Although the weather may feel more Spring like, we are still in the depths of Winter and the invitation to move into a place of inner stillness. Autumn and Winter are very Yin seasons, a letting go, a journey into a more introspective place as opposed to the very Yang seasons of Spring and Summer, a very obvious outward movement of expression and creation, longer days, more sun, more energy.
In our daily modern lives, stillness can seem so far away, perhaps unachievable with our hectic, demanding on the go lives that we lead. Yet, there is a necessity to be able to journey into stillness. It's about balance. We need the active but also with the passive. We need the outward movement of energy but also with the inner journey. It's not one or the other but finding both in our lives.
I think we can all agree we don't need more doing, more activity and so the question becomes, how can I be? How can I find time in my day for stillness? How do I get to stillness? It can be a deep journey of learning as the mind is resistant to stillness. The mind thrives on activity, doing, the to do list of life which can seem never ending. And so we can sometimes feel a resistance to stillness as essentially it is a movement away from the mind and with that, the identification with it and addiction that we all have to thoughts. Our life, our behaviours are driven by thoughts, most of which are unconscious and negative.
When anything becomes repetitive it eventually moves into the unconscious. Day to day things from driving our car the same route to the way we brush our teeth, have a shower etc. If you pay attention you will find that you probably start off the same way and do the same routine. This is so the mind doesn't have to pay attention to what is not necessary.
The same thing also happens with thoughts. The same thoughts over and over again eventually become unconscious, still there in our energy field and affecting our outward behaviour and conscious thoughts. It is only through stillness that we can access these unconscious thoughts and really assess, do I want to think this way? Is this really the truth of how I feel? Or in my case, when I first accessed them, I couldn't believe just how judgemental and harsh I was toward myself, how I put myself down and constantly made myself feel not enough. The more I sat with these thoughts, the more I could see where they came from and then make the empowering decision to do the work to change them and let them go.
The gift of Autumn and particularly Winter is that we are supported massively to make this journey into stillness and the benefits that it can give us. Yes, it takes practice and time and a heart driven desire to want to do this work, don't get caught in should do or must do. If what I write resonates with you then maybe it's time to create the space in your life to take this much needed journey.
There are many ways to take this journey and sometimes the beginning can be the hardest as we find what works for us. I would suggest trying to be as consistent as you can and also connecting into different people and different ways. If something doesn't work for you, don't give up, just try something else.
I have also found simple breathing exercises help, listening to conscious music or being guided by someone I like. The biggest thing to remember is that this is a journey, we are heading toward and eventually perhaps finding a minute or 2 of stillness so no pressure or placing an expectation of yourself to "achieve" stillness.
I have recorded a 20 minute guided meditation into stillness if you would like to listen. Here's the link.
As always, many thanks for taking the time to read this and please reach out if you have any questions.