Our work around stillness has come out of listening to lots of people we’ve worked with answer the question “What are you really looking for in your life?” Often the first response we hear is people saying that they simply want peace: “A sense of peace in my life and in my heart that tells me I’m ok.”
It became apparent that this is a deep desire we all have. We all need a bit of stillness in life to reground and recentre ourselves, particularly in the face of what can sometimes be a manic world.
What Is Stillness?
Many people think of stillness as the absence of activity. But stillness is not simply doing nothing. Stillness is so much more than being still.
Stillness is about being present to what is flowing through us. The stillness we aim for is more like the peaceful rhythm of your breath or your pulse. It’s the stillness of a flowing river, or a gently billowing sea. That’s the stillness of a human being.
Why Is Stillness Important?
A lot of us feel like we’re constantly living off balance and under pressure. It can sometimes only take the smallest thing to tip us over. It feels like many of us are operating on the edge of our energy.
But within the busyness it’s hard to really listen to ourselves. It’s only when we find stillness that we truly begin to notice what’s happening below the surface, and sense what the deep drivers in our lives really are.
And as we find a bit of peace and a bit of comfort with who we are, we begin to listen to each better too. It’s only when we pause and think a little more deeply that we understand other people, and find our love or respect for them.
There’s also something that changes when we come into any activity from a place of stillness. We’re just better at it. We’re more resourceful, we’re more attuned, we’re happier.
Stillness In Daily Life
We believe that stillness is more than just a reflective practise – it’s a life skill.
It’s all very well intentionally coming away on retreat or going for a walk and finding peace there. But can you find your stillness in the midst of a frantic day, an argument, or a crisis situation?
Our ability to come in and out of stillness is an essential life skill. When we get busy, it’s easy for things to become slightly manic or distorted. So we need to learn to pause, breathe, and ground to our deeper selves. Then, we find more resourceful ways of engaging with others, and make better choices in our lives.
The ability to pause and to find an answer from a different place is what differentiates people who live well and are able to respond to life creatively from those who get scattered and respond to life reactively.
Stillness And The Good Way
Stillness is really important on our retreats. It gives us a chance to listen deeply, and to find some of the answers we’re seeking within ourselves.
We find that stillness in a group can be infectious. When 2 or 3 of us get there, the whole group settles, and we find a quality of relationship that’s really unparalleled in most of our experience. That’s what’s really special about our retreats – the quality of shared stillness that we find.
Stillness is particularly helpful when we’re exploring the bigger questions in life, like we do on our Crossroads retreats (LINK). Crossroads questions (LINK) need to be answered from a place of calm, clear, still, centredness. That’s the place we make good decisions from, because we’re connected to ourselves.
Learning to keep our stillness in the middle of the busyness, the pressure and the noise that’s in the world today is at the core of a lot of our work. It’s a focus for us and something which shapes all of the retreats we offer.