The body’s cry for stillness…and where to find it
by Sue Kira, Naturopath & Clinical Nutritionist
When I am with clients who are suffering from fatigue, we discuss what may be draining their energy.
Some share that when they feel stressed at the end of the day, they like a glass of wine or two to wind down. It can make the difference between them saying to their kids, “Ok it’s bath time darlings”, rather than angrily blurting out “get in the bath you little monsters or I’ll…!”
All they want is some peace and quiet. How often is a beer, wine, a cigarette, or even a cup of tea or coffee used as a catalyst to unwind and sit quietly? Being relaxed and in the moment, chilling out with a sip of drink and the ‘ahhhh’ of letting go, or a drag on a cigarette and exhaling with relief.
No wonder these substances are so addictive!
I realised that when people give up alcohol, cigarettes or drugs, what they often miss is that time to simply relax and just ‘be’ because our body’s really crave moments of stillness. I remembered how I felt the same.
Yet while we use them to find peace, the truth is that substances we choose actually take us away from true stillness.
The caffeine in tea and coffee, the sugar in alcohol, and the nicotine in cigarettes, all make us racy, with our bodies running faster than our natural rhythm.
I found other ways to find stillness. For example, I would stop on my way home from work and just sit by the river to relax before going home to the family. It was a moment just for me; a moment of stillness to reflect and just ‘be’.
No wonder men love fishing at the beach or by a river. Indeed, being with nature can be very healing.
I chat with my clients about how easy it is to create moments of stillness that don’t have to be harmful to the body. By creating a space for ourselves for only a few minutes to sit, close our eyes, breathe very gently and feel our body, feet and eyes relaxing with our hands resting on our thighs, we can feel an absolute presence with ourselves. And then, by gently opening our eyes, we can hold that feeling of gentleness and presence and continue to be with ourselves.
When I share this with clients in the clinic for just a few minutes, they are often amazed at how lovely they can feel in a very short time without substances, tapes and at no cost and how they can connect to themselves at any time, even with their eyes open. You can even ‘escape’ to the toilet for a few minutes to return to stillness.
Stillness is our natural state. We’re not meant to rush or be in an energy of ‘drive’…there is so much more we can achieve when we are connected.
In consultations, I often discuss with clients how being calm and present with children can also naturally bring them to gentleness and calmness. Some notice that when they are ‘actively present’ with their kids by maintaining eye contact and really connecting ‘with’ them, the children are lovely and calm and less aggressive. They’ve also noticed that when they feel stressed and cranky, the kids are harder to be with, which makes things worse for all.