It's quite challenging to know how much to speak on a topic when recording a podcast. Especially since I am in the early days of Mindful Venturing - still getting to know what works and what doesn't with the help of listeners, friends and family.
So when in Episode 1, I started talking through the stillness exercise, I wanted to focus on getting listeners trying it for themselves. I think it worked well, but I could have done a better job at sharing how powerful this technique has been for me.
I stumbled upon the power of being still years ago. I found some of my most calm and creative moments were when I was forced to be still. Like waking up very early and not wanting to stir anyone, or sitting on a plane staring out the window. In those moments, my body was constrained, and my mind followed suit - even though it was free. Sometimes in those moments, I just enjoyed the stillness - other times I thought of solutions to difficult problems.
So when during my Mindfulness practice, I learnt about being still as an actual method to try, I was already convinced it would work for me. But somehow being convinced didn't actually lead to me doing it very often. I can't really explain why, but it was only after I got an Apple Watch and started using the Breathe app that I was able to form a better habit around it. I suspect this behaviour prompt just reduced my barrier to try it more regularly. And the more I tried it, the more it worked.
In fact, just before I started writing this post, I sat still with the Breathe app for 3 minutes. I've had a great day, but after a very early start and lots of work busy-ness - as well as running chores and errands in these challenging Covid times - I knew what I needed before sitting down to write.
With practice, I have built up a sense of awareness, and you will too. I wasn't stressed, but knew I needed some form of reset. So I forced myself to sit still, and during this sitting, focusing not only on my breath, but on my motivations for writing this post.
I asked myself - What do I really want to say? Why am I even bothering?
And as a result of being still for a few minutes, I was able to both slow my mind and body and answer my questions. Hopefully, I was able to write with enough clarity and intent to share my story and inspire you in the process.
Looking back, I know being still helped. But that feeling of knowing something is good for you comes with giving it a try and kickstarting a habit around it, and building enough momentum over time to feel a sense of progress.
So when you're next in the middle of a hectic day, give it a try, it's the simplest Mindful activity to try - but it may well be the most powerful.