Stillness Within Motion

A half opened pink water lily, kissed by the sun, rises among green lily pads. It is rooted and still amid the ripples and current of the water. The flowing movement in the background was achieved by taking a long exposure of the moving water.
A half opened pink water lily rises above green lily pads in rippling water.
Wherever you go in the midst of movement and activity, carry your stillness within you. Then the chaotic movement around you will never overshadow your access to the reservoir of creativity, the field of pure potentiality.
— Deepak Chopra

Nature teaches us all the time, and this water lily is one of her lovely examples of stillness in motion, a concept I learned about in Tai Chi Ch’uan. While your body may be moving, inside your thoughts are calm and still. Your energy is smooth and flowing. It’s from this state you are best able to respond, not react, to whatever comes your way.

Having a calm mind and body brings with it clarity, stability, and presence, so that a person is able to assess any situation in a relaxed manner in order to do the best thing at the correct time. Having a calm mind and manner can also help to avoid confrontation and volatile situations in the first place.

Whether or not you practice Tai Chi, another form of martial arts, or yoga, finding stillness in motion is also useful in your everyday life. You could be washing dishes, or your car, or doing any number of ordinary activities and bring mindfulness to it. This mindfulness, this remembering to be aware, can bring about feelings of peace and a profound calmness, in place of stress. We then have access to our ability to respond to the everyday situations in our lives with balance, focus, and awareness.

It does seem to take practice until mindfulness becomes second nature. Any effort you put into this pays off in amazing ways, even if at first it’s just a great day, or a great part-of-a-day. I do think they call it a “practice” for a very good reason!

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