted then created, not always when the outer is calm that I seek.Its the quiet when there's chaos that helps me most at this time of year.

  12. Laying in the winter sun in a mountain meadow

  13. I experience the calm voice within to rest in the arms of my inner light angel, I flow with the tide of Beingness.

  14. This is beautiful. It brought to mind Wayne Dyer's Getting into the Gap. It too, like your post, uses the "ah," sound like in calm. It is an easy mantra to get quiet and reflects images, as Dyer says, of some of the many names of God, Allah, Buddha, Yahweh, Adonai, and more. I appreciate this writing. Thank you.

  15. "Smiling, softness, awareness, soul, reciprocity, certainty, divinity..."

    Thank you, Lynn, for your inspired and inspiring thoughts and lines. This Inner Christmas feels like a new beginning, just as it should be.

    Many blessings to you and all your readers.


  16. content kitty, curled on wool blanket, cleaning himself
    feeling the agitation melting away
    forgiving myself, forgiving others
    gratitude flows through my being
    blessings, blessings, blessings,


  17. Oh Lynn, this has been a wonderful gift once again. I so enjoyed your inner Christmas last year too. Thank you for sharing so generously.

    For today's 'need', I have been drawn to a couple of quotations. First, there is one on the wall at my massage therapist's:
    "Serenity is not freedom from the storm, but is calm amidst the storm" Now, in order to find this 'serenity or calm', I am thinking of some words from a Buddhist monk named Claude AnShin Thomas who once said, "As a Buddhist, I cannot think myself into a new way of living. I have to live myself into a new way of thinking." Yes indeed.

    Thank you Lynn for giving us some great ways to help us live ourselves into new ways of thinking! Cheers, Sue.

  18. I was upset after doing the holy night's painting with my family who started to laugh and joke around when I thought it should be a reflective and serious activity - on reading about calming, my whole demeanour changed! Thankyou, Paula

  19. Calm for me is:
    The Breath; the music of Mozart, Chopin, Brahms, Bach; a walk in the fog; a sleeping baby; cloudless blue skies; prayer, faith in knowing that all is well. SCS

  20. Dear Lynn,

    Thank you for initiating this idea and for the sharing of it in such a profound way.

    Soft stillness whispers, guides and soothes.

    Aligning myself with Light is a spiritual too I use, invivsualizing a column from the crown to my feet, enfolding me.

  21. Calming words.... vrede, schoonheid, golven, stilte, hush (peace, beauty, waves, stilness)
    Calming things... sundown, running water, some art, birdsong, classical music (Arvo Pärt, Einaudi, Bach), nature
    Calming activities.... walking, hot tub, just laying in peace, staring out my window to the ducks and swans, listening to music, drawing and writing

    Remembering this all, it will become a calming year :-))


  22. A silent, starry sky... peaceful night.