Be Still and Know

(c) Carl Studna

We live in a society that constantly promotes and awards us for our various acts of doing. Outer accomplishments warrant praise. Rich insights that don’t bare the fruit of material achievement usually go unnoticed. In the workplace, most companies primarily care about the end objective; how quickly and efficiently we produce the desired results in a cost-effective way. Our training teaches us to either brainstorm with others for the answers or be a lone wolf and forge the unchartered territories alone to become the revered hero.

The only problem with these two approaches is that they often lead to severe burnout, stress and loneliness.

Another option is always available, yet often ignored….the choice to be still and wait for your inner guidance to bring clarity of direction with your choices. Because most of us in Western culture are not taught as children to trust our inner directive (let alone the concept that we even have one), we tend not to trust that it’s a credible resource for us to follow. I can’t tell you how many people tell me how difficult it is for them to meditate. We’re so quick to judge ourselves if we feel we’re not getting it right! And it is these self-judgments that stop us from giving a steady meditative practice the time it takes to become a new habit.

It’s ironic, because when we learn how to be still and allow the inner wisdom to guide us, it becomes a lot easier to catch our judgments as they surface. Yet, we need to give ourselves the repetitive practice of being still in order to trust our inner wisdom over our conditioned judgments. We need to remind ourselves that when we take the time to be still and listen, it’s okay for surface thoughts to arise. The key is in not resisting them and allowing them to pass on through. In Buddhism, this is called the act of non-resistance, simply letting it be.

Imagine having complete permission and encouragement to take the time each day for moments of devoted stillness. Imagine being brilliantly acknowledged and rewarded for how deeply you listened and resourced that perfect inner directive.

If you trust enough to build this daily inner practice and give yourself the same level of commitment that you have to accomplishing your outer goals and achievements, your entire inner and outer landscape will begin to shift and you’ll discover greater success than you’ve ever conceived imaginable; fueled by a rich sense of clarity, peace and wisdom.

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