Teaching Stillness

Winter comes to teach us stillness.

The bare trees standing without their leaves. The silence of the world on a white, snowy morning. The solid, unmoving rocks that throughout the earth's restless seasons are unchanging. Still.

At this time of year we can renew our commitment to stillness, getting in touch with that part of us that is unchanging. And then pass it on to our children.

"Your innermost sense of self, of who you are, is inseparable from stillness. This is the I Am that is deeper than name and form."-- Eckhart Tolle
So how do we become still?

I'm not talking about meditation in its traditional sense here. Not a quarter of an hour 'time out'.

I'm talking about a stillness that pervades your life. A stillness that comes from just Letting It Be.

- This stillness comes when we stop planning every minute of our lives and stop worrying about what has been and what is yet to come. Choose to see instead What Is, right now.

- This stillness comes when we stop criticizing and judging others, nagging them and complaining, expecting them to be different from what and who they are.

Becoming still means simplifying your life. Paring it down to the essentials so that you can see what is essential for you for a joy-filled life. Emptying yourself to make way for the simple joys of life, to allow life's abundance in.

Ironically, you will find that when you do less you are actually more productive because your stillness cuts straight to the heart of what is truly important in any situation.

Slowing down, with the side effects of being a calmer and more peaceful parent, is a great gift to our children.

Do less for your children. Expect more of them. Allow them more freedom. Let them fail...or succeed. Let them Be.

Teach stillness by being stillness and then show the rest of us the way...

Activity: The Power of Stones

My daughter is always giving me little 'presents' that she has found on a walk or in the garden. Her ability to spot unusual or beautiful stones just amazes me time after time. Maybe it's being closer to the ground, but I think that children are very connected to Nature in a way that we with our years and worldly cares have lost.

  • Take the children out into nature to find and collect stones.

  • Take them home and wash them in warm water if they're very muddy.

  • Explain to the children that:

    - Although seemingly still, rocks are made up of whirling atoms like the rest of matter.

    - The stones and rocks hidden in the earth and lying all around us are amazingly old and are likely to outlast us by many, many lifetimes.

    - When we hold a rock in our hands and feel its weight and smoothness, we are holding the oldest matter on this planet.

    - We can learn from the rocks about quiet and stillness.
  • Pick them up one at a time and really examine them. Notice their shape and colour. Do they remind you of something else?

  • Get the children to shut their eyes and hold a favourite rock in their hands. How does the rock make them feel? Does it have a certain energy to it? A relaxing stone could be placed near her bed to be held before sleep. A wonderful calming exercise is to hold one of the rocks and breath in deeply the stillness and serenity. Anger and tension can be released by sending it into a small stone and then going outside and throwing it hard (in a safe direction!)

  • The stones can be painted or made into a pattern or spiral or you can build a tower with them, starting with bigger rocks at the bottom.
It can be very humbling realising that these rocks will still be here long after we have changed form.
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  1. Thank you for the post on Stillness. It's something our family definitely believes in.

  2. Thank you Becca for these words of inspiration. Made me realize the gift I want to give my children for Christmas this year....slowing down with the side effects of being a more peaceful parent!