It probably comes as no surprise that being still is exceptionally tough for me these days, despite my knowing just how much easier life seems when I make the time. In fact the simple art of finding stillness may just have the ability to have the greatest impact on our well being of just about anything we can do.
We often think of stillness simply in a physical sense... Staying in one place... Taking a load off from our daily tasks. In a world of constant flux and change we are almost always doing or thinking about doing something. True stillness has not only to do with taking time out from always being on the go but with being able to set that mental to do list aside, to quiet the judgemental voice in our head, to begin to clear and open up that proverbial space, to tune into the flow of the breath and begin feel the subtle energy within that connects us all. When we feel connected to this place we feel more peaceful, more capable, more loving. We feel more at ease because we are moving in greater accordance with that which we are meant to be....
Sounds simple enough doesn't it :)
In this guest post, mama Natalya of Pilates Mommy Workout, gives us some great pointers on getting started on a meditation practice aka stillness (if we haven't already of course!). As I've mentioned, life is pretty nutso these days and finding time has been exceptionally challenging. On Friday I may have mentioned that I had formulated the plan of getting up before the kiddos to fit a little uninterrupted yoga and meditation in which being a good idea in theory, yet as week one with this idea came to a close, the plan was yet to have been implemented.
Well friends, I am tremendously happy to report that this morning I DID IT!!! *high fives!!!* It may not have been the most energetic practice or deepest meditation of all times but it HAPPENED and now it is just shortly after 9 am and I am here writing this bringing me to my little ol list (in just a moment and in no particular order) of fabulous things that you just mind notice happening when you take the time to BE STILL...
... but first a quickie HOW TO REVIEW
1. Find a comfortable seat, lie down or just stop and BE where you are (i.e. waiting in line, sitting in traffic/on transit, feeding a baby...) Sure a quiet place free of distractions is best but that is not always possible...
2. Tune into your breath. don't try to change it, just pay attention to how it feels.
3. Witness your thoughts as they come and go and try not to judge (that just makes way for more distracting thoughts and rarely positive ones!). Simply "label" the thoughts as they come as "thinking" and once you have acknowledged them, gently let 'em go, just imagining them drifting away as you return to paying attention to your breathing.
4. Feel free to add a simply mantra to help you focus and draw on the positive and peaceful energy found within. (i.e. "be still", "just breathe", "I am enough", "I am peaceful and loving", I am patient and kind")
5. Do this for as long as and as often as you can!
.... and btw.. you absolutely positively CAN DO THIS. It's as simple as believing you can AND making the choice to JUST TRY.
Remember, there is no real right or wrong here, however if you follow these guidelines as best you can in a context that works for you, there a few pretty stellar perks you may just experience.... :)
1. An increase in productivity. Seriously, while taking time out may seem like something you don't have time for, I can pretty much guarantee you will get more done outside of that time... don't believe me? I guess you'll have to give it a go and see for yourself.
2. An increase in patience. haha, ok I will be totally honest, while this is the absolute truth there is a reasonable chance (especially as a mommi or anyone who finds themselves short on patience in general for whatever reason) that you may have to throw in a moment here and there... a kind of mindful mommi maintenance program so to speak. Think of it as a daily (preferably) tune or fuel up that needs a little tweak or top up throughout the day. Mini moments of stillness can have amazing benefits as well however the ability to carve out at least ten minutes at a time can make a world of difference. First thing in the morning and/or last thing at night are optimal but as we know from this post, the most important thing to do is WHAT WE CAN. The thing is when we take the time to be still we will also experience..
3. An increase in our ability to love (including what we do ;)). Undoubtably this practice will help us to be more loving and compassionate towards ourselves and others. The reason for this is simple. In stillness we connect to our truth, the pure loving energy that sustains us and everything in the universe. It's like opening a portal to infinite love that in turn will pour through us and out into the world. Pretty snazzy stuff isn't it?
4. An increase in our ability to connect to our purpose aka an increase in clairity. In finding stillness we are better able separate what is really important from what isn't so much. It's easy to find our mind cluttered with what seems like absolute madness by times. We struggle to sift through it all, to prioritize and purge what we don't need. Finding stillness allows us to quiet the insanity and hear the wee whisper of our true voice within. When we are able to quiet the noise and make the space to listen we often naturally begin to live in alignment with this purpose and find ourselves experiencing...
5. An increase in our overall level of peace & happiness. When we feel happier we also feel more peaceful and content with what is and seriously, whether we admit it or not, all anyone really wants in this life is to be happy not to mention the fact that happiness is contagious!
"Wisdom comes from the ability to be still. Just look and just listen. No more is needed. Being still, looking and listening, activates the non-conceptual intelligence within you. Let stillness direct your words and actions."
Any questions, tips or tricks welcome friends!
Hope you're having a beautiful Monday!
till next time.
be still and shine bright!