Day 8: Finding Stillness in Turbulent Times
Welcome to Day 8 of 21 Days on the Mountain.
Our Power of Pause practice today focuses on the element of water; the different energies of a full-flowing waterfall, and the deep still pools that surround it.
So often when we’re in full flow, our energy is fast, forceful, even abrasive. And yet we can harness that same energy to be still, silent and reflective.
Our Evolving Leadership programme teaches the four integrated elements of Mindful Command, to help develop self mastery (Clear Purpose, Balanced Awareness, Fearless Compassion and Inner Stability): the ability to hold space and be the best version of yourself whatever situation you find yourself in, whether that requires the full force of your energy, or stillness, calm and reflection.
So join me in today’s video to practise the three steps of pause, focus and breathe, and enjoy a moment of stillness in your busy day.
Hello and welcome to 21 Days On The Mountain, a chance for us to pause together for a few minutes. So today is all about water. And as you can see, I’m standing in front of a magnificent waterfall that’s really starting to come into its full flow as the snow melts from the mountaintops. It’s about a 20 minute walk from our house, and we’ve had a joyful hour or so walking around this space. I’m at the edge of a woodland right now and I’m looking up and seeing that the fir trees, the branches of the fir trees are gently swaying in the breeze that’s being generated by the force of the water behind me.
So in looking at water, looking at what you’re seeing behind me, that’s powerful right? That’s power in motion. And yet at the bottom, out of the shot there are pools of very, very still water too. So the same water is both fast and powerful, and still. And as I’ve been walking around the space for the last few minutes, I’ve been thinking about how we as human beings can go from being powerful, fast-moving, highly energetic, dynamic, in our full power if you like, to still, silent, quiet, stable.
So when I look at water, I look at water in all its different forms. I used to live by the sea, I spent 23 years of my life in a career that was focused entirely on the sea. When I look at the movement of water in all its different forms, I look at the complexity of human life, and us as human beings, in all our different forms, day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, forever changing.
As I talked about yesterday, nothing stays still for more than a second, or less. But we can choose to be still as best we can. We can choose to pause, we can choose to be like the still water at the bottom of this waterfall or the still water of a lake. We can choose moments of stillness, to regroup, to recenter, to look perhaps with a wider perspective at what’s happening and to decide what we’re going to say, and what we’re going to do, that feels aligned with everything that matters to us, and to the people around us.
So in today’s pause I invite you to focus on stillness. I invite you as you breathe in and out of your body, to notice both the flow of the breath, and also its arrival in your body, noticing where it’s landing. And allowing it to be there for a moment, filling the space, creating space. And as you breathe in and out, gradually and gently and softly, notice what changes about how you feel and what you sense.
So remember the three steps; pause, focusing into this place, the solar plexus, which supercharges our pause practice, and breathing gently in and out. And the whole of your two minutes of silent meditation today, or most of it anyway, is going to be focusing on this waterfall behind us. So you might like today not to close your eyes, or at least keep them open for some of it, so that you can just watch the flow of water and allow yourself to be transported by it.
For the moment I’m going to close my eyes to help me concentrate. So pausing, focusing on this space between my sternum and my navel, I invite you to do the same, and allow your breath to flow gently, and softly and naturally, into your body, through your nose, through your mouth, and arrive in this space. And then to release it, perhaps on a long out breath, perhaps on a sigh, or even a yawn, release. So for the next two minutes, in your silence, to the sound of the waterfall, let’s pause.
And when you’re ready, on your next outbreath, gently open your eyes.
Thank you for joining me today. This walk, this pause by the waterfall. And I hope you can feel the flow of your day today, and in those moments where you might feel a bit stuck, pause.
Thank you for joining me again. I look forward to seeing you tomorrow. Thank you.