Finding an Oasis of Stillness in a Fast-Moving World | The BridgeMaker

Finding an Oasis of Stillness in a Fast-Moving World

By on Apr 17, 2011

In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you. – Deepak Chopra

Our world is moving at an ever-accelerating pace. Twenty years ago, very few people had cell phones.

Today, “Smartphones” are becoming the new norm.

Fifteen years ago, you were using a dialup internet connection (if you had one at all).

Ten years ago, Twitter, Facebook, Skype and YouTube didn’t exist.

I’m 26, and technology has moved on a staggering amount in my own lifetime: if you’re a bit older than me, you’ll have seen even more radical changes.

It seems like we’re constantly moving faster and faster: trying to keep up with emails, tweets, Facebook messages, Skype calls, and a constant stream of news – both on an international level and on a personal level.

I have days when I find it hard to sit and focus, because I’ve spent so much time jumping between different rivers of information – all of them moving fast.

Of course, all this change has brought many wonderful things into our lives: like being able to easily stay in touch with friends and relatives across the world. But, for many of us, it’s come at a price.

Do you often feel like you can’t keep up? Do you find yourself rushing from moment to moment, rarely slowing down, barely considering switching off?

It is possible to find stillness, even when the world is rushing on around us.

Moment by moment

Sometimes, if I’m starting to feel overburdened by the demands of the day, I take a few moments between tasks to simply sit quietly with my eyes shut. I concentrate on my breathing, and I remember that I don’t need to rush – and that I’ll do better work if I take a little extra time to rest.

Can you work moments of rest into your day? That might mean simply getting up from your desk every hour to stretch your legs for five minutes, or pausing to actually look out of the window at the view.

Day by day

I find that it’s particularly helpful to work stillness into the beginning and end of my day. I’m not always great at managing it, but life seems to go much more smoothly when I do!

You might like to start off the day with a few minutes of prayer or meditation. Even a shower can be a chance for relaxation, so long as you avoid feeling rushed. At the end of the day, you could turn off the TV an hour before bed, and do something restful – perhaps reading a book.

Week by week

When did you last take a weekend completely off? More and more of us end up working on Saturdays or Sundays – checking emails, maybe, or finishing off last-minute tasks for Monday. Even if you’re not doing anything related to your main job, you might be working on establishing a side business – or studying for a degree, or doing volunteer work.

How about finding a whole day – or even half a day – at the weekend for rest and relaxation? That might mean going to church, going for a long walk, taking a bubble bath, playing games with your family, or simply switching off the computer for a day.

Busyness can become habitual, even addictive. But we all need stillness in order to truly live. What could you do this week to bring more stillness and quiet into your life.

Ali Luke is a writer and writing coach. She blogs about writing and life at Aliventures. You can find out more about Ali here.

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  • Hi Ali,

    You are right the world is moving at an ever-acclerating pace and what can we do about it?
    Finding a whole day or half a day is a wonderful idea.
    At one time I found myself getting caught up in the face pace of the world, but than I realized that it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I always find the time to enjoy the beauty in the world. Going for walks and seeing what nature has to offer and staying away from stuff that I really don’t need. example of this would be the clothes we wear, cars we drive, etc. I have found just being who and what I am is what is important, not the fast pace of the world. Life is short and I live it a minute at a time. Sometimes that can be taking the time to dance in the rain if it is raining. This is so refreshing.

    Thank you again for reminding us that it is time to get off the tracks and enjoy what is really important.

  • Hi,

    I believe it is important to ‘pause & reflect’ daily. When, is up to you, just make the time. Thanks for the post Ali.
    Be good to yourself

  • Hi Ali,

    What a brilliant approach to finding stillness. The small doses make it all do-able. We’re living in a world out of balance and that makes us out of balance. Eventually, we pay the price. By following these wise tips, we can avert potential problems and lead a much happier life. Thanks!