By guest writer, Paul Baxter
In our busy day to day lives, we are being called to be more productive. Whether that is at work, as part of the family or maybe through some personal or social interest as a way to efficiently create fluid systems or we can say progress, which benefit our lives. That is, after all the idea of collective evolution right, progress? How can this be achieved whilst maintaining healthy balanced beings to expand their abilities productivity and state of being, instead of overloading us with the “more work-less time” mentality of the modern age.
Lets define productivity first.
Productivity. the state or quality of producing something.
Now with this in mind, Let us consider “the state” we are in when we are producing, whatever it is, we are engaged in. The state of being is very important when we are in the process of creating something, whether that be an assessment for the boss, painting a picture, cooking our food or connecting with a loved one. In all these instances and in every instant, whether you are aware you are creating something or not, the state of being we are in is going to affect our productivity and the World we experience around us. For example, you are at work and someone just told you your car has been towed away. You may be feeling very angry, you can not get the car til you have finished your day. At this point you continue with your tasks. Most likely, your mind is going to be very active and not focused on your creation and even if there is focus, how much has this incident affected your state of being and your productive abilities? Likely, your productivity will go down, or as the statement suggests, the quality of the production will go down.. This is important then, that we become aware of these moments and look to shift from these negatively influential states of being to positively affect our productivity. Actively promoting the well being-ness of our staff, loved ones and anyone else for that matter is obvious, right?
How do we remain centered to allow the productivity to flow?
This is where stillness comes in…
Without jumping on the need to sit in lotus meditation position, burn incense and chant Harri Om 108 time, the ability for us to find moments in our day to simply become still. We know from moments in our lives when something stressful has happened and the need to walk out of the door for 5 minutes and take yourself away from that situation, this can be seen as a natural response which more often then not helps to calm the state of being. When we apply this to becoming still for some time, the same disconnection from that trigger can take place. Its almost like we are unplugging from the energy or situation at hand that is causing us disharmony. We can all likely connect to our Mother’s or Father’s advice to breath when we have hurt ourselves or we are very upset.. this is linking us back to our center. By breathing consciously and particularly by remaining still, we are able to detach and find the inner peace and silence within where those difficult moment fade away.
When we hear the word stillness we immediately think of it as the opposite of movement – but stillness is something quite different altogether. Stillness is an energetic quality of being. I read recently a very beautiful metaphor to describe the qualities and benefits of stillness. It goes like this…
Imagine a glass full of water scooped up from a puddle in a field. It’s muddy and swirling around – rather like our daily lives, full of activity and messiness and life! But if you put that glass of water down and let it sit, it clears itself. STILLNESS allows the dirt to settle to the bottom and the water to clear.
This description of the murky water settling is a perfect example of the clarity and state of being stillness brings. the murky water, after experiencing stillness, can be seen as the running mind, stirred up, active and unsettled. When we allow ourselves time to be still, to be, we create space for clear perspectives to arise, new ideas to emerge, new ways to approach our lives. Even for a few minutes a day, or moments between activities, closing the eyes and going within can re-balance us. You can do this in the office lift or waiting for the train or the first and last 10 minutes between sleeping. This is where we reset ourselves, freeing ourselves from the past and not caring about the future, which are of mental projections. The stillness brings us into the Now, which is the only moment you have ever experienced. Every moment you have ever experienced, has been in the Now moment and this is where stillness takes us – to presence.
For me the three main benefits of stillness are –
*The ability to connect to my true essence, my center. Living from the inside out. In presence.
*The clarity and peace of mind it brings, where new ideas spring forth.
*The detachment from doing.
If we can learn to become human beings instead of the humans doing the majority of people are participating in, in today’s society, we can find the complimentary balance between productivity and stillness. Where we can acknowledge the benefits stillness brings to our productivity, we can create a higher quality of state of being, which will be reflected in our quality of production and the World we experience around us.
“Wisdom requires the discerning, the listening to, the acknowledgement of nudges and notions, of senses and sensations, of the minute and what we often mistakenly assume is the mundane. Wisdom means listening to the still, small voice, the whisper that can be easily lost in the whirlwind of busyness, expectations, and conventions of the world.” Jean M. Blomquist.