Recently I watched a video training course on productivity for creatives. About halfway through the course, it struck me; the instructor was teaching about developing a practice of creativity. Understanding this got me thinking of what other areas of life where this idea might apply. The first thing to come to mind was practicing finding stillness.
When we make the decision to develop a new habit or skill, it isn’t a “one-and-done” event. It takes a commitment to practice on a regular basis to incorporate it into our life.
Developing A Practice of Finding Stillness
Strangely enough, I can’t just decide to lose 10 lbs and have them gone by morning. (but it would be nice to try sometime don’t ya think?!). It’s a decision, and commitment, that I would need to make each day to make better choices in how I eat, and exercise.
Creating a habit of finding stillness is the same way. It takes practice and daily decisions to take the time to find these moments.
Building a new habit is not always easy. The saying “It takes 21 days to make a new habit” is not always true. Some habits can take months or even years to become part of your life. While others we can learn quickly and may only take a week or two.
When it comes to developing a habit of finding stillness, it takes practice, practice, and more practice. Some days that practice will go well, and others it won’t, or we get busy and.
What does it mean to find stillness?
Finding stillness isn’t necessarily about stopping all motion altogether. It often is more about finding that stillness in our hearts and minds. Often it is experiencing a peace beyond our understanding even when life is swirling crazily around us.
Finding stillness may be:
- About slowing down to notice a beautiful flower on the side of the road
- About a quiet morning walk as the sun rises
- Sitting in a quiet spot with a hot cup of tea or coffee
- Driving around town and soaking in the beauty of a gorgeous rainbow.
- Watching in awe as the waves crash up onto the beach
- Time spent in the Word and prayer
- Going for a nice long run
- Creating art
- Even chopping wood!
Each day our practice of finding stillness will look different. I have yet to have to days in a row where that moment was the same, which is great!
First, it reminds me that this is something I need to practice every day, which I need to be alert, aware, and be on the lookout for these small moments each day.
Second, it reminds me that these moments are precious and if I rush around too fast, I will miss them.
A Practice of Finding Stillness Can Impact Your Life
In the past few months, I’ve realized that my practice of finding stillness has stalled a bit and I can tell as it has begun to show up in many different areas of my life.
One of the biggest areas impacted is my creativity. I’m seeing a correlation between seeking stillness, seeking beauty, and exercising my creative side. Now that my practice of finding stillness has not been as consistent as it should, my creative side has suffered as well.
The tricky thing about developing a skill, a habit, or practice is that if you stop working on them, you lose momentum and have to start over, sometimes from the beginning again.
When I get busy, my mind reverts to Go! Go! Go! Do not stop. Keep moving. Too much to do! When I listen to this part of my mind, the ability to find stillness seems to fade into the background, and it can be days or even weeks before I realize what I am missing. It’s then I need restart the practice of finding stillness.
One way I have found to help me develop my practice is to capture some of these moments with my camera and share them on Instagram with the hashtag #bestillmoments. It’s a tool I use that can help me keep my eyes and heart open, looking or moments to enjoy and share.
Do you have a practice of finding stillness in your life?
Marta Goertzen is an entrepreneur, writer and nature photographer. She daily explores the trails and beaches of the South Central Oregon Coast with her buddy Bailey. You can follow along on their adventures on Instagram. She is also the author of several books including her newest, “Choosing Gratitude: A Daily Quiet Time Journal”.