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Are you able to practice stillness? Perhaps you are someone who is able to be still both physically and mentally, or are you one of those people who can’t be still? You simply cannot sit still without fidgeting, moving, or doing something. Perhaps you can be still physically but your mind performs Olympic gymnastics springing here there and everywhere.
The importance of stillness
Why is it important to practice stillness you may ask. It is because we live frenetic lives. We have things going on constantly, experience relentless pressure are continuously bombarded by things wanting to grab our attention and distract us from who we are or how we are meant to be.
How we are meant to be
Well I think we are meant to be peaceful, happy beings. This is not the reality for most of us and many times the things around us come and steal our peace or happiness, or we allow them to be stolen from us. This is why the practice of stillness is so critical to our overall wellbeing.
Being still does not mean don’t move. It means move in peace ― E’yen A. Gardner
The advantages of practicing stillness
There are multiple advantages to practice stillness, here is a few:
- It centres you and helps you focus on the present moment
- It recharges your batteries and leaves you feeling vitalised and refreshed
- It reduces your stress and brings you to peace
- It allows you to see new perspectives, especially if you are facing difficult challenges
- It reduces your risk of illness
To practice stillness does not come naturally or easily to us and in a hectic busy world; most people neglect to make time to practice stillness. Yes, we do need to make time to practice stillness, believe it or not.
Make the time, create the space
Let me tell you about one of my favourite places I go to practice stillness in the forest near my home. There are two ways to reach this spot; one is up a slight hill, and down a steep descent and the other meanders along a forest brook covered by trees. Both pathways are distinctly different but equally delightful. My favourite place is a wooden bench nestled next to a beautiful pond with water flowing through it. In autumn and winter, the underbrush dies and the view of the surrounding forest becomes clearer. The sound of the flowing water seems crisper but only because the birds are hibernating and their vivacious songs do not add to the melody of the stream.
When I come to this spot and find the forest empty of other human inhabitants, I always feel blessed. The stillness of nature embraces me and I feel my inner stillness rise up to commune with it. Regardless of what I have going on in my life or mind, I find myself becoming peaceful, at one with nature.
Maybe you are not familiar with the practice of stillness. To be still means to do nothing. Not pray, problem solve or plan, it means simply to do no thing.
When you enter a place of stillness, you awaken the divinity within you ― Peggy Sealfon
How I practice stillness
Believe it or not doing nothing or no thing requires focus. Especially if the mind is frantic, so what I tend to do is to sit quietly and watch my breath, close my eyes and watch my breath coming in and going out. Sometimes I say this simple mantra while becoming focused, “Breathe in, breathe out.” This enables me to come to a place of quietness and peacefulness. I know I said the practice of stillness is to do nothing and this might seem like a contradiction, but until my mind has stilled I need to bring it into submission and this is how I do it.
Be still. Stillness reveals the secrets of eternity ― Lao Tzu
If you want to experience the five advantages of practicing stillness that I mentioned above, I encourage you to start your practice today.
You will find that your life expands in peacefulness and contentment and regardless of the challenges you face you will be able to rise up and meet them.
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