I never used to meditate when I was growing up. I’m not sure I ever even heard the word in early life except maybe in vocabulary class. I certainly didn’t know what it meant, or what it was. As I grew older, I realized the power of the connection that occurs with the energy inside us when we shut out the energy outside us. I can’t remember the first time I meditated back in my early 20’s. I know it was at the beach, and while it felt very weird as I struggled with my self-judgement of whether I was doing it right, as opposed to not giving a shit about how I was doing it, and just do it (thanks Nike).
For me the value really showed up when I was navigating a rough time in my life in my late 20’s after a friend and I had a tragic accident that killed him and left me with a massive load of guilt and confusion. The voice in my head was out of control and leading me down a dark path. It was in times of stillness, often prayer, that I could acknowledge these thoughts, notice I did not say ignore. We cannot ignore our thoughts; we must sit with them and then realize they are not useful. I believe one of the greatest mindsets we can build and strengthen for ourselves on this wonderful, yet not perfect, journey of life is resilience. For me, the practice of be still contributes to what I call my “reservoir of resilience”—an energy/Spirt that I call on to move through the rough times.
A great teacher of mine, Pam McClean, at The Hudson Institute in Santa Barbara said something when I was there going through their wonderful coaching program: AWARENESS PRECEDES CHANGE. So even before I heard this wonderful mantra, I was beginning to understand that to move into more useful thinking and actions to create better outcomes for our lives, we had to become aware of them and work to grow into new ones. I recently heard where researcher Wendy Wood found 40-45 % of the decisions we make each day are not decisions – they’re merely mental habits that we don’t even “know” we’re making. The question to consider is: Are these decisions serving us? Or keeping us stuck?
A great article at psychologytoday.com lists all the benefits of meditation and being still. So, if you are practicing the principle be still, you know the value. If you’re not, begin to experiment with it, you’ll be glad you did.