I grew up on super hero comics and cartoons with Superman, Spiderman and the Hulk a few of my favourites. Immersed in the worlds of super heroes, it always inspired a sense of wonder and awe in me, imagining the possibility of having a superpower of my own that I could use to save the world.
Even though most of us “grow up”, many of us still love superhero movies and stories because they appeal to the superhero inside us, the part of us that believes in something greater and wants to help others, the part of us that still lives with a sense of wonder that maybe, just maybe, there really are superpowers.
A superpower for the modern world.
A student of mine who took part in a 28 Day Meditation Challenge I was running, shared a perfect story of a superpower that’s available to anyone.
He told me of one evening when his young son was crying… and crying. He was trying to rock him to sleep but it wasn’t working, and it was reaching the point where he just wouldn’t know what to do. On that particular evening however, he remembered stillness. The stillness he’d been cultivating through meditation.
Instead of going down the path of becoming frustrated, he chose stillness. He quietened his mind, became still and calm… and his son stopped crying, and went to sleep.
His stillness had an impact on his son’s state.
If you’re a parent, would you consider this a superpower?
Stillness is a superpower
This doesn’t only apply to being with children. Have you ever had a friend, family member or workmate who was very upset or emotional? Imagine if you could hold stillness for them as my student did for his child.
Of course, here, the goal is not necessarily to have your friend fall asleep, but to hold a space of stillness and calm for them. We can say comforting words, and they can be soothing, but a still grounded presence creates a space of opening, non-judgement and stability that they can rest on, and any words you do use will carry the calming energy of your presence.
Words with presence and heart!
Tapping into this Superpower
When our mind is constantly fluctuating with thoughts and emotions, we’re more susceptible to what happens around us. We react to people, situations and all the stimulation in our environment.
For example: You have a disagreement with someone. They get angry and frustrated. This triggers you, and you retaliate with your own anger. Anger vs anger and things get heated. You’re both fighting to prove your point of view and why you’re right. You’re fuelled by emotion, and you may even start with personal insults or bringing up the past.
Afterwards when you’ve had time to “cool down” you might reflect and regret the things you said. You can see now, from a clear state of mind what you did and how you fuelled the situation. You couldn’t do it at the time because you were emotionally reactive. It doesn’t even matter who “started it”, you participated and added to the situation.
Or perhaps you’re at a large networking event with a lot of people. All the noise and stimulation is making you feel unsettled and anxious, so you start thinking something like, “Why did I come here? I always hate these kinds of events”, or “How long do I have to stay here? I wish I could just leave.”
Your thoughts keep fuelling your emotions and you feel even more anxious. Your amplified emotions fuel more thoughts in a vicious cycle that goes on and on.
The key to this Superpower is a Quiet Mind
The problem in any situation like these is not the situation or the people. The problem is a lack if stillness inside yourself. Your reactivity, anger or anxiety is a symptom of a lack of stability inside you.
Imagine a tree without roots. The slightest breeze and it would fall over. The same is true for us, without internal stability the slightest push and we react, become defensive, feel overwhelmed and disconnect.
Stillness allows us to maintain integrity amidst the chaos of everyday interactions. Instead of being drawn into the emotion and conflict of the situation, fuelling it further, the stillness inside us offers a stable place to engage from, where we can remain calm and clear, which facilitates greater connection and an attitude of seeking understanding, which in turn promotes a space where mutual resolution is possible.
Stillness helps us feel stable and safe in situations that would usually make us feel overwhelmed or anxious, so we can relax and not overthink everything.
*An important note: Holding stillness inside does not mean we become submissive or don’t engage. When we hold stillness we engage from a space of clarity and heart as we seek truth and understanding.
Reacting is easy, it’s unconscious. Remaining still takes will!
Thinking Bigger than Ourselves
Our stress and emotional reactivity create an internal environment of chaos and turmoil, which we then project onto the people and the world around us. We try to blame or judge others to shift the focus off ourselves resulting in complaining, negativity, unnecessary arguments and conflict.
If we take a moment to honestly reflect on all the conflict happening in the world it doesn’t take long to realize that blaming or judging others will never make a difference.
We’re living in a time where the ability to quiet our mind is needed now more than ever, and the world needs more people to bring stillness. When we stop participating and adding to the collective conflict by dropping our own inner conflicts and instead cultivating stillness, we are in a position to make a positive difference.
You can make an impact in the lives of others!… It starts with who you are inside.
If we seriously want to bring more peace into the world we must know what peace is. It must start from inside. We can’t expect to overcome conflict in the world until we overcome it within ourselves.
Does This Make You a Super Hero?
With stillness comes greater connection, and when we feel connected to others and humanity, there’s an inherent trait that moves us to help others in need.
With stillness also comes a inner sense of stability and clarity that allows us to navigate and cut through the dramas, stories and turbulence that life often throws at us.
Does this make you a hero?
Bruce Wayne (Batman) said: “A hero can be anyone. Even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat around a young boy’s shoulders to let him know that the world hadn’t ended.”
Zeus said to Hercules: “A true hero isn’t measured by the size of his strength, but by the size of his heart.”
You can call it what you like, but I like to think of it as living from the heart. With a quiet mind and stillness as your superpower, your heart awakens, and it will know what it needs to do. Sometimes all it needs to do is just be fully present with someone, while other times it will require action.
Cultivate Your Superpower?
When there’s stress, chaos or turbulence in our life, stillness offers a stable place to rest and engage life with clarity and heart, but if we don’t train our self to know the stillness, then when the chaos comes it will be hard to find.
Take time to train your mind. Learn to meditate.
Meditation is essentially about breaking the limits of who we think we are and awakening to the truth of who we truly are – the source of this superpower.
Be the superhero for your family, friends, workmates and let this ripple out into your community. You don’t have to wear a cape or a uniform (unless you really want to), you just have to be still and lead from your heart.