Be Still

When was the last time you sat still, I mean really still?

Until the past few years, my life was a whirlwind, my mind constantly set on doing and achieving. The idea of sitting in stillness for a few moments seemed foreign, and meditating was conceptually an inaccessible place.

For years, my way to manage anxiety and stress levels was to exercise. Growing up as a competitive swimmer it seemed normal to put my body under extreme pressure. There was even a period in my life when the only thing to calm my nerves was a run down the West Side Highway in NYC.

A few years ago when I was experiencing work pressures and struggling to balance my career with daily life, someone recommended the Calm app. At that point, running wasn’t working and I was willing to try anything. To my surprise, I quickly came to cherish those 10 minutes of ‘CALM’ in the morning before my day started. And, as time passed and I began to feel different (at this point I didn’t know the science behind meditation, but could sense a positive change internally), my interest in meditation grew. I became a student of Vedic meditation with a much more meaningful practice and have been a daily meditator for almost 2 years now. Looking back, I can see clearly how my biggest shifts recently – be it personal development, clarity and creativity – arrived because I gave myself space and permission to be ‘still.’

At first it may seem peculiar to carve out a few minutes a day for yourself to be on your own and do nothing. But, it truly is the first step to living more consciously. Opening your mind to a more meditative state means the connection with yourself, and the universe, and all its infiniteness is more possible. Why does that even matter? A million answers work in a million different ways. That space between thought and awareness can bring peace, maybe just milliseconds at first, but it’s there and then it builds, and in so doing, we learn to be more mindful and more present in life.


Practical recommendations

Find a quiet spot. Sit in a comfortable position with your back supported, alert and relaxed at the same time. Start small (maybe just a few minutes) and build over time. Wake 5 minutes earlier and commit to this on a daily basis, turning it into a morning ritual. Pay attention to any thought patterns, emotions or sensations that arise.

If you’re not ready to meditate (which is totally fine by the way), there are plenty of other options. Try journaling, be in nature for a contemplative walk or “ground” in the grass… whatever you choose, make it your time. The only ground rule: no phones, music, podcast, audible book… Just you, you, you.