This is the place of dreams. Where I am safe and secure, fully loved. Where I can confront and conquer my fears. Where I learn the majority of my lessons. Where I remember what is really important in life. Have you allowed yourself to sink into it?
It is confusing and scary and usually avoided…this place of stillness and silence. Too many plans, too many needs to attend to, too many things to get done. You have never had more permission than in this season to step off the proverbial hamster wheel. So why don’t you?
Because if you are anything like me, you are too focused on all the things that you should be reading, cleaning, learning, or doing. We are achievers who celebrate productivity. How on earth could it be productive to slow down? I get it. I’ve been there.
The hard truth is that in all the running around and checking boxes we lose a part of ourselves. We hurry through life and get to the end not understanding why we did all the things we chose to do. We never slowed down, searched within, and looked up to ponder the steps in our journey or our reason for being…and now, at the end, it’s too late.
Take a chance friends. Quite literally find times in the day to stop. Get to know that still, small voice inside you that you’ve forgotten or tried to block out, who is begging to be heard. That is you. All your hopes and dreams, the parts of you that crave love, rest, and connection. The you that keeps wondering if there is more to life. You are wondering because there is more to life.
The best part…there is nothing in the external world that has to change in order for you to live a more peaceful, joyful, and fulfilled life. You just need to make space for yourself and your Creator in your life. They know you best, and yet you likely do not know them well at all. You’ve been too busy trying to keep up with everyone else, or too preoccupied with everyone else’s opinions and needs.
We consult everyone else around us when we have a big decision to make. Why aren’t we consulting ourselves and our Creator first? Because we don’t know ourselves or our Creator well enough to trust them. You have to know someone to trust them and we haven’t invested enough in those relationships. Trust comes as a result of time spent and experiences together. Silence and stillness will give you that time and can be your secret weapon to better life experiences and better work outcomes.
You will know and trust yourself better and therefore decision making becomes a lot easier. You will have faith that your Creator will allow everything to work out as it should, and your control and contentment issues will dissipate. You will consult yourself and your Creator on your needs and priorities every day which will make you more focused, clear, and effective.
So how does this work in practice? I have found that starting small, being disciplined, and exercising patience is the ticket (like most things in life)! Begin your day with a bit of silence and stillness. Consider how you feel, what thoughts are floating around in your head, and what you need to get done for the day. Using the morning to “prepare” yourself for the day in small ways can make a huge difference.
By thinking about what you need, you can determine if the plans for the day are realistic or where you might need to ask for help. By examining your thoughts, you have an opportunity to insert some positivity or gratitude to begin your day well. By thinking through your to do list, you can incorporate a more proactive assessment and reassessment practice.
This assessment and reassessment practice is one of the most important things to discover. We start to teach ourselves how to incorporate what’s happening in the world around us, what our abilities and limitations are, and what’s most important into our decision making. If we can learn to master this in all aspects of our life and work, we are more effective and are less likely to get thrown off our game because we have learned to be flexible, pivot, ask for help, and be realistic about our expectations.
The end of each day or at least each week is also a great time for stillness and silence. Reflect on and celebrate all that you accomplished. Seeing our progress is a motivator to keep going, especially in difficult times. Identify what you could have done better, what lessons you learned, and what you need to forgive yourself for. Again, as you practice this ritual of learning, integration, and letting go you are more able to do it in everyday situations. This practice makes you more able to cope, adapt, and be resilient.
Discovering the power to understand, trust, and lead yourself well that is found in the silence and the stillness is the ticket to a better life and better work. Try it and tell me how it changes you!