Times of stress and uncertainty can leave us feeling adrift — lost in a sea of unfamiliar patterns and conflicting emotions. For many of us, disruptions such as this shine a light on how attuned, or unattuned, we are to our interior world.
The Coronavirus pandemic certainly qualifies as such a disruption. Many of us are sequestered at home, alone with our hearts and minds. As Higher Self Yoga Founder recently shared in her announcement that the latest Higher Self course would be available free of cost, whether you experience this isolation as welcome or unwelcome, it does offer us an opportunity to reconnect to the intuitive wisdom that presents itself in stillness.
The Gift of Stillness
For centuries, mystics across cultures have actively sought out solitary places, be they caves, mountains, deserts or monasteries, in order to free themselves from the pressures of society, develop their intuitive gifts, and intently rest into reflective stillness.
In the same way, we have the chance to embrace stillness in quarantine, a time of reduced distractions, and simply rest in the quiet stillness and with curiosity, discover what arises.
Freeing the Inner Wisdom
When the body and mind are given the opportunity to step off the treadmill of doing, we create space for underlying thoughts and emotions that have been pushed aside, to gently surface and be seen and felt.
This quiet act of “clearing” allows us to touch in feelings we may have been longing to connect with, feelings we may have been subconsciously avoiding or craving.
When our inner feelings have permission to be heard and seen, relaxation and peace can arise, as our inner self can finally take the stage, revealing wisdom and revelations that were previously too blocked with noise to surface.
What’s possible when we make ourselves open to this intuitive inner voice also known as our Higher Self? The positive benefits are different for everyone, but there are a few common experiences.
- Restoration: For some, connecting with stillness may bring a sense of simple relief and release, the sense of restfulness that comes with simply allowing oneself the space to have this experience. As discussed in a previous post, meditative states can support the immune system. Uninterrupted stillness offers us access to the power of restoration across the mind, body, and spirit.
- Re-Prioritization: Oftentimes after sitting in stillness, we may discover that our priorities have shifted. Something that was previously in the background of our minds shows itself as a worthy and essential endeavor, and we are invigorated to pursue it. With this clarity, we can adjust our commitments, goals, and timelines, and embark on missions that may prove quite fulfilling.
- Random Acts of Playfulness: Some may discover in stillness that there is a longing for play, movement, and expression. Continue to rest in stillness while you fully experience this message and then turn to embrace this desire, greeting the world with child-like curiosity and creativity.
- Taking the Pressure Off: In stillness, we have the opportunity to cogently confront ourselves and the aspirations we may be working to fulfill. Simultaneously, we have the clarity to recognize which aspirations are no longer relevant to our best interest. The expectations we have for ourselves are revealed as ideas from another time, person, or way of thinking. We are able to take a break from demanding thought patterns and uncover our true aspirations. For instance, you may discover that you don’t actually long to train for a marathon, and are instead quite content in the joy of a nature walk or consistent gentle jog.
- Gratitude: When we step into stillness, we have a front-row seat to the simple elegance of being alive. We are able to step away from the striving, expectations, and identities we can carry in the exterior world and simply be. Often, as we feel our body breathing, feel the texture of the space around us, and hear the simple sounds of our home, we are struck with a deep and impactful gratitude that can leave us feeling rich and fulfilled. Release into gratitude is a potent power of stillness.
Habituated to Productivity
Even though we may long for the clarity that arises in stillness, we may find ourselves feeling distracted or even guilty about taking time to prioritize our inner voice. As a culture, we are habituated to being productive.
From an early age we have been tasked with getting things done. We strive to get into good schools, build careers, and from there on out, work constantly to provide, excel, and progress.
With this trajectory comes a slew of tasks and challenges that flood our day-to-day lives, requiring our constant attention.
The mind is habituated to remain productive from morning until night, leaving precious little space for the more aimless actions that foster restoration, imagination, and release.
Working with Resistance
At first, stepping into stillness may feel uncomfortable. The resistance we feel to stillness, openness, and even boredom, comes from times when the vulnerability of those places has caused us uncomfortable (or even painful) emotions. But it isn’t possible to select which emotions we resist, so when we distance ourselves from our interior because of specific experiences, we are actually missing out on all of our experiences.
When we learn to sit in stillness, our entire experience can be present as we welcome the wisdom of our interior world and access to our Higher Self. This incorporation of the complete picture provides us with a peace that can only be held when the effort of resistance is relaxed.
Way to Practice Stillness
- Set aside time for stillness: Make stillness easy for yourself by choosing a time you know that your mind will naturally feel more settled. For some people that may be mornings, for others it could be afternoon or evenings.
- Set aside any distractions: Putting your phone away is a must but items like books, magazines, and games can distract too.
- Be comfortable: Stillness is about relaxing and shouldn’t be an exercise in discomfort endurance.
- Create an intention of stillness: Beginning your time by remembering your motivation can set the tone for a more committed experience.
- Be with the resistance that arises: Because we are habitually unaccustomed to stillness, the mind will likely resist. When resistance arises, simply be patient with yourself and curious about what lies behind the resistance.
Arriving in Stillness
The mind and body long to rest in the space of stillness and connect to the Higher Self.
Whether we are relaxing into restoration, rediscovering our true aspiration, or simply experiencing the feel of the body breathing in and out, it is a stillness that quiets the business of the outside world and opens the door to the innate wisdom that allows us to know what is true for ourselves.
For more on connecting with your inner wisdom during uncertain times, enroll in Higher Self Yoga’s introductory course, Awakening Intuition – currently available free of cost.