Even though we’re just in the early weeks of the new year, 2023 is beginning to feel old already and truth be told, I’m beginning to feel a little old myself too.

Now, maybe that’s the so-called January blues talking or maybe it’s the unstoppable passage of time. Either way, it’s a call from within to say it’s time now to more regularly replenish my being and let myself “be still” a little more in 2023.

So, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say if I’m feeling this way in 2023, there are many folks feeling similarly.

Some people may misinterpret the call to “be still” as a call to be lazy, but there is an ocean of a difference between the two states. In actual fact, non-doing is an incredibly difficult action to take.

Why? Because it needs your full attention and we know our own minds don’t often like to dwell on just one thing, least of all when that one thing is our internal environment and how we’re feeling and operating in there.

In the stillness of non-doing, we’ve only got ourselves for company, which for many folks is a daunting prospect.

But I’m here today to make it a little less daunting, a little more manageable and to explain why looking inwards with kind curiosity is really one of the most helpful and productive things you can do for yourself.

Importance of being still

Why is being still important? Is there any real value in it? The short answer is yes.

Scientists have proven that sitting in stillness daily has a remarkably positive effect on our brains.

Stillness increases our memory and our ability to learn. It also reduces fear and anxiety levels as well as increasing our levels of concentration, which therefore makes us much more efficient and effective in our working life and our relationships too.

It also helps us to feel happier and more content within ourselves; a state I like to describe as feeling “very steady in my world”.

Physical exercise

Possibly the most crucial thing to say about stillness is there’s only value in experiencing stillness. There’s little value in simply talking about it. So to offer you a few small guidelines to experience more stillness in your life, you need to put into practice by sitting or lying in stillness.

We’ve done it many times already, but the easiest practice is one hand on your tummy, one hand on your chest, close your eyes and watch the movement of breath in the body, tummy rising and falling, chest rising and falling. When the mind wanders off, bring it back to the movement of the breath in the body.

Practice this until it’s as much a part of your daily life as your cup of tea or coffee.

Mental exercise

To assist in making the replenishing nature of stillness more manageable for us, we need to remember that our minds are wonderful assets, but they do have a tendency to often run the, “I can’t do it! It’s too hard” program.

For some of us, the quietening of the mind will be more difficult, but we must try not to let it adversely affect us.

So even if we find strong emotions and attachments coming up for us, we ask ourselves: “Can I get through the next breath, the next 10 breaths, the next minute, the next two minutes?”

Something to ponder

When we sit in stillness regularly, we find the courage to nudge ourselves right out into the edges of our being.

If you begin to experience overwhelm, simply bring your attention back to the soothing movement of your breath. It’s always there: it will always soothe and it will always guide.

You don’t have to schedule when to unpack, figure out or fix any part of what comes up for you when you’re sitting with yourself. All these things unfold in their own time and when that time comes, you’ll be able for it – trust that.

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