Today I’m calling on my wellness sister, the beautiful Jess Ainscough to share her experience and wisdom around stillness. I’m all about working smarter not harder these days – and after reading this post that Jess shared a few weeks back I thought to myself how important her message was, was not just for those in baby making mode or those trying to rebalnce their hormones but for every single person with a heart beat. And so, rather than ‘reinvent’ the wheel – I’m simply sharing what Jess shared because I couldn’t have said it any better myself. Thanks Jess!
Doing absolutely nothing sounds simple, but it’s actually the hardest thing in the world. Why? Because we live in a time and a place where we have so many options. We can watch TV, go on the internet, scroll through Instagram, talk on the phone, eat food, drink alcohol – anything to pull us away from the present moment, numb our feelings and prevent us from experiencing the here and now. It’s the here and now that we’re all terrified of experiencing. It makes us uneasy.
This was made obvious to me when I was in Bali on a retreat recently. For seven days, we were forced to be still. We had no schedules, I wasn’t able to access internet for days, my phone didn’t work, and there was nothing to do besides be still and wait for instructions of what to do next.
At first, being still was the most challenging thing in the world to do. I was so uneasy not having a schedule. And not being able to log onto the internet, scroll through Instagram, or go to the fridge and make myself something to eat made me feel very uncomfortable. This is because I was forced to just be. To simply sit in my own company, with no distractions, and feel whatever feelings were bubbling away inside of me. Usually these feelings would have been simmered with food, with work or with some trashy reality TV show, but during this week they were allowed to come up and overflow.
We’re all so unwilling to really feel our feelings. We don’t like feeling sad, angry, inadequate, frustrated, or any other emotion we tag with a negative label. But the thing is, feeling these feelings won’t kill us. It’s not even that much of an inconvenience. When we really feel into these feelings, they only last for 12 minutes before we transcend them and are able to move on.
Being open to experiencing these emotions and feelings is the only way to transcend them. If we don’t transcend them, we just push them back down beneath the surface where they fester and grow into something much more dramatic … like cancer.
It’s only by feeling the here and now that we can truly experience life, because life is only made up of the here and now. Anything else is just an illusion created by our ego minds. I’m reading The Power Of Now by Eckhart Tolle at the moment, and with every page it’s like he’s shaking me and saying, “Please don’t cheat yourself out of any more magic!”
Stillness is crucial because it forces us to sit with ourselves – without any distractions, and to feel whatever emotions, thoughts, fears etc. are needing to come up for us. Don’t deny yourself of this benefit. It’s like an emotional cleanse or detox – it will feel a bit icky for a little while, but if you persist with it you’ll be rewarded in ways you could never have imagined. You will feel lighter, clearer and more free. Promise.
Are you scared of stillness? Is this something you treat yourself with regularly? How do you deal with uncomfortable emotions? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Jess Ainscough is a writer, health coach, cancer kickin’ Wellness Warrior — and very proud pug owner.
When Jess was 22, she was diagnosed with incurable cancer, and was told that her only chance of prolonging her life would be to amputate her left arm. In the midst of all the angst and pain, Jess heard something within her telling her that there was a better way. She instinctively knew that this wasn’t going to be her fate. After researching anything and everything to do with healing cancer, Jess discovered that our bodies have the amazing ability to self heal – as long as we provide the right environment to do so.
As the creator of The Wellness Warrior, Jess writes daily articles on courage, kindness, self-respect — as well as practical how-to’s for shopping, cooking, juicing and nourishing your body.
Explore Jess’ revolutionary guide to mind-body reinvention, The Wellness Warrior Lifestyle Transformation Guide
Follow Jess on: Facebook.