Stillness & Being in the Present Moment
Written by Sarah Cornforth
Inside this article I talk about my journaling around the theme of stillness and what conclusions I came to with this exploration.
We take a look at:
- Being still
- What is stillness?
- Stillness isn’t just meditating
- How I am learning to be still
- Journaling for stillness
- Don’t force it
- Find ways to be still
True intelligence operates silently. Stillness is where creativity and solutions to problems are found.
Being still is not really my default setting. Physically I’m a fidget, mentally I have a brain like a psychedelic movie and spiritually I’m all over the place unsure of where to focus my attention.
I am writing this as we approach the New Moon in Taurus which is a time when we are being asked to explore stillness for the purpose of understanding the present moment and I want to share some of my thoughts with you. I hope this inspires you to consider your own relationship with stillness and what this could mean for you.
What is stillness?
For some, stillness is natural. Or at least it appears to be. I see images on social media of people sitting in stillness and meditating for hours with a look of peace and tranquillity on their faces and I think to myself “I want some of that”.
However when I try this I fail quite quickly. It’s uncomfortable for me to be still. I’m so easily distracted that I feel like a failure before I even start. And I have no idea why my mind is capable of thinking about everything I’ve ever thought of experienced EVER right at the moment I choose to try to meditate or relax……but it does.
Stillness Isn’t Just Meditating
I have to remind myself that stillness isn’t just about meditating and instead I need to focus on experiencing a more ‘present moment’ life instead.
As I write this, we am a few weeks into our lock down here in the UK due to the Covid19 virus, and the present moment is kind of all we’ve got right now.
Be careful what you wish for, I guess!
Rigt now I am getting a big lesson in stillness and it’s sort of happening to me rather than me trying to find it or achieve it. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got plenty I could be doing, but with all the changes to what was our ‘normal’ life and the constant news updates this whole thing is leaving me mentally exhausted and with little room for much else.
What I am learning very quickly is that I need to check in with how I am doing…..often.
It’s important that I manage my energy, entertainment, learning, the desire to be creative and the need to be fit and healthy. So even in a time when the world is at a bit of a standstill, stillness is still a challenge in some respects.
How I am learning to be still
There are two main things which I am doing a lot more of right now which promote stillness and I’m doing these things as a result of the current climate and not become I think I should.
In my bid to control what I hear about on the news and social media I am spending more time journaling and reading. These two things are usually in the category of ‘luxury’ activities that I usually don’t always have the time to enjoy and I am realising that I’ve been missing out big time by not giving myself more of this gift.
Journaling for stillness
Journaling is something I usually do infrequently. I enjoy creatively journaling on the new and full Moon’s and then if I need a rant from time to time I will take out my pen and notepad and go to town in there!
The result is that I’ve associated my written journal with having a hard time and needing to process a challenge so no wonder it’s impossible for me to make it a regular habit. I have literally turned it into something I only do when I feel like my world has fallen apart.
During the lock down I’ve started something different. I have a little seating area in my bedroom near the window where I can think and enjoy the view. I have started writing in my journal at several points during the day, just for a few minutes at a time.
Let me tell you how I am doing this
First thing on a morning my head is full of all sorts of information but I’ve noticed I often having a rolling or repeating thought going on in there. More often than not it’s an idea of something I need to do, but it’s something that needs processing. To process this information I grab my journal and write ‘the thing’ at the top of the page with the date.
Let’s say for example the idea for this article was in my head when I woke up, I would write “stillness blog” as the title of my little journal entry and then just write whatever comes to mind to get it all out of my head. The result…..no more repeating throughts about this blog taking up my mental energy before the day has even started.
What I am now finding is that during the day my head gets noisy again as time passes. Perhaps its’ due to mentally giving myself a hard time for eating rubbish food or getting distracted by something on YouTube. Whatever it is, I take a few minutes to process that one thing in my journal to help me get past the distracting noise it’s created in my head.
This is a big part of how I am working to find more stillness in the present moment right now.
Don’t force it
In my opinion stillness can’t be forced. Instead it needs to be found, which is why I highly recommend taking some time to work out what stillness looks like and means to you.
Maybe stillness is meditating for hours a day and if so I have full meditation envy right now #stillnessgoals. For most of us it’s about capturing a moment where we can remove the noise, distraction and influence of the world around us long enough to check in with how we really feel inside.
Find ways to be still
I’m not just journaling as part of my stillness practice, I’m also reading, taking a hot baths, sitting in the sunny garden and drawing art. All of these things are helping me to find special moments of calm in a chaotic and noisy world.
What do you do to pactice stillness in your life?
Let me know in the comments below.
Want to learn more about using the phases of the Moon as part of your journaling practice? Then grab my FREE resource by clicking below.
Stillness Journaling Questions
- What does stillness look like for you?
- When was the last time you felt truely still and calm?
- How can you create more stillness in your life?
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