The world pandemic is testing our stability. Fueled by the disinformation and misinformation propagated by mass media, it has thrown many off-kilter and left many feeling out of sorts.
While taking action feels proactive, it is not always the answer. There is also a time when reflection is needed. When faced with significant challenges, a breath and a pause are essential before taking action.
“Being still, looking, and listening activates the non-conceptual intelligence within you. Let stillness direct your words and actions.” ~Eckhart Tolle
Equilibrium can be discovered when we become still. Stillness is defined as the absence of movement or sound, yet there can never be the complete absence of either.
Living and breathing preclude true silence from occurring. Our breath, heartbeat, and the blood coursing throughout our bodies create never-ending movement and sound.
What does it mean to have stillness if nothing is truly still, or silence if there is always sound?
Our breath and heartbeat help us as we struggle to disengage from the external world. They support us as we sit alone and travel inward. Focusing on our beating hearts and the rise and fall of our life’s breath are guides to finding stillness. Sitting within our quietness, the very act of nothingness may propel us to want to do.
The restlessness that arises can be redirected when we return our focus to our breath and heartbeat, guiding us to equilibrium. A deep understanding arises as we silence our talkative rational brain. The harmony we seek outside of ourselves can only be true if we first find it within.
Difficulty in simply becoming still is the challenge that confronts us. Transformation takes time. For this, we must have patience. If we can reframe our attitude to understand stillness is not silent and silence is not still, we may discover the challenge of reflection is not as daunting as anticipated.
Stepping Into Equilibrium
Remove distractions. While we can never be distraction-free, we can help ourselves by eliminating the ones we control.
- Electronic devices: Don’t just turn them off; put them in the other room.
- Enter with a mind free and clear of immediate tasks. If you have a sink full of dishes or an email that must be sent, do those first.
Set an accomplishable goal.
- Start with 5 mins, not 30. If the 5 is easy, stay longer.
- Set a schedule. Make it a win-win. Start with what you will do. 1-2 or 2-3 times a week and extend it once you find your groove.
- Allow yourself time to do nothing. Remove the idea that you must always be doing. Embrace the idea that reflection and quietude are essential components to a happy you. Be selfishly demanding this time.
Finding Equilibrium comes in many forms.
- Meditation is a practice and a learned skill. It is often easier to start with an instructor. Online groups are prevalent now via Zoom. Find a teacher with a voice you enjoy.
- Apps can work too. Insight Timer and Synctuition are two I use for meditations, chants, and sounds. Binaural beats that work with frequency tones have proven beneficial to inducing states of meditation. I like one called Brainwave.
- Sound baths, drum circles, unstructured dancing, pranayama, and chanting are proven and fun ways to let go of our conscious minds.
- Spending time grounding, earthing, nature walks, and observing water in silence are also ways to find your balance.
Mindfulness may start as a lifestyle choice with a need for peace and balance. As our practice develops, stillness gently replaces the noise we once sought to get away from, until one day we realize our lives now have an equilibrium.
“Many years ago, it was access to information and movement that seemed our greatest luxury; nowadays it’s often freedom from information, the chance to sit still, that feels like the ultimate prize.” ~ Pico Iyer
HMU: Joanna Wood