How to Cultivate Stillness in Challenging Times
We hope everyone is safe and well. These are difficult times. Here is your weekly resilience tool.
We have all been affected by the present global situation.
Whatever the implications have been, there is no doubt that we have been gifted some time in which to pause and reflect.
In the time that we have, we may feel that we must be doing something in order to be helpful.
We may feel a need to be busy which often comes from craving distraction for what we perceive as a negative situation.
When we are doing we are not still.
It is in stillness that we can reflect.
“The mind is like water. When it is turbulent, it is difficult to see. When it is calm, everything becomes clear.” Prased Mahes.
Just as a still pool of water reflects a perfect image of the self; when we are still, we are able to reflect for ourselves and others.
When we are still we become a mirror so that we and those around us can find our own answers.
If we can learn to quieten the chatter of our thoughts and be still, answers come to us in silence.
It is important to learn the value of stillness.
Consider also that stillness precedes right action.
A gymnast must first achieve a moment of perfect stillness before showcasing what appears to be the impossible.
During communication or even conflict, there are small spaces between the exchanges of sentences and expressions of thought where it is possible to achieve stillness.
When we harness these moments, time appears to slow down and we are able to calmly and perfectly deliver the information required for the greater good. This is because the information comes from a place of deeper knowing that we can only access when we are still.
Imagine that you are on a long journey. You must transport a bucket of water from the beginning of the journey to your destination.
When the ground is rocky, making you lose your footing, or there is adverse weather; the water slops from one side of the bucket to the other and slops back again, repeating until balance is reached.
When you stop and breathe, the turbulence eventually subsides. When you have achieved stillness, not only can you see right to the bottom of the bucket, you can also see yourself reflected in the still water.
Find a quiet place to sit for a few minutes between tasks.
Take your awareness to the tidal flow of your breath.
Allow it to slow and deepen and notice the feeling of quiet calmness that settles over you.
As you have done before, allow the out breath to become just a little bit longer than the in breath, and notice that familiar feeling of letting go in the body and mind.
Imagine that you have taken precious time out of your day to sit by the ocean.
Look at the sea. Like your breath, there is a hypnotic ebb and flow that occurs naturally without you having to do anything at all.
Sometimes, the waves crash onto the shore and then pull back with all the forces of nature at their back.
Sometimes the water is so calm that it is barely possible to detect the rhythmical shimmer at the water’s edge.
Today is a calm day.
Although water ebbs and flows very gently at the edges, the rest of it appears perfectly still.
There is no breeze to disturb the water’s surface. The are no ripples at all.
From where you are sitting, you look up at the sky. It appears bright blue. There are only one or two white clouds and in the sharp light you can see the moon hovering in the daytime.
As you slowly breathe in the stillness, an awareness comes to you that the moon, the clouds and the bright blue of the sky are perfectly reflected in the water below.
Allow yourself to become perfectly still so that you, like the water can reflect the beauty of the world around you.
Gently allow yourself to come back to the here and now bringing with you the stillness that you have created.
Take care and stay afloat we'll get through this together.