Today’s post will be about movement through stillness. In essence, the word movement refers to the process of changing the place or position of someone or something. We can move our bodies, our minds, our lives, and pretty much everything around us. It would seem that the most common desire is to move forward, but movement can also be directed backwards, upwards, sideways. Yes, in a multitude of directions.

SONY DSC

Movement and stillness go hand in hand

In dance class today I thought about movement. You see, dancing doesn’t come naturally nor easily to me or my two feet. Still, most of the time dancing is joyful. Moving is joyful. Movement can be slow, conscious, and elaborated. Nonetheless, moving has also become a prerequisite for what is widely considered a successful person. We (as in many modern people) are in a constant haste from one place to another. We stress, we worry and we are on a constant mission to improve ourselves and to reach perfection. The other extreme is people not moving at all – obesity is constantly on the agenda.

However, movement teaches us stillness. They are two parts of the whole. In yoga you perfect your poses by being still, in tai chi it is stillness that moves you forward, and in dancing you cannot rush your way through the choreography – a dancer in a rush will only harm herself. An ice hockey player who doesn’t remain calm will not score any goals.

“The heavy is the root of the light;
The still is the master of unrest.”
– Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu – chapter 26

Lumparland, Åland

Movement and silence

There is a lesson to be learnt here. I have noticed that I’m prone to stress. I also claim to be good at multitasking. (Actually, I’m starting to believe that multitasking is a myth.) I am fairly certain that there are many others who think and act in a similar fashion. What is the cause and what is the effect? Maybe the ancient masters and sages were right about stillness and movement. The key word is balance – keep moving to be still. But also, be still to keep moving. Mastery takes time, effort, and a lot of practice – there is no place for haste.

I’ve created a short list of points to act as reminder of the very things that can bring stillness to the agitations of modern life. Some of these things seem so simple that it’s almost silly, but here it goes:

  1. Do one thing at a time; don’t start anything new until you’ve finished whatever you were doing
  2. Chew your food properly
  3. Take a break and get some fresh air
  4. Breathe
  5. Don’t try to change things you cannot change
  6.  Know your own limits
  7. Know how to say no
  8. Move

Do you have any suggestions of other dos and don’ts that would fit the list?

Be happy, don’t stress!

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