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Be Still, Be Clear.

"Stillness is the key to unlocking our potential and finding true fulfillment." - Ryan Holiday, Stillness is the Key.


In today's fast-paced world, it can be difficult to find stillness and clarity in our minds. However, the practice of stillness, whether through meditation or other forms, has been shown to have numerous benefits for both the mind and body. In this blog post, we will explore the concept of stillness, its benefits for clarity, and how to incorporate it into your daily routine.


In his book "Stillness is the Key," Ryan Holiday explores the idea that stillness and mindfulness are the keys to unlocking success in all areas of life. Through a combination of philosophy, history, and personal anecdotes, Holiday argues that stillness and mindfulness are the foundations of wisdom and inner peace.


The book begins by discussing the importance of stillness and mindfulness in ancient philosophy, drawing on the works of Stoics like Seneca and Epictetus. Holiday argues that these ancient philosophers understood the power of stillness and mindfulness and that their wisdom is still relevant today. He then goes on to explore how stillness and mindfulness can be applied in modern life, from business and leadership to personal relationships and creativity.


One of the key themes in the book is the idea that stillness and mindfulness can help us navigate the chaos and distractions of the modern world. Holiday argues that by learning to be still and present, we can gain a sense of perspective and control over our thoughts and emotions. This can help us to make better decisions, be more productive, and find inner peace.


Another important theme is the idea that stillness and mindfulness can help us to connect with our true selves and find our purpose in life. Holiday argues that by learning to be still and present, we can gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and our place in the world. This can lead to a sense of fulfillment and meaning in our lives.


Incorporating stillness into our daily routines is essential for achieving the numerous benefits outlined by Holiday. He suggests setting aside dedicated time for stillness and mindfulness each day. This can be as simple as taking a few minutes to sit in silence, or it can involve more formal practices such as yoga, tai chi, or meditation. He also recommends incorporating movement meditation into your routine, such as taking a walk in nature or practicing walking meditation.


Studies have shown that both stillness and meditation can have a positive impact on the brain. Regular meditation has been found to increase the thickness of the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for attention and decision-making. Additionally, meditation has been shown to decrease activity in the amygdala, the part of the brain responsible for the "fight or flight" response, leading to a reduction in stress and anxiety.


Stillness and meditation are powerful tools for achieving clarity and inner peace. By incorporating stillness into your daily routine, you can improve your focus, reduce stress and anxiety, and gain a clearer understanding of yourself and your surroundings.


To summarize, here are 5 ways to achieve stillness & clarity in your daily life;

  1. Set aside dedicated time for stillness each day: Incorporate stillness practice in your daily routine, even if it's just for a few minutes. It can be as simple as taking a few minutes to sit in silence, or it can involve more formal practices such as yoga, tai chi, or meditation.

  2. Incorporate mindfulness: Practice mindfulness by focusing on your breath and being present in the moment. This can be done through meditation, yoga, or other mindfulness practices.

  3. Minimize distractions: Find a quiet, comfortable place to meditate or practice stillness and minimize distractions by turning off your phone, closing your computer and other electronic devices, and finding a quiet place to sit.

  4. Use guided meditations: Use guided meditations or apps to help you focus and achieve stillness. They can be helpful in keeping your mind and body in sync.

  5. Get out into nature: a quiet beach, forest, or park can provide some of the greatest environments for stillness. The tranquility of these settings makes it that much easier to find stillness within the mind. Find a time and a place where you can regularly just sit and observe and listen to nature undisturbed.


Remember to be patient and kind to yourself while practicing. There are plenty of resources available online, such as guided meditations, yoga, tai chi classes, and walking meditations, to help you get started. Give it a try and see how stillness can improve your life.


If you are interested in reading more on stillness, I highly recommend Ryan Holiday’s book, which you can find here.


To Your Success,


Alec.


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