You see, stillness is available to all of us, at any time. But you will not find stillness when you are overstimulated and overscheduled. Having a practice of stillness is the solution to the stress of being constantly connected and dealing with overwhelm and chaos.
What is stillness?
Stillness is a state of being still- in other words being calm, relaxed, quiet, and inactive. While on the outside there might be turbulence and activity, inside there is peace and tranquility. Stillness is what you need if you want to be more creative, to make better decisions, and is the key to thinking clearly, making tough decisions, regulating our emotions, and being truly present for our lives.
Contrast this to how most of us live- a world where we are bombarded constantly with news updates, work emails, social media posts, advertisements, and much more. It’s no wonder that so many of us feel tired and worn out even before we start our day!
As social beings, we all feel the need to be connected to other fellow human beings and to the rest of the world. However, in a world of 24X7 connectivity, most of us are suffering from being unable to distinguish between what is important and urgent and needs to be addressed immediately and what is not.
Seek silence every day
The good news is that you can make stillness a part of your life by carving out time and space for it.
As you make stillness a part of your life, you will become aware of the two main types of noise in your life- inner and outer.
Inner noise is your own thoughts and the voices in your head.
Outer noise has to do with your environment which includes your digital devices, media, and the people in your life and is usually much easier to deal with.
Making time and sitting in silence will make it easier for you to listen to the soft voice of your inner guidance system. It is the inner wisdom that you possess since birth and is made up of your emotions, thoughts, and physical symptoms. In other words, stillness is a simple, yet powerful way that you can start taking care of yourself- mind, body, and soul.
In time, the insight and clarity that you receive by listening to this inner guidance are life enhancing and can empower you to have faith in yourself and find the courage to live life on your own terms.
5 ways that you can find stillness in your life
Here are 5 ways that you can do this from today (Source: Stillness is the key by Ryan Holiday)
1. Limit your inputs
2. Cultivate silence
You can start by taking out time in your day to sit with yourself in silence- without any other voices, noise, or drama. This is a sacred time where you are not afraid to be with yourself, sit in silence and truly listen to what the world is trying to tell you or what you have been trying to tell yourself.
3. Build a routine
Having a proper routine in your day frees you up to make space for creativity, deep thinking, and meaningful work. Whether you are at home or at work, there are plenty of opportunities for creating a routine and planning your day and your week so that you can focus on what is important. Routines help us automate and outsource parts of our lives that are unimportant and repetitive and frees us up to focus on what is truly important to us.
4. Go to sleep
Sleep is critical for recharging our batteries and showing up the way that we want to in our lives. Yet, this is one of the most overlooked and ignored aspects of our health. By making sleep a priority in your life, you can harness the power of sleep and make space for the meditative practice that is inbuilt in our bodies.
There is no stillness for the person who cannot truly appreciate the power of “enough”. This feeling comes from the inside and provides a place of stillness, clarity, and motivation for us to be our best. In this manner, it allows us to have enough and still be “successful”, to be enough and still be “driven”.
Accessing your inner stillness using a pebble to guide you
I had recently done a podcast episode on this topic which included a guided meditation at the end to help you access your inner stillness. You can use any small object or a pebble and listen to this meditation to experience for yourself the silence that resides deep within you.
As Rumi had said to beautifully,
(Source : Stillness is the key by Ryaan Holiday)