Can you remember the last time you felt totally still? Totally present? Connected to the person or scene in front of you and not analysing, judging or worrying about it but just being open to whatever you were experiencing with a grounded sense of stillness?
We can sometimes experience this deep sense of stillness when captivated by a beautifully radiant sunset; or a scene unfolding before us in nature; or when we’re enjoying time with friends and loved ones.
But, let’s be honest, these moments tend to be few and far between because as soon as we stop and connect to something which transcends our every day lives then what happens? The mind kicks in and starts its usual running commentary and – bang – we’re kicked out of the stillness of that moment and we’re back into analysing, comparing, judging, wishing and resisting.
This reminds me of a short but (bitter)sweet line from Eckart Tolle’s book Stillness Speaks:
“The human condition: lost in thought”.
So true! Hours and days can so easily slip by lost in the whirlpool of the constant rush of thoughts…
Connect to your true nature
However, if you can practise and cultivate a sense of stillness within your body and mind you will come to realize that this is your true nature: awake and aware and watching and sensing with an open heart and open mind.
Connect to the power of stillness to calm and rebalance the fight/flight response of your nervous system: you will feel your body softens and relaxes, and your mind gradually slows down and lets go of its constant grip of fruitlessly trying to control everything.
Connect to the power of stillness to slow down and become more present and you will begin to notice and appreciate more of the simple pleasures in life to feel more content and peaceful.
Connect to the power of stillness to allow yourself to feel your emotions ebbing and flowing instead of numbing them out with busy-ness or pushing them away, and in doing so you will find a sense of gentle compassion will arise in your heart and you begin to be easier on yourself and others and to abide in a sense of calm acceptance and love.
All this comes from cultivating stillness.
You will feel more connected; more compassionate; and more peaceful.
Steps to stillness
So, how to access this wonderful power of stillness?
Well, you might think it’s as simple as just stopping what you’re doing and sitting down and closing your eyes in meditation and – ta dah! – a radiant inner stillness and pure connect to your true nature immediately reveals itself to you.
Well, maybe… But it’s not that likely! #sorrynotsorry
Our lives are so busy and our nervous systems are so over-stimulated that running around all day and then suddenly stopping and expecting to experience delicious deep peace is pretty much physically impossible.
You need to soothe the body, calm your nervous system and relax first. That’s why I call my meditation class Moving Into Stillness – because we do just that!
There are 3 steps to cultivate a sense of stillness. Practise these three steps regularly at home or in a calming yoga class and invite the power of stillness into your life
- Move. Yes before you get still you need to move. Do some yoga or put on some music and dance. Release the day’s tension and pent-up emotional energy from your body. Satisfy your body’s need for movement.
- Relax and rest. Follow a guided relaxation (get my free Calm, Clear & Relaxed Tool Kit to help you or practise Restorative Yoga to release and relax body and mind and let the stillness begin to arise within you.
- Get still. Now it’s time to move into stillness. Sit on a chair or on a meditation cushion on the floor. Breathe deeply and smoothly. Let body and mind settle. Set a timer or listen to a guided meditation (again, get my tool kit for some). Invite the mental chatter to subside – or just offer it a sense of acceptance; let the thoughts come and let the thoughts go.
Or, a super-quick way to get to this place is to get outside and find yourself a nice old tree. And sit by it.
Feel its deep roots and its amazing stillness. Let that stillness seep into your bones and every cell of your being.
When you cultivate this sense of inner stillness and deep inner peace you will find that you begin to connect to life more deeply.
You will be more present and open and loving in your relationships.
You will be able to hear the whispers of inner guidance which will help you to navigate life with a greater feeling of wellbeing and authenticity and integrity – rather than being pulled about by events and other people.
You will become LESS reactive, less judgmental, less fretful and MORE accepting, resilient, present, peaceful, positive and joyful.
Awaken from the slumber of constant rumination and come to your senses: connect to the joy of life through cultivating deep inner peaceful stillness.
Are you ready to let the power of stillness into your life?
Moving Into Stillness: Monthly meditation class
Move your body and quieten the mind to feel more positive, present and peaceful.
- When: Every last Tuesday of the month, 7-8.30pm
- Where: Bishopstoke Methodist Church, Sedgwick Road, Bishopstoke, Eastleigh, SO50 6FH (View on map). Parking on site.
- How much: £15 booked in advance. Includes recordings of the meditations practised.
- How to book: book online here
Each 90 minute session offers a combination of mindful movement, relaxation, teachings on the mind/body/spirit and guided meditations.
It’s important to recognise that it’s near-on impossible to go from the busyness of daily life straight into a peaceful and settled meditation – so we move into stillness.
First we practise some releasing, awakening movements followed by a flowing heart-and-soul-filled Dru Yoga sequence. This helps to balance and ground the body.
Then comes a guided relaxation to calm and soothe the body and mind.
Now we’re ready to be still and to meditate! I’ll guide you through meditations related to the focus of each class.
It’s a relaxing, calm-bringing class to help you find a sense of inner peace – quietening the mind to feel present and reconnected to yourself.
Each class has a theme related to finding emotional balance and healing.
Previous attendees said they felt like this at the end of the class:
- “Totally calm. Rested. Excited to use the meditation you shared”
- “Peaceful, relaxed, calm. I enjoyed it very much”
- “More relaxed. More connected to my true self rather than my judging mind”
- “Sense of belonging to my life! Kinder thoughts towards myself”
- “Completely relaxed, thank you!”
- “I feel very calm and chilled”
Dates 2018 & booking:
- 26 June 7-8.30pm Book here (Theme: Reflection & healing )
- 31 July 7-8.30pm Book here (Theme: Gratitude)
And 25 September; 30 October; 27 November and 18 December 2018 (booking opening in summer).