SIT still. Stay still. Be still. My earliest recollection of this phrase was as an order, consequence of some mischief or disobedience. Frankly, it was a method to break chatter and disengage from activity. The intent was sound but my association with it was not. I viewed it as a form of punishment, a sentence that prevented me from pursuing other exciting activities. How wrong was I.
As I got acquainted with this concept, I understood its benefits. It forces a pause, invites focus, flushes the noise within and out. Like still water, an uninterrupted mind is clear, calm, logical, rational. It is absent from judgment, emotion and offers guidance. All it takes is a few moments. Doing this gets you to rest the baggage whether it is a heavy heart, cluttered mind, a multi-page to do list, irritation or that itch for forgetting. You get a strategic time-out.
Most times, snacking is a solution. Whilst this is tasty and some do release happy hormones, the effects are temporary. The higher the calories, the more zoned out you become. My fix, which I labelled as a ‘reward’ for a tough day at the office was mutton stir fried noodles. It was fantastic. Ticked the taste buds and numbed the pain. It did not resolve it. As the issue was unresolved, it happened again, and I reached for another plate, and another. I did not process the frustration in a healthy manner. By eating to suppress the difficult issues, I was feeding the feeling, consuming it into the internal system. What I needed was an outlet, a way to let it go.
Over the years, I tried a few practices which have helped me. I find symbolism helpful as it directs my mind to an action. If there is a lapse of judgment, back up kicks in. My other senses witness I am doing something to not hold on to opinions and a belief system that does not serve their highest good.
- Flushing – This feels so good. If I have to get more graphic, it is the feeling of flushing after taking a satisfied dump. It just pumps it out of the system. Take a few minutes, sit on your throne, do what you need to. Even if you do not, sit there, muddle with what is bothering you, distil it and then flush the crap that is clogging your better sense of thought and action.
- Shredding and decluttering – Aside from the sciences of energy flow, feng shui and the rest, clearing clutter is refreshing. It removes stuff that is out-dated and makes space for new. As you go through the actions of dusting, cleaning and sorting, do the same with your thoughts.
- Hair wash and blow dry – This is one of the best and most relaxing thirty minutes of sitting still. Besides combing and brushing your thoughts, a fix of this also leaves you looking fabulous.
- Lists – This is one of my all-time favourites. I jot down all the things that have burdened my shoulders. Once I list them, I can immediately see that most tasks need not be done at that given minute or day with a lot of being spaced out for a period of time. This exercise helps me to prioritize, pigeon-hole matters into categories and identify the smaller bite sized initiatives which need my attention.
- Journaling – This is my vessel to vent and cleanse. I take my pen and write without interruption. Sometimes, it comes out as doodling. Other times, it is just a word. I do not rush the process. I do not judge. I sit still and pour pen to paper. Once I am done, I sign off and close the page. What is written is not read or dwelled upon. It is out. It is gone. This practice has been very helpful. Aside from effective filtering, it has guided ideation and empowered an internal belief system built on self-affirmations. Journaling has become a self-care ritual and a supplement to nurture and nourish myself.
Sitting still can be tough at the beginning but make a start. Even a small step counts. Infuse it with practices that you enjoy doing. Maybe take a quick forty winks for starters and then try these out. Still the mind and sparkle dear one.
Love and hugs,