The Power of Being Still as You Walk Toward Healing
“How often are you still?”
The question caught me off guard. “I’m still all the time,” I answered. “When I’m reading, spending time in the Word. I’ve started to sit and listen to music while I work on a paint by number. I’m actually still more than I realized!”
“No, I mean truly still. Doing absolutely nothing. When do you allow your mind and body to be still?”
After a lengthy pause, “Oh, never.”
The Hard Work of Being Still
After that conversation, it didn’t require much energy to uncover just how much effort I unintentionally put into evading stillness. It became apparent that I struggle to do nothing, to simply be. But I couldn’t really pinpoint why.
As someone who believed they were incorporating the practice of stillness into their life, I started to pay attention to why I had unintentionally started avoiding it.
As I began to take note of the lack of stillness in my life, I discovered I had been confusing stillness with rest.
Stillness Versus Rest
Stillness is defined as the absolute absence of movement or sound. Silence. Quiet. Hush. The absence of motion.
Rest is an instance or period of relaxing or ceasing to engage in a strenuous or stressful activity. To cease work or movement. To relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.
While rest rejuvenates us, stillness brings us home to ourselves. Stillness reacquaints us with the thoughts, ideas, heartache, and feelings we’ve not paid mind to (and maybe unintentionally avoided). Stillness invites us to lean into the true state of our souls.
The opposite of stillness? Business. The defense mechanism we employ to avoid the true state of our souls.
We fall into the false trap that what we fail to notice will go away. But we all know this isn’t true. Remaining in motion only delays the inevitable.
Stillness on the other hand helps us to unearth that which we were unintentionally trying to hide. We often avoid stillness because we don’t always like what we uncover. Burdensome emotions, unresolved conflict, unmet needs and desires—all of it gets put on display. Stillness brings reality to the forefront.
It’s no wonder we are rarely still. Stillness is hard work, but it’s also a pathway to healing. When we get past the discomfort, we uncover the healing power of being still.
The Healing Power of Being Still
Revelation is unearthed when we grow still. We find rejuvenation and release as we confront all that we kept pent up inside. We reconnect with our whole selves—our mind, body, and spirit. In growing still, we are welcomed home.
“It also soothes our nervous system. ‘Stillness produces the anti-stress fix by allowing us some chill time without totally checking out and being numb to our experience.'”Psych Central, The Power in Being Still & How to Practices Stillness
Stillness leads to clarity as we uncover what was holding us back and how to move forward. Stillness replenishes us and creates space to hear our own thoughts. Stillness is the mediator between what we feel and our ability to express it. Stillness is where we grow quiet enough to hear God’s voice and remember we are Beloved.
To truly begin to walk toward healing, we must willingly engage in the practice of stillness as we come to terms with the reality of our present.
Practicing the Art of Being Still
Stillness is a practice, not something that comes naturally to us. To ease into a practice of stillness, start with these tips:
+ Turn off your cell phone
+ Schedule time to be still (and don’t skip it)
+ Find a spot you can go to be still regularly (a quiet space in your house, your backyard, a local park, etc.)
The key to practicing stillness is to make the moment as simple as possible. As you develop your practice, try some of these ideas:
+ Sit and take some deep breaths until you feel your body still
+ Play light music in the background as you get accustomed to being alone with your thoughts
+ Repeat affirmations to yourself or direct your thoughts to peaceful statements
+ Focus on a soothing picture or piece of art that evokes a sense of stillness
+ Take a slow walk without talking or listening to music
+ Close your eyes for several moments
There is no right or wrong way to practice stillness—simply find what works for you.
“Within you, there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time.”Hermann Hesse
The Power of Being Still as You Walk Toward Healing
Stillness continues to be a practice I have to work hard to incorporate into my life. It’s not always comfortable, and it’s never perfect, but it has become a powerful way to pinpoint all that is going on within me and around me—and lead me toward wholeness and healing.
Being still likely won’t come naturally for you, but by engaging in the practice of being still, you may find you are a few steps further on the path toward healing.
+ How often are you truly still?
+ Has the practice of stillness been helpful to you in the past?
+ How do you plan to incorporate the practice of stillness into your life as you walk toward healing?
Connecting with God is hard when we are in constant motion. If you need support as you grow still in God’s presence, I’d love to gift you with a copy of Ungrounded. May it be your companion as you pause in God’s presence. Enter your email below and a PDF of the ebook will be on its way to your inbox.
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