Monthly Focus: The Art of Being Still

Monthly Focus: The Art of Being Still

Week 4

We’ve learned so much already about Mindset this May. By using tactics like perspective shifts and gratitude practices, we can promote a more healthy, more resilient mind.

As we close out the month, there’s one last approach to consider: stillness.

Often overlooked, the art of stillness is one of the most powerful tools in our mindfulness toolbox. It is such a simple course of action, yet difficult to achieve given the always-on, constantly humming world in which we live.

It’s in the moments of greatest noise—both internal and external—where stillness can be the impetus for peace. The next time you find yourself in a loud, uncomfortable, daunting place, try this stillness exercise.

Stillness Exercise

Begin wherever you are. Take note of your surroundings, accepting all the sounds around you, sensations, and thoughts inside you. Maybe the mind is:

  • Bolting
  • Surging
  • Fuming
  • Afraid
  • Frustrated
  • Worrying 

Let all of this happen. Sit inside of it and acknowledge it.

Now, pick a homebase. Maybe it’s the consistent hum of cars outside, or it’s the whirring of the air inside; maybe it’s your slow and steady breathing, or the persistent buzz of all the people walking past. Some of the most impactful stillness experiences can be done in the busiest of places.

Whatever you choose, pick a homebase: a simple sensation that you are actively choosing to focus on.

And when you feel yourself start to wander to those worrying, intrusive thoughts, find your homebase. Choose to think on the sights, the sounds, the temperature, the smells, the sounds. Choose stillness; choose exactly what you want to pay attention to.

Each time your mind tries to wander back to the frustrations, the anger, the worry, hit reset with your homebase. Come back to that sensation that you chose as your homebase.

Wandering off is normal. Distractions happen—it is part of life. It’s about the coming back to your homebase each time that creates the art of stillness. Each time you wander off, acknowledge it; then, pull yourself back to your homebase.

Find Clarity in the Calm

More often than not, we suffer more in imagination than in reality.

Understanding the mind—and how to foster a growing, resilient mindset—is fundamental to relieving ourselves of that suffering. Being still allows us to see things as they are, not as our emotions interpret them.

It’s in these moments of stillness that we focus on what is, and nothing more. There is no problem, there is perception, there is no reframing. It is simply you engaging in the smallest of sensations in your current moment.

Clarity comes from calm.

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Mary Elizabeth Adams
May 28, 2021

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