I have happily completed sixteen days of my invitation to stillness! It was not all 384 hours of quietness. I did break and crack every minute or so. In fact, more than a minute at most times. But, altogether, I have had sixteen days of quietness, calmness and stillness.
What exactly is stillness?
- Stillness is to let go and release a good bit of expectations. Personally, I have never been a fan having these. I have long flipped these things. But, let’s face it; we have been conditioned to expect things in our lives, in our relationships, in our jobs and even in our children. Every now and then, this old habit sneaks on me too. I so consciously have to show the exit door to it. Of course, many struggle with expectations. As I’ve said we have been conditioned to this. (I’ll talk more about this some other time.)
- Stillness means to let go of our to-dos, control, goals and ambitions, feelings of “having enough of”. Yes, that constant ringing voice in our head that tells us we have had enough of this person, this government, this life! We let go of that “fed-up” feeling and accept there is too much of everything and more than enough of it (yes, there is abundance) including what we feel sick about. Accepting that as a fact makes the release more natural.
- Stillness means to be quieter. It is the choice to be quieter with our voice, our skin, our face and our muscles.
It means to stop before we shout. Stopping helps us understand why we shout. Often, in the heat of the moment that our voices rise, we want to act. There is an urge to solve the problem right NOW. In the corner of our minds, that voice goes; “If you wait, it will be too late”. As a mother (parents – in general), we shout because we feel it is an urgency. But that sense of urgency is actually sending us into a vicious cycle of more shouting. It does not actually solve the problem. Often enough, what works best is patience and love.
- Stillness is we wait before we respond. Waiting to respond and by taking a great big peaceful pause actually shows our children what it means to think first before acting or speaking.
A couple of days ago, I was challenged by my daughter yet again. She has not done her homework – a poem about the family. We woke up early that morning to write it as she could not wait on me to finish my online work. She still has not made any lines beyond what we have prepared the night before. She was late for school and was crying. My voice has grown more stern. I wanted her to understand her priorities and how it is important to manage it and her time too. Occasional pauses, made me realize how overwhelmed she was with the task. She wanted to do a poem closely resembling the poems I do. She was in lost for words to describe our situation as a family too. At the peak of her frustration, she was also anxious of her being late for school. She was scared of the consequences tardiness incurs. She was embarrassed at the thought of coming in late while the class has started.
But, I refused to just rush into my points alone and leave her feeling lost with her emotions. I needed to make a point. She will not appreciate my point if I cannot appreciate her feelings of fear, frustration, shame and anxiety.
This moment made me realize even more that remaining calm, rational and peaceful is being more consistent and effective with the values I am raising her with. She needed more of that than anything. As it turns out, pauses and quietness to a big problem makes it a little problem.
- Stillness means to stride lighter, move slower AND BE PERFECTLY FINE with less control.
Choosing stillness and accepting less control doesn’t renounce or remove our powers or authority. We don’t become pushovers. We don’t put our lives on the line to fall apart. As a matter of fact, it is quite contrary. We gain more power, authority and control. We are able to control ourselves. We become more accepting of what is around us. As a natural consequence, we become more appreciative of beauty our lives have.
- Lastly, stillness is learning to rest more. It is learning to quiet our minds too as we quiet our bodies.
Why do I invite stillness for my life?
and yours too….
Being more still around our own harsh, tense and stressed lives is quite a challenge! I continue to welcome it. I am choosing to practice that will absolutely need to be practiced over and over and over…
Truth be told, being still ISN’T EASY when our responsibilities are so great. Parenting is. And solo-parenting IS! But I am choosing to, and invite you too, to choose to be still the minute we wake up as part of our own Sunshine Ceremony — as well as throughout our day.
Personally and mindfully inviting stillness will be a great way to start experimenting with what it might feel like to live a more relaxed existence; a more peaceful parenting. We see more, we hear more, we feel more. Our senses get finely tuned with what is going on at the moment of happening without you controlling or manipulating that moment.
Hands down now…moving on…