Ever wondered why my website etc are all called Sam Stood Still?
Truth is - it's because I came to really value what happens when I get the opportunity to be still.
My parents would testify to the fact - that probably from the time I was in the womb- I've been a busy body - never keeping quietly still. It was a sure thing- if I was quietly still it was only for one of 2 reasons - I was asleep (and it wasn't guaranteed even then that I'd be still nor quiet!!) or worse case scenario - something was very wrong (and even then - I would be deep in thought).
To say I was (and very much remain) exceptionally curiosus is an understatement - but the thing about continuous learning and curiosity is - its exhausting!
As I've grown, I've not changed much in that way- still ever-curious and I'd often find myself exhausted. That is the thing about taking in too much information! it's exhausting!!! The reading, understanding, processing, logging (sometimes then also writing or typing) is can be overwhelmingly tiring.
What also comes with that though is the need to sort, clarify, internalise etc all of this information - so doing that for a prolonged period can become too much.
There are no exceptions to this rule!! - What's more it has a name!! Consuming / Consumption!
Now if I were to say that - "if you ate too much without exercise you'll get fat" - you'd probably agree.
The same goes for information. Too much isn't good.
Like eating junk food - too much junk thought is terrible for you. Thinking negatively - especially about yourself, questioning everything you do, whether it is good enough, what other people might be thinking etc - all junk-thought!
A little is normal and frankly healthy - keeps us humble etc - but over-indulging is a no no!
It's a hidden diet - we are always in a constant state of dealing with information from just being awake. For example- in minutes, we go from waking up, making the bed, opening curtains, deciding what do do when, what to have for breakfast, running through a to-do-list in our head, listening to or reading the news, checking the phone, the emails, social media, messages etc tv etc - all of the time consuming!! I haven't even mentioned the Junk-Thought that takes place like "oh look at the state of this .." (insert your own issue - I know you ended that sentence as you read it all by yourself) and of course - the deep sigh as the mentally constructed to-do-list grows and grows on.
In my case- I additionally have not only the information I'm subjecting myself to i.e. all of the above- but living in a house with my hubby and the Abrah-brats (otherwise known as my 5 children).
The amount of information then becomes x7. Then there's work where I'm in constant dialogue with people, the internet, typing, reading, listening!! - its a lot!! Frankly my poor brain has done a full day's work by 8.30am!
I've had to learn to stop!! Stop and be STILL!!!
Still and Meditate, Still and reflect, Still and process, Still and breathe, Still and relax, Still and observe, Still and talk to other people to share my thoughts and feelings and have another opinion - other than the ever-running brain chatter that can often be self-critical if I allow it.
After years of working in a fast paced - critical environment - self criticising became a habit that lead to anxiety at times.
At first I thought it was just me ( I was the problem) - I shut off, shut down and self -isolated at work - and on some days would bounce in there - happy and light - say good morning at the dull tones that came back alone would send me into the pits.
Over time- as I quietly observed and started doing things to look after myself - I would reflect. Sometimes alone or with friends (helps too when your friends are also therapeutically trained - added bonus!).
One of the most important things I learned to do was learning to step back. It allowed me to see things more clearly - I watched an entire department experience depression, anxiety and low morale as the standard. whereas left to my own thoughts I was caught up in my own sad and quite lonely, miserable experience.
I recognised - that when I joined the team - years before - that the team the morale was 'off' but it never occured to me until stepping back - that the entire team were silently struggling with the same thing.
Individually people would have a grumble about task-related issues or minor things but no one was mentioning the elephant - sat firmly in the middle of the room - without the courtesy of staying in the corner!!
And this my dear reading friend - is my invitation to you!!! - take time to be STILL.
In your own quiet reflecting, processing, breathing, making objective and calm reflections - take the time to step outside of your own thinking and feelings to see the bigger picture.
From a long step back - view the silent but space-consuming-elephants in your rooms -so you can release the tension that exists in you. You that can get stuck- believing things that aren't your REAL truth! The things we believe to be true when we let the Junk-Thought become an unwelcome guest in the penthouse suite of our mind.
You are not alone - just often alone in your own thoughts and feelings (until you really look at them, share them and let them go).
Be Still - Be Well and Be Safe...
'Til Next Time, Om, Over and Out!