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In our efforts to be all we can be, we hit the ground running to be productive, working hard, playing hard and living life to its fullness. Running here and there. In and out. Hither and thither, from pillar to post. But when do we just stop?
“Learning how to be still, to really be still and let life happen, that stillness becomes a radiance.” – Morgan Freeman.
Stillness differs from meditation in that you are allowing your mind to rest. You are not focusing on breathing techniques, visualizations, thoughts, etcetera, you are just being in that moment. Stillness is so important that it had been mentioned in all the great religious books: the Torah, the Bible and the Quran. Rapha is a term derived from Hebrew, which means “to be weak, to let go, to release, to hang limp, sink down and be feeble.” Essentially it means surrender the mind.
In the Bible, “Being still and waiting on God brings hope and strength to us (Psalm 27:14; Psalm 62:1,5). In the Torah, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth”. (Psalms 46:10) In the Quran, “And be still some of the night; it is an addition to your life, so maybe your Lord will send you to a blessed spiritual station.” (Chapter 17, verse 79).
The excerpts from these books are not encouraging prayer for guidance, they’re soliciting stillness. This should give some credence to the importance and necessity of just being still. It allows you time and space to refill your cup. Stillness is powerful and has medicinal, physical, and spiritual benefits, some being: improved memory, increased focus, stress and anxiety relief and an overall boost in brain function.
Here are some guidelines on how you can achieve stillness
- Schedule a time first thing in the morning
- Find a place
- Set a timer; you can do 15 minutes a day.
- Relax your body
- Quiet your mind
- Be present
- Learn to return
Quieting the mind can be a challenge, and this may sound a little strange, but when your overactive mind is in full swing, you can calm it down by having a conversation with it.
Stop. Take a moment and just listen.
Once you get up and get moving in the morning, what do you do? You probably start thinking of all the things you must get done that day. It’s a fast-paced world that we live in, and it’s easy to get caught up in the fast lane of life.
So, you need to make sure that you put “Be still” at the top of your “to do” list.
Words by Kaba Abdul-Fattaah.