​Calming your mind and body

Calming your mind and body.png

"Let the waters settle and you will see the moon and the stars mirrored in your own being." — Rumi

ow hard is it to fully rest?

Sometimes even when we're "resting," our state is not actually restful.

Activity and accomplishment are praised because they're much easier to pinpoint and congratulate than feelings of true stillness and calm.

You don't get gold stars for being introspective. There is no tangible way to track how "good" you are at stillness, unless you're logging minutes meditated on your mindfulness app.

Thankfully, that's not really the point of stillness, anyway. Just the opposite, really.

Stillness does not hold room for competition or checking items off of a list. It is fully showing up for ourselves and listening fully to what we have to say.

It is uncomfortable to stay with ourselves for too long without distraction.

Even as a deeply introverted individual, I still find myself spinning my wheels with distraction rather than to face my own mind sometimes.

But the go-go-go mentality of always doing more keeps us from being able to assess our deepest wants and needs.

At a certain point, continually doing becomes our distraction from ourselves. Because it's obvious how much we've gotten done externally, it makes us feel accomplished enough that we don't have to

Constant activity feeds itself, conditioning us to do more because it makes us feel like we are more.

Oh my goodness, do I know this cycle well.

That's not to say that external accomplishment isn't worth anything. Of course it is. It can help build our self-esteem and forward progress.

But without incorporating stillness, you're not taking enough time to align with your values.

Forward progress is great, but only if that progress is moving in the direction you actually want.

As a consultant where I work says, "The train's off the track, but we're making great time!"

How can you question yourself whether you're on the right track if you never sit still to ask?

Stillness is about respectfully making the time for yourself, just as you would for someone else or for a project that is due.

Being mindful, aware of our body, our thoughts, and our actions makes room for that inward listening.

Stillness is like darkness, a sort of sensory deprivation that lets us feel into what is essential.

Like darkness, stillness can sometimes be off-putting; the unknown can be frightening because we may not like what we see when we're finally face-to-face with what we want.

But if you reach into that darkness to sit with the stillness and the uncertainty, there is also a sense of comfort.

The void contains both all and no possibilities already manifested. It is entirely your choice whether you call out to them to bring them into being.

You can face darkness and uncertainty with apprehension, or you can approach the unknown with a sense of wonder.

Darkness and stillness envelop you—not to suffocate, but instead to blanket your form.

Feel safe in the blanketed hold of your still awareness.

You are exactly where you need to be.

Take time to explore the pause between the inhale and the exhale.

Carve space for your own stillness, your introspection, your self-examination.

It is safe to let down your guard here. 

Iris Rankin

Soulful questioner, exuberant organizer, here to find the balance between discipline and delicious relaxation. Iris Rankin is the founder of Project Intention, a values-based community focused on living day-to-day with purpose, planning, and heart. Iris encourages women to adopt the self care practices that make them feel divine, the planning tools to hone in on their essential wants and needs, and the emotional resilience to express their most authentic selves.

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