What goes through my head when I hear this word are a variety of things. Stillness is so difficult to find sometimes, especially with a family crammed into a small house. The family starts to bicker, and I reach for my smartphone to evade the present.
Still. We’re still arguing. We’re STILL learning how to live with each other. We’re STILL learning how to be good parents.
And maybe part of that is learning to be still.
Some people talk about how finding stillness is more and more difficult in this modern age, where we go go go go go all the time, where a momentary chance for stillness is replaced by checking Facebook on a smartphone, but it’s something we humans have apparently had difficulty with for thousands of years already, even before handheld distractions. I find some comfort in this, honestly, because I’m a doer. I’ve always been a human doing. I was raised by hardworking, blue-collar folks with a hardcore work ethic; I have such difficulty as a human simply being.
“Be still, and know that I am God.”
This is from the old testament of the Bible, and these words, from Psalms 46:10, are attributed to God himself*. I take this to mean, “sit down, watch this sunset happening on the ocean horizon and be wowed. It’s beautiful and amazing, and you are a tiny little piece of it.” I interpret this as directions to the higher self that resides inside. To clearly see the map requires stillness – it requires all else that you think defines you to fall away.
This, too, is why savasana is such an important part of yoga. For many (myself included), this pose is impossible to do without quite a bit of movement preceding it, which serve to stretch, realign and dissipate tension held in muscles so that one can effectively pull off a “corpse pose”.
Even so, without fail what always seems to happen to me when I finally reach a moment of stillness is this: I touch upon my higher self, and she has words for me: words I only hope I can remember once I get my hands on a piece of paper or a keyboard, because my short-term memory ain’t what it used to be.
*I use the word “himself” here only in regards to the “God” represented in the King James version of the Bible. This does not reflect, in the slightest, my personal belief in the gender (or lack thereof) of what could be construed as “god”, but only as “God” is considered in “biblical” expression of the concept.