How to Be Still

“Be still.
Stillness reveals the secrets of eternity.”
― Laotzu

When was the last time you were still?

I mean really still, like stopping action, and being in the midst of time, observing how the moments move around and through you?

I was in the Pacific Northwest last month, watching hummingbirds in my friends backyard (I know, "nature-starved New Yorker gets wowed by birds"), and I noticed how they move extraordinarily fast when they have a task at hand, zipping from flower to flower, but then they sit very, very still in between. My daughter asked, "is that really the same bird?"

“Everything takes time. Bees have to move very fast to stay still.”
― David Foster Wallace

What if you took a few minutes today to unplug and be still? Set aside all the things and just be. You could even do this on the subway: pull out your headphones and just sit in the moment. See how it feels.

If you want to learn more about sitting still, join me on September 24th for my How to Meditate: An Introduction to Mindfulness class in Brooklyn. I'll teach you some tips and tricks for being still and quieting the mind.

Being still and honing our ability to listen and observe is also key to fostering authentic connection with others. Come to our workshop on the Art of Networking in Philadelphia. It's crazy cheap.

Today, let's be like the eye of the violet.

In closing, some inspiration from Rilke:

“I have often wondered whether especially those days when we are forced to remain idle are not precisely the days spend in the most profound activity. Whether our actions themselves, even if they do not take place until later, are nothing more than the last reverberations of a vast movement that occurs within us during idle days.

In any case, it is very important to be idle with confidence, with devotion, possibly even with joy. The days when even our hands do not stir are so exceptionally quiet that it is hardly possible to raise them without hearing a whole lot.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters on Life

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Laena McCarthy