My first home grown, red cabbage.
Finding Stillness…can it be hindered by our sense of not feeling enough?
It’s 9pm and I am filling up my daughter’s new hiking water bladder. I am struck with the realisation that I was actually about to embark on something I did not imagine I was capable of. I was not one that easily imagined I would jog a 5km trail with others, let along inspire my 9 year old daughter to join in.
Believing we are not enough holds us back in life and makes it almost impossible for us to gain a sense of that stillness deep within.
When I was in high school I was moderately active. I shied away from too much sport and left it to those girls that “looked the part”. I felt I certainly did not look “sport worthy”. I did not focus on what body could do and instead chose to focus on what I thought was “negative” about my body. When doing any kind of exercise I would be overwhelmed by the uncomfortable feeling of my thighs rubbing together and my breathing was all over the place. I was even suspected of having asthma. Those that appeared to enjoy sport did not look like me, or so I believed.
Like many others, I have learnt from years of a poor diet, out of balance work/lifestyle and a lack of movement that the body can only take on so much stress.
When our body and mind cannot navigate daily stressors efficiently, our nervous system loses its strength/tone. This results in a nervous system that predominantly functions in sympathetic overdrive, inhibiting the body and mind’s ability to seek moments of self reflection, rest, regeneration not to mention efficient digestion.
Finding a sense of stillness almost feels like an airy fairy, un-achievable goal.
Over the last 20 years of practicing the various aspects that makeup a varied yoga practice, usually beginning with the poses, breathing and then meditation, I have been able to navigate my own well-being challenges and mindset. My biggest realisation was the fact that my own self beliefs were deeply rooted in a sense of not feeling enough. I could write an entire article about not feeling enough!
Once I shone a light on these negatively geared beliefs, thoughts and habits, also know in yogic philosophy as samskaras, I had the power to begin to update them for the better.
Seeking that deep sense of stillness, the kind that many philosophical texts speak of, became a little more accessible with each passing month. This has extended into shaping the way I perceived my body and exercise. Instead, I now see exercise as a movement practice that offers a beautiful opportunity for learning more about oneself.
So back to me standing in my kitchen on the eve of a trail run, filling up my daughter’s water bladder, preparing for a trail run, I am struck with the realisation that our thoughts have so much power over us.
When we begin to question our thoughts, become more curious of their self depreciating themes, we may find they are outdated and most often not true. Maybe, just like I have experienced, this self enquiry may lead you a little closer to connecting to that deep sense of stillness within.