We live in an increasingly connected world that makes the attainment of stillness an elusive feat. Across the lines of productivity and efficiency lies the notion that there will always be something to do, and more information streaming than we can process. This makes it difficult to mute the roar of so much noise, both internally and externally.
However, stillness is attainable, through practice, awareness, and a willingness to simply be.
What is stillness?
It is the space within that is discovered while embracing our capacity to release expectations and agendas. It’s about living in the present moment in a calm, almost meditative, state. Stillness is cultivated through the willingness to create a different vision of ourselves.
Why practice stillness?
Stillness is an essential inner-peace tool. It allows us to listen and reflect deeply on our current state, while also providing an opportunity to de-stress from life’s challenges. The practice of stillness subtly shifts our perception from “doing” to “being.”
Amidst the hustle and bustle of society, it’s important to slow down, and one of the best attributes of stillness is that it is accessible to anyone, anywhere, at any time. Practice as much or as little as needed to maintain a balanced inner-state.
Overthinking takes away from stillness, so relax and let go. You are right where you need to be.
Try these four tips to practice the essential art of stillness:
1. Conscious Breathing.
Conscious breathing means breathing at a slower rate to calm the entire nervous system.
Try breathing in for four counts and then breathing out for four counts. Do this a total of five times and notice how you feel.
Breathe in. One-Two-Three-Four
Breathe out. One-Two-Three-Four
Breathing links us to our bodies, awakening us to our dependence on its life-giving power. Through deep breaths, we are able to declutter and reorganize the everyday havoc of our world. Breathing with awareness creates the first essential step to a life with less overwhelming mayhem and dramatic imaginings.
2. Memorize relaxing mantras.
This is a powerful way to assist a still mindset. A few examples include: “I am still and at peace.” “All is well.” “Everything changes.” “This is not about me.” “I am grateful.” “I am loved.” “I am love.” “This too shall pass.”
While reciting these mantras, remember that all existence was created from a vast silence and stillness. Our actions, words, and feelings all came from a noiseless void, and when we separate effect from cause, we can view our stillness through the lens of eternal observation, which fosters inner peace.
3. Create a sacred stillness system.
Creating space for stillness can be challenging until it becomes a habit. Try different methods of prompting yourself to see stillness as a daily routine. A few ideas include posting notes in your car or throughout your house, setting a daily alarm, or even an email reminder. If stillness is hard to attain throughout the day, try sitting still upon waking in the morning, starting with a minute and then building to what works for you.
4. Use music to enhance a quiet mind.
Among all the tools used to create space, this is one of my personal favorites, especially for transitioning from a stressful state to a calm one. We live in a day and age where we have access to more healing and meditation music than ever before. Just search on Youtube, Spotify, SoundCloud, Internet radio, or RadioTunes.
The whole premise of stillness is to quiet your mind, accept what is, and ground to the earth. This means there is no set way to practice, nor anything specific that must be done to create a deep reservoir of space within.
Stillness is as unique as the individual who seeks it.
The practice of stillness unlocks hidden doors within our psyche. Within this serenity, we view our world with an awakened sight and renewed love for all that is.
Keep in mind the concept of mindful awareness is akin to deep-cleaning a house. After the baggage and debris are removed, a sense of liberating newness follows along with more possibilities for life. Because it is within our own stillness that we can truly see.