During an afternoon of listening to one of my favorite podcasts created by Dr. Lourdes Viado (here is her website, check it out: lourdesviado.com- episode seven), I heard a statement that caught my attention in a major way. The comment helped me realize that I had unconsciously overlooked practicing something that would be tremendously helpful. The art of stillness.
I am someone whose mind is always working and working … thinking and thinking. Typically, relief from my thoughts took place during my meditation practice, which was (and still is) filled with pulling my attention to my intention, to avoid getting stuck to the unwanted thoughts that popped in my head. Aside from that sacred time in meditation, I did not mindfully practice stillness.
In thinking about being still, I realized the difficulty in allowing experience. And it’s no wonder, in this society we are encouraged and championed to do, do, do! And if you are like me, the moment that you aren’t doing something that you are ‘supposed’ to be doing, guilt and self-judgment rears its ugly head.
When this happens, we convince ourselves to stop being still (that is if we were of being still in the first place), and to start doing again. As a result, we end up wearing ourselves down and wearing ourselves out. We end up feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, and just blah. Our mood turns funky.
We simply feel out of balance and off-key.
With this in mind, I invite you to practice something that I have been practicing. Take five to ten minutes to let go of doing the things that ‘feel’ important. Instead, use that time to notice your breath flowing evenly and slowly in and out of your body. Or perhaps, notice all of the things in your environment that is a specific color and name each item.
Notice the sounds in the room or the sounds outside of your window, be sure to just notice.
Maybe practice half-smile (think Mona Lisa, think of smiling on the inside of your mouth). Allow the pleasant feelings and sensations to fill your awareness in the moment.
And if your brain simply will not let you be, notice the unwanted thought, block it and replace it with a new one: ‘I am doing exactly what I need to do in this moment and, in this moment I need to be still.’
You are worthy and deserving of peace, balance and harmony. Yes, being still is challenging and the art of practicing stillness for a few minutes a day, two to three days a week, will bring you what you are worthy and deserving of – peace, balance and harmony.
If you or someone you know would benefit from receiving therapy, please call me at 702.980.5036 for a free fifteen minute consultation. I am happy to provide additional support and guidance. Until next time …