The Brave Act of Choosing Stillness in a Busy World Filled with Chaos
We fill our days with everything but being ourselves.
We are willing to fill our days with hustle and grind, and busyness, but we forget that there’s more to our well-being than doing.
Even self-care is yet another thing to do.
All of my highly creative, visionary entrepreneur clients these days share with me their absolute longing to just be, to show up in their lives as they are — not what they do.
Perhaps it’s because they know how powerful this time can be for their creativity, for their nervous system and for their clarity.
And, really … Don’t we all long to strip ourselves of all the roles and titles we play ad nauseam so we’re down to just the core of being ourselves?
And yet this kind of being is hard to make space for.
Choosing stillness, choosing to just be ourselves without the performing is a brave act.
Just Being Yourself requires a number of factors such as:
- Solitude, for one, which is nearly impossible.
2. Space, for another. Space to feel at ease, comfortable, safe in your own skin, in your own body, space to truly relax as you are without performance.
3. Time, is yet another factor, which is tricky given the nature of our long, relentless to-do lists and our inner taskmaster that bullies us to submission.
4. A letting go is also required. Letting go of the fears and the worries, for now. Letting go of the expectations and anxious busyness that we’re so accustomed to falling into and being consumed by in our everyday lives.
5. And, trust. Trust is the biggest factor of all. Can you trust yourself to just be in all of your own fire hot glory of being without filling the space with the busy work of your many roles and titles?
Can you, for instance, not scrub the gum out of the denim pants that were left for you on the staircase banner as a quiet request to do so?
Can you, for instance, not grab the phone, not water the plants, not wash the dishes, not check the email, not text back when you’ve been asked a question?
And, can you also avoid numbing yourself and seeking entertainment — or even entertaining others?
Can you, for instance, not play with the puppy for a bit of time, not turn on Netflix, not doomscroll looking to see if the other shoe has dropped because it’s going to and you just know it.
I don’t do it often, but sometimes I’ll curl up in my chaise lounge chair with my phone and the novel I’m reading and I’ll just let them rest on the table and I’ll sit there, staring straight into the universe that thrives between all of my random, quirky and ridiculous thoughts.
Daydreaming the night away.
Like stars, thoughts will shine and pop and stand out — and others will dull and fade away. I’ll be captured by one and drift along happily, only to be mesmerized by another within seconds or minutes — I don’t really track the time.
Time is a social construct that has no meaning until we give it meaning.
And so on these rare occasions when I”m not filling my every second with more, I am reminded how powerful unstructured daydreaming truly is for my over-analytical, forecasting brain.
My shoulders relax, dropping away from my ears.
My heart rate slows.
My nervous system begins to remember its baseline, remembers that I am a human being not a human doing, that I have worthiness beyond my productivity.
I’ve written enough to write two books over the years about just being, doing nothing and being at rest.
Far too many people take that information and define that kind of wellbeing exercise as scary or boring — or time to fill with other more pleasurable things, like reading or scrolling or being social.
It’s true the thoughts will come and they will be “something” — what just depends on the meaning you attach to them.
It’s also true that it may be boring if you don’t fill your nothingness with something.
But I don’t see it that way.
As a creative who coaches highly creative women business owners to take the courageous moves they know they need to make to thrive and flourish, this is a practice that is vital.
I see it as a practice in surrender.
I see it as a chance for the Divine to rise up and meet you where you are for once in your day.
I see it as a way to open new doors of possibility in my own creativity, in my coaching work, in my writing and in my own heart.
Just being isn’t easy.
If it were, we’d all be doing it — like we were forced to do two years ago.
But now we’re back to being too busy. Busy with all of our very busy things.
But when we make time for the being, healing takes over, answers come, peace rises, and a new kind of strength takes over, helping us be more resilient for the times when we’re trapped under the rubble of our many roles, our many fears, our many worries.
In other words, you find yourself, you dig yourself out of the chaos and dust yourself off and start shining again.
Last night, as I was curled up not reading, not scrolling, not doing anything but the exploring the depths of my own mind, I was reminded of this practice that gets lost in the fray of the shoulds and needs and musts, musts, musts.
And I was reminded that this stillness practice is something I want to resurrect it right now — urgently — before we spring forward into the busyness that is absolutely coming for us.
It’s coming for us all.
The rest is over.
Can you feel it?
Grab stillness by the hand while it’s still possible.
Daydream your night away.
Practice the fine art of just being, of just being you.
Let this be your #BraveYes for today.
Shawn Fink is a self-leadership and courage coach for women entrepreneurs and CEOs. She is the host of podcast, The Brave Yes CEO. Read more about how to start your own Brave Yes Journey here.