Take the Time to Be Still

ImageI read this fantastic post by Leo today, in which he discusses the “quiet life” and the importance of slowing down, being still, and having quiet time.

Speaking as a quiet person myself, I have to constantly defend my right to be quiet, take things in moderation, my need of alone time, and my love of one-on-one friendships. Our western world is obsessed with moving at fast paces, remaining busy at all times, and mindless chatter. It’s western culture’s worst fear to observe silence at a social function.

Now, I am by no means stating that we should not interact with others – on the contrary – meaningful conversation allows us to connect with fellow human beings, and listen (I repeat, LISTEN) to the going ons of their lives.

Every now and again, however, it is incredibly healthy to take time for yourself to reflect and practice mindfulness. Quiet time will make you more aware of yourself, and help give you focus throughout the day.

When we have no focus during the day, rushing from thing to thing without a second thought, we miss so much. We miss the color of the leaves. The sound of the breeze. The smile of a friend.

Take the time to be still, listen to your breath, and observe the world. Listen to the breeze. Listen to your breath. Listen to your friend speaking. Become aware of every fiber of your being. The way your chest rises and falls. Breathe. Be still.

Some ideas to bring more quiet into your life:

  • Spend weekly time doing a solitary activity you enjoy such as reading, walking/running, meditating, or learning a new instrument/skill.
  • Spend time in the morning focusing on stillness – try an activity such as meditation or tea drinking (check out Leo’s post on tea-drinking)
  • Spend a few moments while driving/commuting or otherwise rushing through your day to focus on your breathing
  • Try taking a walk in the evenings to unwind and breathe.
  • Take some time weekly to go in your room, shut the door, and be by yourself. See the regain in focus this brings you.

Do you practice “quiet time”? What do you do to bring quiet into your life?

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