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  • Jon Ellis


The ocean tide advances against the shore then withdraws. Less noticed, between these forces lies a period of stillness known as slack tide. One only has to observe nature closely to conclude that life requires activity and motion, as well as periods of rest and stillness. If we physically push, overexerting ourselves for extended periods of time, without balancing these efforts with times of stillness and peaceful tranquility, we will become unbalanced, sick, and will not be long for this world. For some misguided souls sitting still is painfully boring, for others it is a form of laziness. Like the shark, they feel driven from birth to early death by unknown forces to outwardly push and move, refusing to submit to stillness and quietude.

In this day in age the pressures of life, particularly continuous stress and worry, have become the new normal. While we all know that too much mental stress has been scientifically proven to have serious negative physical consequences, most of us have not figured out how to turn it off or move beyond it. While I find caring for my bonsai plants and working on paintings very relaxing and stress reducing, these are active endeavors and will not replace the benefits of simply ‘Being Still’. While each of us in temperament is a unique world unto ourselves, with different needs and requirements, to create a fulfilling, positive and centered life, we each must find the time to simply be ‘Still’. For most, it is easier said than done.

Stillness, in practice is an art, an art which requires an element of surrender and tuning into our own universal rhythm. Find a peaceful place to be still. Breath deep, relax our minds, let go of our cares, worries and emotions, listen to the wind, the song of birds, feel the warmth of the sun across our skin. Take the time to nourish ourselves and indulge our senses with stillness! While sitting still costs nothing, its value is priceless!

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