When I mention the word “stillness,” many individuals freak out. The thought of being still except for sleeping is not promoted much in our society, because producing, busyness, achieving, doing and earning are what we are conditioned to focus our thoughts on. While all of these actions are certainly worthwhile and necessary for living, there must be stillness in our life or we can miss the main point of our life.
For me, stillness has always been difficult. I love to be busy and creating things, and have done so all of my life. In fact, when I’m not busy I look for something to do. Some of you reading this can relate to that. Then others of you like to relax more, perhaps spending time chatting on the phone, visiting friends, doing community service, lots of social media, watching TV, etc. There’s a place for those things as well, for both aspects are important for a good harmonious life.
But the problem arises when an imbalance occurs and no time is allotted for quiet time, or stillness. That’s when disharmony appears and many things get out of sync in all areas of our life. This can include our spiritual connection – feeling separate and alone or lost without divine guidance coming through; mental thoughts – listening to our ego mostly and not our spirit; emotional feelings – letting fear-based negative feelings rule instead of focusing on love; and physical maladies – reaching for quick fixes to get rid of symptoms instead of finding the core and healing it.
Most of you are already thinking I’m heading to meditation. It certainly is a wonderful way to get into that space of stillness. The beautiful thing is that there are many ways to meditate, yet many people believe they have to do it a particular way. So that is an immediate block and often causes the practice to never get started, or to soon fail. Time is another factor in preventing many people from stillness, but I have learned in my life that I will find time for what I deem is important for my life. I’m willing to bet the same is true for you!
We have been so conditioned to be busy and we tend to crowd in as much as possible in every day. There are jobs, children’s activities, personal activities, meals to fix, shopping to do, socializing, exercise, church or community activities and service, so where can you ever find time for stillness? And even if you take the time, how do you quiet your mind so you can be still?
First let me share why stillness is so important. In the stillness is where God or your Higher Power speaks to you. This is your assurance that something bigger than you is watching over you, guiding you and has your back so to speak. Without this, you are working really hard on your own which contributes big time to stress overload, fatigue, major worrying, and probably eventually illness, and usually without the results you desire. In the stillness is where you find peace and serenity that your life is flowing as it should and you do not have to stress, worry or try to figure everything out. It is in this place you can surrender all problems and know the answers will appear, and that you truly have little to do with the details of the solution unless guided to do them.
Many doctors now recommend meditation due to the huge number of individuals on anti-anxiety or anti-depression meds and the fact that so many diseases are caused by stress. Understand that meditation means not talking or speaking requests; it’s total quietness. Here’s an example from my own life.
Some years ago I found myself in quite a bit of stress. I knew better of course, but my humanness kicked in and I got sucked into old patterns. As a result I discovered I had elevated blood pressure, something I’d never had before. It wasn’t a coincidence that I went to an office – knowing nothing about the doctors there – where the doctor who saw me believed in deep breathing and meditation. So he had me sit for 10 minutes and take deep breaths (which was hard since I was nervous about this) with my feet on the floor. He left me alone during that time and I did my best to breathe deeply. Then he took my blood pressure again and it had dropped about 35 points, getting close to normal. I couldn’t believe it had made that much difference, but it had. He advised me to begin meditating and to take several breaks during the day to breathe deeply for even just 5 minutes.
So what I’ve discovered for myself and as I work with clients, is that it simply takes discipline plus retraining your mind and body to be still. Perhaps a guided meditation will work best for you, at least in the beginning. I use one called Yoga Nidra, which combines the corpse pose of yoga with breathing, visualization, energy healing and definitely creates stillness. It lasts 30 minutes which is good for me, it’s a MP3 downloaded on my computer, and is free. But even 5 minutes of quiet when you first begin can be beneficial. (If anyone wants the info for this practice, just email me and I’m happy to share it.)
Another aid to create stillness is deep breathing, and one doctor uses what she calls “soft belly.” When you breathe in the belly extends and becomes firm, and when you exhale the belly becomes soft and relaxed. You can do this in the car even, and is great just before bed for even just 5 minutes. Of course, the more you do this the more beneficial it will be for you. Taking 5-minute “soft belly” breaks during your work day can really help with stress and boosting adrenal health – great thing is it’s easy, quick and free! Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, slowly. You can even say the words “soft belly” silently if it helps you remain focused on your breathing.
Perhaps you want to know what your purpose is. In the stillness is where you can find it. If your mind is constantly chattering, it is impossible to hear divine guidance and what your spirit is attempting to get through to you. If you are attempting to tune into your intuition which everyone is born with, you have to become still as you learn to hear messages and know they are truth.
Yoga, QiGong (Spring Forest QiGong is a great practice) and similar practices can all be beneficial in creating stillness. Walking or sitting in nature (without music on your iphone plugged into your ears) is another way to find stillness. Just listening to the birds chirping or a gentle breeze rustling slightly through the leaves of nearby trees can calm the mind and provide stillness. Or simply breathe in the beauty you may not have noticed before as you quietly observe what’s around you. It doesn’t matter how you find stillness, just find it if you want your life to flow easier, providing you with serenity, joy, peace, health, abundance, happiness, and above all, your truth.
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