In a world where we’re all supposed to be on top of our game (whatever that is), the race to outdo the next person and maybe even our own selves is all nerves, sleepless nights and instant judgment. Even when we feel we’ve won a round, the victory can be hollow because the cost is often great. But the greatest cost could be what we miss when we live a life of perpetual motion.
Every time I’ve had to pause, either because it’s a rare slow day or because some things I cannot control are not moving as quickly as they should, I have heard more from myself and the world around me. In these stationary moments, I have also noticed more things and felt more deeply.
The fact is, our natural capacity to focus is not infinite. Throw in the frenzy of everyday existence and you’ll find that it gets worse. Most of us can barely concentrate properly on a couple of things every twenty-four hours. There just isn’t room for depth of thought and positive fixation.
But when we have stillness, whether self-manufactured or imposed on us, there is finally time to pay attention. It sometimes feels like we weren’t seeing clearly before as things seem to come alive inside and around us. In reality, it is us coming alive to those things – busyness can be a state of unawareness.
When the noise is dialed all the way down, your inner voice is the first thing you hear, loud and clear. You can carry on an entire conversation with yourself without interruption. You replay old information and learn new facts. I know this because I do it and it’s quite amazing. The connection to self is strongest when nothing is pulling you from yourself.
Being stationary does not have to be a chance occurrence left to factors we cannot control. It should not be that way.
If you are brave enough to take a load off your schedule and make time to reflect often, you can orchestrate stillness.
Maybe start by turning your phone off for a while and zoning out to just breathe. That has definitely helped me.
When you’re away, don’t miss your fast-paced life. It’ll be there when you get back.