As mother to three sons, I have seen some extremely daunting days. My typical weekly activities consisted of driving my dear sons to and from school, attending frequent meetings with teachers, dropping off at basketball practice and air cadets. Oh! And let me not forget driving through heavy traffic to get them to their activities on time. I won’t forget the frequent reminders and verbal corrections to their unbecoming behaviours and attitudes they displayed (almost on a per minute basis), or so it seemed.
Nearly 10 years ago, I developed the practice of locking myself in my room, to escape the noise and the chaos that children (especially sons) can bring, at least my sons anyway. Mi nah guh lie, some days were extremely rough.
My room became my escape and safe haven, and I fell in love with it. My room became my most desirable place to be. Quietude (yes, that’s a real word), became my hobby. I think I eventually perfected that hobby. Seriously I did.
I have become so good at shutting myself away in stillness and calmness, it’s almost unbelievable. I can do it in perfect chaos and while I’m still in the presence of my boisterous children. Whether in the car or at home, amidst the nonsensical chatter, the constant call for mom, the bouncing of the basketball, the clutter, the dishes left in the sink or the clothes left on the floor, oh my goodness, the list goes on.
But seriously, no word of a lie, I have truly developed the art of being still. The many years of practicing stillness has helped me gain a better awareness of myself, through the act of introspection. I have gained insight into the behaviours of others and circumstances, through practicing deep reflections. The simple act of disconnecting myself from external chaos has helped to reduce stress in my life in a huge way.
I have been empowered and transformed by the simple yet powerful act of sitting in stillness. Below are just a few points that show how this has helped to improve my life.
There is power in practicing stillness:
I have learned to disconnect from the busyness and the chaos of the world and focus inwardly, instead. God speaks to me in these moments, showing me myself. Revealing the heart and mind of who I am. Allowing me to better understand and manage my emotions effectively. Having greater awareness of self has helped to build my confidence, better resolve conflicts and manage my relationships.
Maintaining a quiet space, free from noise and chaos, is the right environment for healing and revelation. I have learned to examine events and interactions from an unbiased perspective. Through this practice, God gives me much insight into my own intentions and behaviours as well as the intentions and behaviours of others. Time and time again, I have gained clarity into situations which allow me to effectively handle sensitive situations and make sound decisions.
The simple act of taking oneself away from chaotic or toxic situations is a great defense mechanism for stress. The important thing to do when one is removed from a stressful situation, is to not think about the situation at hand, but instead, taking the time to simply breathe. This often frees the mind from feelings of anxiousness. Making this a regular practice has helped me to better handle stressful situations and maintaining calmness regardless of what life throws at me.
Learning and practicing stillness has played a major role in my personal growth journey. I have developed calmness, poise and self control through this simple act of sitting in silence and stillness of the mind on a daily basis.
I challenge you to spend at-least one half hour in quietude today. Lock yourself away, without distraction. Free your mind of your thoughts, whether good or bad. Just breathe and be still. Make note of your thoughts and feelings afterwards. Then share your experience.