"Learning how to be still, to really be still and let life happen - that stillness becomes a radiance." Morgan Freeman
People keep saying that they can't sit still. Are we addicted to being busy? The constant go, the organized chaos of it all, and being productive - is that where we derive personal value from? There is something to be said about us being incapable of being still. This need to go, go go - where does it comes from, and what do we let it drive us. Much like most things in life, stillness is a learned practice. It takes patience, diligence, and persistence to normalize being still. Especially in a society that communicates to us that stillness is wasted time that we could be doing something else, when in actuality, stillness is part and parcel to us showing up in all other capacities.
Stillness let's us breathe, be where we are, and take note of how we're doing/feeling. Stillness let's us pay attention more closely, notice the world and people around us, and tunes us in to ourselves. When we are carving our moments of refuge with stillness throughout the day it let's us dispense the pent up energy, thoughts, and nerves as we go. Laying in bed at night should not be only time in a day's time that we are still. There are ways to add stillness our mundane. Our morning routines, afternoon check-ins with ourselves, decompressing as we return home, and also before we slumber. Ironically, stillness has to actively be inserted into our lives. How are we adding stillness to our days?
Stillness as a part of being mindful is all about paying attention through mind-body awareness. It's literally paying attention to ourselves, where our minds are going, and what we're experiencing. That's it. It's moments of active reflection where we are taking note of how we're doing, as we're doing it. It's a feedback loop that we are in control of. Mindfulness gets scripted as this out there, hipster, counter-cultural thing - and it is, because is it is in direct opposition to our canonical narrative of busyness, stress, and productivity. Letting our minds race, careen recklessly from one task to the next, and grasp at anything they can hold on does not have to be the way we live.
One of the greatest parts of our world is multiplicity - that is the notion that multiple ideas, ways of being, existences can be real, simultaneously. People worldwide live at slower paces, with more purposefulness, and with less of it all. Instead of delusions of grandeur in this perpetual rat race to some unseen destination of "enough" - there are more ways of being that require taking less, and demand less of us in return. What if what we're supposed to want is what is causing our ailment? What if we learn to want something different? What if we don't want? The possibilities are endless, the pathways abound, and peace can be both and parcel to our lives - if we so choose. Choosing stillness is choosing ourselves, and our peace. Choosing to be still is a proclamation of our own volition. Stillness can be a sanctuary of our own creation.
Now more than ever it's important to be intentional in taking in, and keeping out the world around us. With the constant bombardment of thoughts, ideas, opinions, narratives, and, on, and on, and on, it's crucial for us to be selective in what we're letting influence us. We are the environment that envelopes us. Flashing lights, onslaughts of noise, and so much movement all around us. Taking the time to turn it all off, block it out, and detox can be a powerful reminder of just how much we are entertaining. We don't have to move or be moved by it all. It's okay to take a break. In fact, it's imperative that we disconnect regularly. Interludes to the barrage of opinions, give us the space and grace to elucidate our own. Stillness is often synonymous with silence, but it doesn't have to be. Stillness can be consuming less, or in smaller portions. That stillness let's us really think over how we feel about what's coming our way. Ultimately, what we think, believe, and know matters most to us. It's in the stillness that we make for ourselves, that we can hear, listen to, and honor our own thoughts, feelings, and opinions.
Mindfulness needs to be part of all our days. It's so easy to get caught up in life instead of experiencing life as it happens. There are so many ways in which we go through the motions of life instead of actually living. More and more, meta moments of existentialism seem to plague us because we're analyzing life as opposed to just doing life. Living life looks and feels different for each of us. What does stillness mean of us? How can we make being still matter? Why does stillness make us uncomfortable? There can be comfort in being still. There can be peace in being still. There can be clarity in being still. There is a natural relaxation that comes from being still.
Deciding that our bodies do not have to be in motion. Ensuring that our mind has not traveled further than where we are presently. Be still, and make stillness your own. Maybe it's a few moments of silence before letting in the world. Maybe it's finding a quiet spot during the day to gather thoughts. It could be taking a meaningful time thinking things over before responding to a question. It could be listening to a guided meditation. You could just sit or lay down for a bit. The list goes on an on. Whatever works for you, works for you. Let it work. It only works though if you commit to it, and do it. How are you going to make being still part of your day? X
Focusing on the Now
Openness to Experiences
Adaptability and Non-Attachment
Peace and Equilibrium
Compassion & Empathy