How To Keep From Chasing Stillness

Have you ever just wanted to be still? Relax. Unwind. Be enough.

Living on a hamster wheel has become the norm…We eat fast, think on our feet, move quickly through our day and demand that other people enact superhero powers to meet our needs and deadlines. Yet much of this pursuit is in service to the idea that if we get everything done we will achieve what it is we are working towards. We will be able to relax, have freedom to live more boldly, become free in our thoughts and words, or perhaps just get a break from the prisons of our never-resting minds.

Most people I know seek this freedom of expression, relaxed mind and future-state happiness by way of happy hour wine specials or endorphin-boosting exercise. Two extremes, yet after the same result – release and improved personal state.

Happy hour is the reward for a day well-survived. This is the socially acceptable way of slowing down life so that for a brief few moments, the world moves at a pace that does not demand our best. Exercise allows us to move, sweat, breathe and transform the hectic aspects of our life through the rhythm of our bodies. It demands and takes as much as we are willing to give.

These opposite examples leave out one important piece of reaching reward, that so-called inner stillness. They ignore what it is we are searching for to begin with…to reach a point at which we feel like we are enough.

“Enoughness” is the belief that we are satisfied with ourselves and our efforts on a regular basis. We still pursue the dreams and ambitions that interest us, but we do so from a place of confidence rather than fear. From this place, we are our most productive, confident and still selves.

Stillness is a practice. It’s not something we find, but rather, something we become. If this is something you seek, here’s one of my favorite ways to stop chasing stillness and cultivate inner peace.
Take a pen and paper and list out all the personal achievements that you are working on, that when you have them, will make your life better. For example:

I will feel complete when I meet that person who I can share my life with.

I will feel accomplished when I get promoted.

I will feel less stressed when I can leave work on time without guilt.

I will see myself as beautiful when I lose that last 5 pounds.

I will know that I am whole when I have time to relax and read a book.

Notice how many of these things are something that can bring you peace in this very moment and how many of them are dependent on a future accomplishment.

Beside each of these future goals, write out something you enjoy about the present experience of each of these future ideals that is currently worth celebrating, just as it is. Your list might look something like this…

I am enjoying my freedom to explore who I am, and engage with different types of people.

I feel accomplished because of the great feedback from my morning presentation.

I am grateful for the walk this morning from the bus to my office.

I feel beautiful wearing my new spring dress today.

This afternoon I have time to get together with a friend for coffee.

Focus a few minutes each day on the parts of life where you are currently enough, enjoying life, and in receipt of the accomplishments you set previously, that got you to where you are right now. It is in this stillness of appreciation for the present moment that we can enjoy where we are now.

This is the place that is still with the accomplishment and understanding that wherever it was you were once going, you have right now already arrived.

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