New years is a time when we often take time to reflect on the year that’s just past and choose what we want to create for the year ahead.
There are many things we might want to achieve or get in the coming year, and sometimes we get sidetracked in worrying about how we will achieve it, even before we’ve connected with our aspiration for what we truly want.
If we’re not careful, we can easily dismiss a genuine wanting because our limited thinking mind can’t yet conceive of how it could happen. So, it’s important to tune into your heart (not your head) and feel what’s alive for you.
What does your heart desire?
Whatever you choose to set your intentions towards this year, stillness offers an important starting point!
Stillness can be the foundation from where we become clear about what we actually want. It also gives us support to navigate the challenges, chaos and uncertainty of life so we can keep moving towards the things our heart desires.
Stillness is not just a starting point, but a foundation for life.
So, here are three important reasons to start your new year with stillness.
Just like the clarity of the reflection on a perfectly still lake, when our mind is still there is clarity.
Without stillness we can easily lose our sense of clarity in the distractions of the world and our mind – our thoughts and emotions create the stories and dramas that cloud our experience of life.
So, fittingly, when it comes to choosing your new years resolutions, stillness will help you gain clarity of what you truly want. The things that are important to you and align with your heart… as opposed to the things you “think” you want.
When we connect to the aspirations of our heart, we will find deeper meaning and joy in achieving these things.
That doesn’t mean it will always be easy, but with clarity there’s a knowing that we’re on the right path.
It’s clarity that also helps us navigate the challenges and possible setbacks we might experience along the way. Challenges do happen, and without the clarity of what our heart desires, it’s easy to become disheartened and want to give up.
Clarity of your heart’s vision will help you stay true to your path, and not be pulled in different directions by the distractions of your wandering mind. It will also help you to see new opportunities and possibilities that present themselves on your path.
It’s the anchoring into stillness that brings the clarity.
Stillness brings a sense of peacefulness.
When we experience peacefulness, it feels like the most natural thing there ever was… and will be. Calm, simplicity, and well-being springs out of peacefulness.
But if it’s so natural, why don’t we feel it all the time?
Because our mind has the compulsive habit of thinking, reacting emotionally, creating stories and dramas that in turn create stress, anxiety and overwhelm. Unless we start to break the habit, then this will be the usual and familiar experience of life.
When we cultivate stillness, all of this internal noise starts to become quiet. As we become more quiet our body and nervous systems responds, and a peacefulness emerges. An inner sense of being at peace.
Take a few moments to look at the image above. Really let your awareness feel the sense of stillness and peacefulness it passes.
Don’t read on too quickly.
The expression “A picture is worth a thousand words”, does not even do it justice. A picture can pass more than words… It can pass an experience.
Feel your body respond to the image. It feels good, right?
It might start out very subtle, but as we cultivate more stillness, this feeling of peacefulness reaches deep inside us, bringing a deep sense of healing and nourishing, as it reconnects us to our vital essence.
It’s easy to relate stillness to the sense of peacefulness, calm and well-being, or the clarity of a still lake, but there’s an important aspect of stability that’s sometimes forgotten and underestimated.
Take a look at this image.
In the midst of the crashing waves and stormy seas the lighthouse remains stable – anchored in stillness.
The crashing waves and stormy seas reflect the chaos, uncertainty and turmoil that we face in everyday life. We’re all faced with challenges and change in life, and sometimes they hit us like a storm… the question is, how will we navigate them?
Stillness creates an internal stability to face the storms of life.
Take a few moments to feel this image. Focus on the water – feel the intensity of the crashing waves.
Is there something in your life at the moment that feels like the crashing waves?
Feel it and acknowledge it.
Now, focus on the light house. Feel its stillness. Feel its stability.
Unwavering in the face of the chaos around it.
You might even start to feel a sense of peacefulness and clarity emerging inside you – as a result of feeling the stability of the light house.
Stillness is a principle of life, and this image captures something of it, and some part of you feels it and resonates with it.
Stillness offers a stable place to rest our awareness when faced with the chaos, uncertainty and turmoil of life.
But it’s even more than this… what makes the challenges in our life feel like chaos, uncertainty and turmoil in the first place, is a lack of stillness.
Stillness and Heart
There’s a beautiful thing that happens as we connect more deeply to stillness.
Our heart responds.
With the quietening of our busy mind, the burden of over-thinking and reacting subsides, and our heart becomes more tangible… More free.
Did you notice it when feeling the images above? Clarity, peacefulness and stability take on an even deeper meaning when felt through our heart.
Take a few moments to go back to each image. Sit quietly with each one. Feel the quality of stillness with each image, and feel them resonate with different aspects of your heart.
Your heart knows stillness.
Stillness supports your heart.
Start with stillness
Whether you already know what you want for the year ahead or if you’re still trying to work it out, I invite you to start with stillness.
Remember, this is not just about what you truly want, but how you’ll navigate the challenges and possible setbacks that come along the way.
Cultivating stillness is not only about the year ahead, it’s about a momentum of heart into the rest of your life.
“To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.” – Lau Tzu