Just for a moment. No, I really mean it. Be still right now. Stop reading this blog post, close your eyes and think of nothing.
Ok, so if you’re reading this, your eyes are open again. Read the next paragraph and repeat the exercise!
Listen to the world around you. Listen to your breath. Listen to your thoughts. Take in the details of your surroundings. Shut out the incessant drone coming from that AC vent, close your mind to the goings on of the day. Ignore that nagging feeling that you’ve got so many chores to complete. Be still – for a moment, that’s all.
How often do you do this? The answer, if you’re being honest with yourself is – not often enough!
In this modern world, action and movement are the default modes, if not with our bodies then at least with our minds, with our attention. We dash around all day, doing things, talking, emailing, sending and reading messages, clicking from browser tab to the next, one link to the next.
We are always on, always connected, always thinking, always talking. There is no time for stillness — attending meetings, and sitting in front of a computer all day, and then in front of the television at night, doesn’t count as stillness.
All this comes at a cost: we lose time for contemplation, for observing and listening. We lose peace.
I know, action is all-important to some people— inaction is seen as lazy and passive and unproductive. The few times we are still — like when we’re in line for something, we often get agitated, and need to find something to do. Some of us will have our mobile devices, (I’m guilty of this) others will have something to read, others will fidget. Being still isn’t something we’re used to. It makes us uncomfortable… talk about irony!
Today, take a moment to think about how you spend your days — at work, after work, getting ready for work, evenings and weekends. Are you constantly rushing around? Is this how you want to spend your life? I know I don’t. I make a conscious effort each day to try and spend at least thirty minutes doing absolutely nothing. I put on some soothing music, turn down the lights, ignore my cell phone and laptop and just sit back and close my eyes.
I’m no relaxation therapist and I’m definitely not giving you some tried and tested tricks. I’m just sharing with you what works for me. It’s pretty simple, actually: all you have to do is sit still for a little bit each day. Slow down. Be present. Find something that brings you happiness in that moment, instead of waiting for happiness and happy situations to come to you.
Savor the stillness. Just be in the moment … it can work wonders!
“Within you there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself.”