Stillness

stillnessStillness.

Some are made uncomfortable by it.

Stillness is avoided, filled, ruffled and, on the integer scale, falls squarely into the “negative” category.

Stillness is often an undervalued commodity in our lives. We have no need for it until we don’t have it. Then, when we get a taste of it, we’re instantly grateful, take a few, deep sips and, with a swift wave of the hand, quickly dismiss it.

Stillness is not productive. We don’t have time. We don’t make time. Truly, we don’t TAKE time. 

I remember someone once saying the Universe can be heard between the spaces – between the spaces of activities, between the spaces of words, between the spaces of thoughts and breath. The pause is the podium from which wisdom speaks. (click to Tweet).

vanity and imperfectionAfter a very demanding August, I decided to take the month of September to be still. I’ve tried it before and I’m not very good at it… quite frankly, I’ve mostly failed. I notice when I read, I rush over things, looking for the content rather than taking a nice, deep dive into the experience and opportunity to connect with the author. I gobble rather than dine. When approaching stillness I start in fits and spurts, words quite contradictory to its very essence. Several times lately, I’ve received some insight when I sat quietly for about 15 minutes. I can almost touch stillness’ benefit, but when I grasp at it, it slips right through my fingers. I know, I know. That’s the problem! So, mostly, I’ve failed at my quiet September and am back to doing the doings I’ve always done. Maybe not all hope is lost, because obviously, I’m thinking about it now.

There is tremendous value in stillness and blessed are those who have mastered the art of being with time. (click to Tweet)

Stillness provides:

  • Rest – A space to regain strength and endurance.
  • Reflection – A time to let what is be and what was done go.
  • Openness – A place to receive ideas and wisdom that may not be of our own making.
  • Balance – A time to reclaim equilibrium.

 It offers the heart a place to be itself. It generously clears room on the shelf for new possibilities. It grounds and connects us to source. So, why don’t we do it more often?

On my quest for more stillness in my life, I suppose a practice needs to be cultivated. I could schedule it.  Or, perhaps stillness is like the fog…if I just get out of its way, maybe it’ll creep in on little cat’s feet. Enveloping me. Sedating me into cooperation.

As I write this, I realize tonight is the full moon and it’s a harvest moon. You may recall, I moon journal. The full moon is a time of letting go. Somehow, I’m thinking the timing is perfect and this all fits together.

I welcome help with this one. I believe a good “stillness practice” would benefit many of us – so if you have one and share, you can help many people. Do you meditate? Have a ritual space for stillness? How much stillness is there in your day? On a scale of 1-10 – 10 being a Master, how well do you do still? I think I’m a 4. Please share. Wait, don’t share that I’m a 4! Share your thoughts and secrets.

Don’t Be So Still You Don’t Speak Up,

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Michelle Andres is a writer and artist who cultivates her own Well Writer, Artist, CoachLived Life by drinking in the beauty around her, following her passion, respecting others and doing her best to own her own dookie.

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10 Replies to “Stillness”

  1. These are some great stillness ideas to think about, Michelle. I try to meditate in a traditional sense, but it doesn’t seem to do much for me (cant’ stop my mind). I suppose the most still I get (thought wise) is when I’m weeding in the vegetable garden. Somehow, that activity allows me to get totally absorbed in the moment. Not sure why.

  2. What a beautiful capturing of the value of stillness Michelle. And how wonderful you’ve undertaking the experiment of trying to build more of it into your September. I, of course, urge you not to consider it a failure when you can’t shift from 1 (or 4) to 10 in the blink of an eye (or the length of a month) – stillness is a practice and process, not a destination. 🙂

    I’m pretty masterful at stillness – I do meditate and reflect a lot; I am nurtured by quiet and serenity. But the down side is it’s harder for me to move into speedy action than some others. Good thing we’re all unique gems and there’s room for all our spectrum of abilities and places for growth.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your insights, Deborah! I suppose if I weren’t gentle with myself while pursuing this practice (pursue is perhaps to “active” a word) I would be again engaging in activities counter to stillness. Thank you so much for sharing. I will try to just let it be.

  3. It’s a challenge for me as well, Michelle. Especially during Spring and Summer. However, for some reason, I’m more open to it during the Fall and Winter. Perhaps it is the onset of endless rain that dampens the thoughts of “doing something. Anything.” Does that make sense?

  4. So now that we are the end of September, how did the rest of your Stillness experiment go? I do not do stillness well. My Tai Chi teacher used to always say that I never practiced standing, which is the Tai Chi version of meditation. He was right about that. I don’t know why I have such a hard time with it! I can certainly see the benefit, but it is just hard for me to settle down enough to do it.

    That being said, there’s a book I’d like to recommend that suggests some ideas for stillness practice. It’s reallllly good. It is called The Untethered Soul. I am just starting it over because I had given it to my mom years ago and she called me yesterday after finally having read the whole thing. I will be listening to it this week and hopefully getting in some practice for stillness.

    1. Well, Amy – it is beginning to fall into place. For me, stillness was more more attainable when I gave myself permission and began to see the benefits to being still. I’ve realized it’s part of my creative process, a recharge. I’ve read part of The Untethered Soul. Thank you for the prompt to read the rest. I hope you find a resting place. It’s actually quite nice. 🙂

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