“Even in stillness, there is movement. Sometimes it takes time for the molecules of change to shift form. Even when it feels like nothing is happening, transformation is taking place.” Anonymous
There is a beauty in stillness. When all goes quiet it hearkens to the great work going on inside. An aching stretch of inner growth, the span of time before the bursting forth and birthing of new life. Moments of stillness offer great opportunity to prepare and to compose oneself in preparation for next phases.
In stillness, without resistance, there can be comfort in this space in which to gather energies and focus them inward and towards growth, like a butterfly in the cocoon. Or like the stillness of winter, when the last of the leaves have fallen and plants become still. They lie in dormancy, while they lay bare seemingly without action, but all the action is taking place on the inside. And when the spring arrives again, the energies ready themselves to burst forth with new growth and splendor.
Start with Stillness on the Outside, to Develop Stillness on the Inside
While the world has been on pause, and many in other platforms tout the benefits of seizing this time to keep doing, do more, messages about pushing yourself, taking action about taking courses or writing books, with comparisons to others before us who in times of isolation crafted great works and made discoveries.
This is not the time. Not yet. Now is the time for stillness. A time for healing, inner growth and healing.
The time will come when this kind of exploration of activities will be a good thing. Now is too soon. Give yourself the gift of stillness.
All this ‘doing’, our being so busy we barely had time to breathe, wishing we had more time for quiet moments, is what happened leading up to this point. The pace was unsustainable. We now in this pandemic, locked down and isolated, finally get time to stop the vicious cycle of endless movement. This is our chance to hit the reset button.
Let’s not waste it trying to keep up with the pace of the past. Let us set a new pace. Let’s start the reset by starting to practice ‘being’ more in stillness.
So how does one be still when used to a frantic pace? It can feel awkward at first, because we are unaccustomed to stillness, typically filling all available moments with distractions.
Tips for Slipping Into Stillness
Open Eyes Method
Where to start? Find your ideal space for stillness, somewhere soft and comfortable like a sofa or bed, or somewhere with something in view that is beautiful or faces out the window. Light a candle, fragrance the room with essential oils in a diffuser and even play some gentle, soft music in the background, all of this can enhance the experience.
Take a moment to stop what you are doing and silence devices and distractions.
- Sit somewhere very comfortable with a beautiful view whether of inside your space or looking outside. Let yourself sink into the sumptous cushioning.
- Feel the sensations of your body making contact from head to toe and appreciate the textures, the sounds and scent of the room.
- Focus your view on something of interest, something beautiful wherever you are positioned, perhaps its a lamp, a plant, a painting, a tree outside the window or the clouds in the sky. Gaze deeply, observing the shape, colors, shadows and let the sharpness of your vision slip so things appear a little blurry.
- Breathe in through your nose deeply and exhale through your mouth expelling all the breath. Repeat three times.
- Observe your thoughts but don’t focus your attention on any of them.
- Pay attention to your breathing and focus only on the inward and outward movement of your breath for ten breaths.
- Breathe at your normal pace naturally in and out. Let your mind relax and the thoughts float, flow in and out. Stay in this state of stillness and gazing for as long as you can.
- When you’re ready to resume your activities, wiggle fingers and toes, take a deep breath and sharpen your vision and lift your arms up, yawn and stretch before going back into normal activities.
Conclude by having a glass of water as you ease yourself into the speed of your day.
Mastering the Practice of Stillness
The more you practice the more easily you can become grounded, centered and present in the moment, which can generate a feeling of peace and contentment. In moments of stillness there is opportunity to explore your inner world, see things otherwise missed, little things, beautiful moments and thoughts that would have passed you by.
By allowing your mind to wander and being still, your senses will sharpen. Blood pressure drops. Creativity blossoms and ideas will come to you. Keep a regular practice of slipping into stillness.
Keep practicing until it gets easier and easier to do and a sense of stillness can become second nature.