The Gift of Stillness
From the moment it was announced that restrictions would be eased, perhaps feeling that all was safe, that this virus had been beaten, rushed out to social gatherings, which has lead to people becoming complacent with their boundaries and personal space, or perhaps the belief all was a hoax.
However just like a bush fire its not over until its over. Something those of us who have lived under the threat of fire know all too well.
The outcome of this rush to see each other and ignoring the warnings has lead to the virus being given the very thing it needed to spread. Crowds of people gathering together in the same space.
I can completely understand and sympathize with people not being able to handle the isolation that comes with the restrictions, however I wonder how many of us have stopped to see the opportunity we have been gifted?
When was the last time where we had the time and space to sit and be still?
When was the last time you could actually be in the present?
When was the last time you weren't rushed off your feet trying to make every function or meeting?
This virus is quite literally the gift of stillness.
We have been given the opportunity to really get to spend time with ourselves, to really get to know ourselves in way that is not possible when in constant company of others.
I know for myself I have taken this time to really go deep and internal, to delve in let my inside self talk while I've listened.
How many of us have taken this time to sit and speak with our inner selves?
This is a wonderful opportunity to dig in deep and really cut through all the surface level emotions, feelings, and thoughts and get to the very root of who you are at your very core. To know what you truly desire and want in this life. Without the distractions that comes with being in the constant company of others.
How many of you are just going through the motions, living a half life, doing what is expected of you?
Whether this be societal exceptions, parental expectations or other, how many of you are truly living from a place of joy and love?
I know for myself that while I'm on the path to such a life, there are still many things I have to do that is wholly the expectations of others, whether that be familial or societal, but I am working on moving away from those things and more towards doing from a place of joy and love.
What steps does one need to take to take advantage of this situation?
There are a few things one can do to help let your inner self speak. For me I do a mixture of these things.
Meditation is a wonderful way to let all the noise from the world slip away and awaken your inner voice. I know many people struggle with the concept of meditation. The secret is to start small. Two minutes is a great start each day.
Set aside two minutes in the morning before you start your day and build from there. Increase the time slowly and don't fret about the thoughts that come up. Let them arise and let them slip away, don't focus on any one thought just let them be.
The best technique I have come across is a 6,3,6 count with breathing. Breathe in for a count of 6 hold for 3 exhale for a count of 6 and hold for 3 than repeat for at least three cycles.
As you breathe in imagine clean white light coming into you and as you exhale feel all the stress and tension leaving your body.
From there just let your mind wonder for the time set and don't stray on any thoughts that arise, let them flow like water in a creek or stream. As you mediate you open yourself up to your inner voice.
Journaling is a great way to really just let all your thoughts spill out of you, as you write just let is go in a constant stream of words. I like to do this at the end of the day. Everything that has come during the day I will take to my journal and let it all out, the frustrations, the sadness, the anger, the laughter, the merriment, all in one big jumble onto the page.
Once its all out I than will read through it and turn anything that maybe a negative into a something that I am grateful for. Clearing space for my mind to quiet and my inner self to speak.
It can be quite eye opening allowing yourself the space to just let everything out, as you write your inner voice will start to speak and you'll start to discover what it is you truly desire deep down inside of you.
Don't be surprised with some of the things you may write as there is much you may not be aware of about yourself.
Similar to Journaling but just in a more colourful and visionary way, this can be in many forms. Colouring books, to clay modeling, to knitting to spiral pasta chains jewellery chains. It doesn't matter which art form you choose, just so long as you connect with it and allow yourself the time to be one with it.
By partaking in art therapy you are allowing the mind to rest, your not worrying about the bills, adding things to the to-do-list, your just being present with the art and through the art gaining insights into yourself and you pour yourself into your art.
It can be quite interesting what comes up when you are free drawing or painting, from the shapes you make to the colour you choose, all of it will have its own meanings and insights for you.
Walking with nature, what do I mean by this?
Leave the headphones at home, just walk and allow the sounds of nature to speak with you. I live not far from a wonderful walking track called Scotchman's Creek and at least once on the weekend you'll find me on this trail as is meanders along the creek and you can quiet literally forget that you are in the middle of suburbia.
As I walk I just listen to the wind as it tickles the leaves of the trees, the birds as they talk with one other, and the smells of the fauna. Did you know there is a difference in the places where mushrooms grow?
The soil is more fertile in these spots, to other areas.
Walking is where I get my most deepest insights into different things that have occurred during the week. As I make it a rule for myself to not engage in social media, text messages, emails or phone calls, I'm just one with nature and myself.
I will however take photos of whatever might catch my eye, such as the picture above of the moss growing on the tree trunk or the photo below of mushrooms. I allow myself the time to be present with what I am doing, enjoying the sun on my face, the breathes of fresh air, and the joy my body gets from the movement of walking.
As I walk and take in my surrounds my mind will wonder and my inner voice will have a conversation with me, and from there it can be quiet surprising the ideas and solutions that will come up during this time, as well as insights.
Hopefully this helps those of you struggling with the introspection that comes with isolation, please look to it as a gift and use this time as you most need.