Choosing Stillness

Even when choosing stillness we are still moving,
our hearts beating, breath flowing, all our systems at work.

– Mark Stephens

I’m going to talk a lot about making things happen, taking leaps and getting shit done. It’s what I’m all about. But every once in a while, in order to be our most highly functioning selves we must take a step back. Turn it down a notch. Chill out. Rewind. Be still.

Stillness tweaks a lot of people out. We’ll leave the M word out of this conversation for now, but you know where I’m headed (medit…shh). That thing where you quiet your mind, get out of your head and allow yourself to breath and simply BE. That thing that’s impossible for us to do because of thoughts and preoccupations and work and family and and to do lists and songs stuck in our head and distractions and noises and doubt and technology and judgement and habits. That thing that if we did we are entirely certain we would spontaneously combust. That thing that seems counterproductive because why sit still when it’s so natural to be restless or that other thing we call busy.

You know what would be pretty wild? To set aside five whole minutes of your day today for quiet time. Sitting, breathing, uninterrupted, thoughtless, worry free, unoccupied time. Betcha it’s harder than ya think. Setting the intention is easy. Start with that. Step two, carving out the space in your day. Step three, the elusive grand prize, actually sitting still for five whole minutes. Give it a try.

As the saying goes, if you don’t have time to meditate sit still, that’s exactly the reason you should. Taking a step back from your daily grind is proactive, it will help you operate more effectively. Fact: emptying the brain does good things. It’s like a restart button. Press refresh. We get so caught up in the go, go, go that we stress out, blow up, break down, fall apart. Don’t let burnout happen to you! Take preventive measures. Sit quietly with yourself once a day, every day. If you don’t have time, create it.

Create a habit of allowing this space for yourself. You don’t miss a beat by brushing your teeth, changing clothes, spending time online, talking on the phone or driving for ten minutes. These are regular parts of our daily routine. Taking five minutes to be still is no different. We simply aren’t used to doing it.

We’re conditioned to believe that the more we work, the more we get done. We’re conditioned to think that busy is synonymous with productive. We’re conditioned to overwork and plow through. While these methods are effective some of the time, they won’t serve us long term. Take a step back. By slowing down just a notch, we’re able to improve our wellbeing and optimize our time. Make the commitment to your self care routine to sit still for five minutes each day. You will thank yourself, I promise.

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