As a type-A, try to do it all perfectionist, it seems virtually impossible for me to BE STILL. Even when I am stationary, my mind is racing down dozens of paths as I work through my mental to-do list, daydream about my next vacation, develop new plans for how to improve my business and my relationships and my health, curiously wonder about an acquaintance’s Facebook post or the life story of the stranger in line at Starbucks, and it goes on and on. And yet I realized how my approach to life ~ worrying or reflecting on the past to make for a better future, always pushing myself to do more and better and not miss anything ~ was creating a life in which I rarely lived in the present. I pride myself in savoring life and appreciating the moment, but as those genuine, in the moment experiences were becoming increasingly rare, I realized I needed to reset. I’ve learned to do so by BEING STILL.
“It’s what I learn from the great actors that I work with. Stillness. That’s all and that’s the hardest thing. Learning how to be still, to really be still and let life happen – that stillness becomes a radiance.” – Morgan Freeman
Radiance: Brightness or Light
Meditation is especially trendy right now, and I admit that I have become a full-fledged believer in the power and benefits of meditation. I still struggle to quiet my mind and truly “be still” in my meditation practice, but I have seen overwhelming health benefits, calming powers, and habit building come from a regular practice of meditation. But meditation is not only what I mean when I talk about being still.
BE STILL is an invitation to pause, to stop time, to live in the present and accept where I am in that exact moment, without judgment, and to see and embrace the world around me. Sometimes this looks like meditation, but often it is much less structured… pausing to watch the sunset and losing track of time as I gaze into the vibrantly colored sky stretching out over the horizon; enjoying my morning coffee on my front porch without a phone or tv or computer demanding my attention and listening to the chirp of the birds or watching neighbors move about their day; to interrupt my day for a moment to breathe deeply and feel the way that the oxygen fills every crevice and reinvigorates me in that moment; relaxing in the comfortable silence of sitting next to a loved one and holding their hand without the need to fill the space with words; or giving my whole body permission to drink in the words and rhythm and melody of a favorite musician capturing my heart and soul in a song; to savoring a perfect bite and enjoying the burst of flavor, refreshment, and sustenance of well-prepared food.
What does it look like for you to BE STILL?
When do you allow yourself a moment to press the pause button on the outside world and exist fully in the present moment?
How does it feel when you take a moment to simply BE STILL?