Stillness

 

beStill

To truly get in touch with our emotions, requires a certain level of being able to be still, motionless. Like the eye in the middle of the storm, we must shut off the raging cyclone of the external stimuli. Only in the silence we can tune in to read our internal compass, which connects us to our emotions.

To cultivate the silence we need to learn to manoeuvre our way through the frazzled chaos that is becoming an everyday norm within our society. When we are bombarded with noise, constant motion and the busy-ness of life, it is no wonder we become exhausted. To find our way into stillness and calm we need to become more centred and focused. It is through being still that we find the antidote against exhaustion and start to regain our tranquility.

The quieter you become the more you can hear.” Ram Das

“The quieter you become the more you can hear.”       Ram Das

It is important to not confuse stillness with standing still. Standing still implies that there is no movement and no progress – however to progress through life we must learn to grasp stillness while in movement, this is purely mystical. When we let go of the resistance to what is, let go of our expectations and finally let go of our need to control the outcome, this makes us present to the now; a state of presence where awareness and fascination live. Living in the now, we surrender and remain connected not only to our true selves but also with the rhythm and flow of life. We can tap into the power of the collective connection we have with everything and everyone. Through this we gain the fortitude to live from a centred way of being and not be negatively affected by the external storm of events that are happening around us.

To live in the now we must bring stillness with us everywhere we go, by releasing yesterday and resisting the call to put our focus on tomorrow. This increases our quality of being by helping us to remain centred only in what is happening within and around us in the present moment. This doesn’t mean that we disregard the past or dismiss planning for the future. When we are able to acknowledging the past and practise forgiveness we release it taking from it what we need to enrich our current path. We become more centred and better able to discern and focus on the path ahead.

As Brene Brown notes her book “The Gifts of Imperfection” “ Stillness is not about focusing on nothingness; it’s about creating an emotional clearing to allow ourselves to feel, think, dream and question.” Doing this guides us on how best to move forward into tomorrow in a meaningful and thoughtful way.

How do we cultivate stillness and tap into the power that it holds? For starters, this requires that we empty our thoughts, allowing our inner self to step into the rhythm and harmony of our life. One simple technique to do this is to focus on our breath and allow it to lead us inward into stillness. By making our breathing slower and deeper than our normal pattern our brain waves and heart rate start to slow down and we become more balanced. A regular practise of taking time to focusing on our breath and following it to our core centres us. Being centred implies that there is no push and pull, negative and positive emotions are equalized and our mind becomes calmer, which also relaxes our body.

Embracing the silence helps us to still our thoughts and moves us into a state of higher awareness. By focusing on our breath this helps us to shut off or tone down the internal negative dialogue in our minds. We get in touch with what is; what we feel, hear and sense instead of our thoughts. As we get more and more comfortable with being in stillness deeper listening starts to develop. In the stillness we become better able to listen with our entire being. The more time we spend in stillness the more our body; mind and spirit are nourished, (the emotional clearing referenced by Brene Brown earlier). Our energy level is replenished by spending time in the stillness, making us more refreshed, more conscious gaining a new perspective.

True intelligence operates silently. Stillness is where creativity and solutions to problems are found.”        Eckhart Tolle

Spending more time in nature enhances our ability to get in touch with stillness. Walking outdoors, surrounded by trees, flowers and Mother Nature, connects us to something outside of ourselves. It connects us to the rhythm and flow of life. When we commune with our environment it has a positive effect on our mind and physical wellbeing. It provides the space to create the emotional clearing, which Brene Brown refers to. Whether it is a walk by the lake, beach or any body of water, or gazing up at the open blue cloud sprinkled sky by day or winkling stars in the night sky, stillness can be found all around us. Taking in the external sights and sounds surrounding us tunes out and quiets the chatter in our minds, reconnecting us to the earth and helps to lower our internal noise and defuse our stress levels.

An alternative way to tap into stillness is to engage in creativity. Artistic activities and interests such as writing, drawing, painting, creating music, dancing or any craft can provide a doorway into stillness. Being lost in the action of creating art can lead us into a process of emptying our minds and pouring our attention into our creative pursuits. The process of creating unleashes a therapeutic benefit. We loose sense of time, liberate our inner core and increase our positive emotions. Time stands still when we get lost in the art of creating. The scientific rationale behind this is that serotonin (the feel good compound in our blood) levels in our brains increase when we engage in creative activity.

It is also important to remove distractions; external clutter that leads to internal brain clutter. When our external environment is disorderly, we are less able to disconnect from it. Being in clutter and chaos makes it difficult for us to relax as the mess speaks to our subconscious blocking our ability to rest and unwind. Instead of easing into the power of stillness, our attention is drawn to the unruliness, our energy levels are also diverted and we loose our internal focus, pre-occupied with our outside world disorder. By creating order in our physical environment around us we create the conditions that support establishing an internal balance and harmony.

When we clear the physical clutter from our lives, we literally make way for inspiration and good, orderly direction to enter.” Julia Cameron

Stillness is an important quality to cultivate as it leads us to our internal compass, keeps us centred and better able to navigate through life’s storms.

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