“In the midst of movement and chaos keep stillness inside of you.” Deepak Chopra
Today we explore another of the 5 BE’s for living a good life in our later years. (Be curious, be connected, be moderate, be still and be active) We look at Stillness. So find a quiet place, perhaps a glass of water and your journal and spend 15 minutes with yourself. Call it coaching or being reflective, it’s your time to give to yourself.
“To know yourself as the being underneath the thinker, the stillness underneath the mental noise, the love and joy underneath the pain is freedom, salvation and enlightenment.”
- On a scale of 1-10 (1 is poor, 10 is excellent) how would you describe the quality of your life at the moment? Give reasons for your answer
- What are three adjectives to describe the pace of your life at present?
- What stillness do you find in your life? Where do you find it? Meditation? Gardening?
- How much time would you have for yourself each day to reflect, sit quietly, be still?
- are there any changes you would like to make in your life regarding finding stillness?
“So the darkness shall be light and the stillness the dancing.” TS Eliot
We’re all different, so the idea of seeking out quiet reflective time can be habitual and joyful for some people and terrifying and to be avoided for others. Introverts can need solitude and quiet times like a food source- essential for well – being. Extroverts can become anxious if they spend too much time alone and reflection can be an irritating waste of time. I remember once conducting a mindfulness session as part of an executive retreat I was facilitating. The session ended and I asked the managers how they found the session and their experience of it. One particularly outgoing lovely man said “Nora- sorry- that was excruciating! Nothing happened and it felt like a waste of time!”
So because we are all different, finding stillness can take many forms. There is no prescription. Stillness is mostly generated by time alone.
Can we find stillness in a concert hall filled with a thousand people, listening to Handel’s Water Music? Yes.
Can we find stillness in an office environment? Yes.
What about walking in a park? Definitely!
Can we find stillness in a café sitting with a 10 minute coffee? Yes.
Can we find stillness playing with a 14 month old granddaughter? More difficult!
Can we find stillness gardening? Absolutely!
Can we find stillness driving along an empty country road? Yes
The image of being seated in lotus position in a retreat or yoga studio is only one option.
The image that stays with me of what stillness is about is the Inukshuk. a structure of rough stones stacked in the form of a human figure, traditionally used by Inuit people as a landmark or a commemorative sign. Some of these structures have a small stone at its base supporting larger stones. The point of balance is found in building these structures.
In our lives the Point of Balance is what gives us resilience, healing, calm, concentration and strength. This point of balance is the stillness that nurtures us and keeps us well. After several episodes of clinical depression and anxiety in the past, I am finely tuned to when my point of balance is starting to be compromised. Gardening, meditation, trips to Bali, walking beaches, curling up with my cat Gracie and just being still quietens my monkey brain and restores my point of balance.
The process of behaviour change travels a certain path- Awareness, Understanding and Knowledge, Action, Internalisation. If you want to find greater stillness in you life think about where you are in this process. Do you need to know more? Do you need to just start? Do you need to make the behaviour habitual? make a plan with yourself around this and share below in the comments section what works for you…….. help others learn…our thanks.
What is meditation? What are its benefits? Here are some useful resources to check out.
https://youtu.be/bn4XhTCiZcY FUN VIDEO ON BENEFITS OF MEDITATION
https://youtu.be/Xco3UjLLvGo TED TALK INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEO
Some excellent meditation videos can be found on YouTube. here’s a favourite…