Living a Life in Stillness
Calm … peace… rest…
These are not words which describe the modern world in which we live. Words like chaos, disruption and noise come more readily to mind. Keeping constantly busy and distracted by the world is a trap many of us (myself included) can fall into all too easily. Endless activity often diverts us from our own hurt, our own disillusionment and our own insecurities. In the midst of the normal and often natural commotion which surrounds us where emotions, stress, anxiety, deadlines and even our next caffeine-fix demands our attention, it is important to take time to be still.
Stillness is not just the absence of noise or the opposite of movement, it is a way of being. Living a life in stillness is the difference between being a human doing and being a human being. It is the act of being in the moment; of being rather than continuously planning and problem solving; and of being not listening out for the latest political commentary. (And, yes – that last one was definitely self-directed).
The state of being in stillness is about regaining then retaining our perspective, not living continuously in reactive mode.
Living in stillness involves taking time out when we need it to refocus and regain this balance. We have all heard of “taking a deep breathe” or “counting to ten” to calm yourself down before you do or say something you might regret. These strategies actually help to return us to a state of living in stillness.
Stillness did not come easy to me as a child, and as an adult it is still a state of mind I need to practice deliberately. I have had to learn (and re-learn) that being “bored” when I’m waiting at a checkout, or waiting at the traffic lights which don’t seem to want to turn green, or riding the elevator (where my phone doesn’t work) to the next meeting, is a positive pocket of time – a time to practice stillness during the day.
You may find practicing stillness every morning – through prayer and meditation for example – enables you to start your day with direction and renewed purpose. If you are more night-orientated, you may find that practicing stillness at night, to calm yourself and intentionally empty your mind of the anxieties of the day enables you to get a better night’s sleep. Or perhaps, like me, you find the need to do both.
Stillness is a conscious rethink and recalibration, which enables us to hear the still small voice of Direction which we so often cannot discern when the busyness of life crowds in.
This week may you live your life in stillness, despite the chaos surrounding you.
Until next time...