Big changes also happen in times of stillness, even though you may think that working hard at something is the only way to see results. Working at your life, facing old habits, problems, hurts and old set beliefs, may seem like an almighty task, huge and laborious. But bringing changes to your existence and experiences does not always entail battling against the storm. The times of stillness can be as powerful as the times of full-on action. Times of calm also bring results.
I’ve always loved sport and keeping fit; my biggest passion has always been dancing. When I was a teenager, I loved being part of the volleyball team that represented my own district in Paris. The training was constant, encouraging each other and pushing ourselves to be better all the time. It was intense, but that’s how we believed we created positive results.
But at school I was also a long distance runner. For this, I had to deploy a different set of skills. Endurance, patience with myself, the ability to keep calm and focus. I had to pace myself, focus on my breathing and just keep going. Some of the way was challenging: hilly, uneven, bumpy, the ground could be hard at times, muddy other times. And then around the corner, flat land, smooth ground, for which I was grateful, allowing me to recover and take a breather. I continued running, of course, covering more track faster because the ground was easier.
You don’t have to wrestle a problem to the ground, in order to get results
Life can feel like being a long distance runner. When I started making changes in my life, it was full-on action. Working on my set of old beliefs, my issues, my hurts, depression, all the difficulties I was experiencing. Un-learning in order to learn new habits, new truths, putting them into action; and sometimes I was unsure if progress was really taking place, but I wrestled on.
I expected battling a storm each time I visited my mentor. I expected that each session would bring a major revelation about me, learning something new and having to fight it to the ground until I witnessed some progress.
The truth is that I did hit a plateau on many occasions. After a period of intensity came the calm. I believed those times to be unhelpful, lazy, a waste of my sessions, even useless. Not having much to reveal, or on which to work, seemed like I was wasting my time and that of my therapist. Yet, each time I left her, I felt something had moved. The time that elapsed between one of those ‘calm’ sessions and the next, was a time of recovery, soothing and beneficial. I was able to take a breather and allow myself to notice the changes taking place.
I learnt to be still in the present. No focusing on the past and no worrying about the future. I didn’t fight any concept, old habits, voices in my head. I simply stood in the moment, revelling in the fact that my life was truly changing.
I no longer believe that when not much happens around me, that nothing is happening.
As you work on your life, creating new habits for yourself, new beliefs, healing hurts or even noticing the good, appreciate the times of calmness. They teach you as much as the times you are wrestling with your problems. It is after the storm, when the calm comes that you realise how strong you have been.
My attitude is not to wrestle any longer. I do not battle a problem to the ground, thinking that to make big changes i have to go in with big boots and a sledge hammer and beat the heck out of it.
I no longer believe that when not much happens around me, that nothing is happening. On the contrary, when you allow yourself to be still and stop thinking so much about the problem, you are moving towards the solution more than you think, and you are allowing what you have learnt to unravel.
Feel secure in the knowledge that when you ask the Universe, it is already providing and delivering what you need, in various ways and through various sources. It is for you to walk the way or run the easier part of the track, expecting for the solution to be revealed to you.
As a teacher of languages, I explain this concept too. Children need a time of calmness, a break from being bombarded with new information in order to absorb and store new knowledge in their long term memory. Our education system encourages us to believe that ‘new knowledge’ must absolutely take place each lesson for it to be considered a good lesson. But I disagree. Knowledge needs to be allowed to move from short term memory to long term memory. For this to happen, a time of stillness is necessary on occasions. Children know when they are ready for new knowledge, and when you allow them to come to you, what you teach them has a deeper impact.
Life is a mixture of sprint, endurance, team work and at times you need to do it alone.
Be patient when you are walking this part of the track. Not everything needs to look like a full-on action packed episode, to show that you are dealing with issues in your life, that you are learning how to cope or to be stronger, happier.
When you are prepared to run the distance, you need to allow yourself to be still at times. Enjoy and know that those moments are vital for the healing to take place. If you have always been a sprinter, facing problems head on and rushing around to get things done, working hard and long hours on everything because you believe that is the characteristic of a strong person, then re-think it.
Life is a mixture of sprint, endurance, team work, and at times you need to do it alone. You need a different set of skills for every part of the track. You are doing well, you are getting there, and the Universe is with You because you are loved and special. You do not have to work hard at everything. Appreciate your efforts and love your times of stillness.