The Art of Stillness Can Save You From Burnout
by Lisa van Reeuwyk
If you are reading this post you are most likely already interested in the art of stillness. You may already engage in a regular practice or like many, you talk about one and you think about one, a whole lot more than you actually do it. No worries, by the time you have read this post you will be on a path to success.
Meditation, relaxation, Yoga Nidra, effortless presence, the art of stillness, call it what you like, but being still in the mind and body improves your life. If you have your doubts, head over to google and enlightenment will strike fast and furiously. Leonardo da Vinci is quoted as saying, “Art is never finished, only abandoned“.
One could say a perfect meditation is never finished either.
But no matter your ability to stay still for 5 seconds or 5 hours, you are absolutely coming back for more tomorrow aren’t you… and all the days to follow? Because once you taste the delicious nectar of stillness, honing your artistry becomes a part of you.
We are living in a professional climate that has all but abandoned this art form of stillness. Rather, we are propelled into a state of separation from the natural world. A world where we crave connection and seek it in our handheld devices on social media platforms in the form of likes and shares and comments, leaving our tanks and spirits empty while achieving no real connection at all.
I am reading a single serving sized gem of a book by Pico Iyer, The Art of Stillness. As a creative soul I appreciate the concept of approaching your meditation practice as an art form. The book weaves a beautiful dance around the topic and speaks of the struggles to remain motionless in a world full of commotion. Please indulge in the luxury of watching his 15 minute Ted Talk on The Art of Stillness !
In the book, Pico Iyer quotes Kevin Kelly, founding editor of Wired magazine as saying, “I continue to keep the cornucopia of technology at arms length so that I can more easily remember who I am.”
I love that Kevin Kelly lives without a laptop, smartphone or television in his home. For someone living day-in and day-out in a land of technological innovations and dependance, this philosophy serves us all as a deep truth.
Us common folk, punching our thumbs away on our smartphones could learn a thing or two from the tech employees who indulge in a weekly internet sabbath; going 24-48 hours over the weekend without going online in an effort to fill up their sense of self.
I look at this world my daughters will grow up in and I honestly don’t know what their daily functioning will look like. As they grow up, what will the expectations be of them in life and at work as they are pulled and yanked by a million different distracting “urgent” elements?
When my oldest was just a baby I didn’t even have a smartphone or any kind of social media account. Here we are 8 years later and we have more iPods, iPhones and tablets, new and old, than I care to admit and I am on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linked In and of course my website.
This idea that staying on top of your email from dawn to dusk, or sharing your Facebook feed with your colleagues, or having WiFi at your holiday resort or campsite or even documenting every moment of your life on a Go Pro is mostly…..nuts; it paralyzes your ability to fill up your tank by living fully in any moment.
There are 1,440 minutes in each day. If we cannot set aside 10 of those to partake in some stillness we have bigger problems indeed.
In less than a week you will see a difference in your happiness, focus, productivity and ability to feel gratitude for the blessing of your life. It still amazes me how sitting in silence and stillness for just 10 minutes in the morning, opens up the possibilities of my day in miraculous ways.
Invest in yourself, invest in your success and take breaks from your devices to re-charge your battery.
Live life in FULL bloom.
When you invest in yourself others will too.
your Coach, Lisa van Reeuwyk
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