Finding stillness in the midst of a storm – or even just in the middle of a hectic week – might be easier said than done.
We are barraged daily by ads, commercials, distractions, and everyday events in our lives. Those events are often unavoidable.
However, how we feel about those events is up to you.
Going way back for this Throw-back Thursday to Greek stoic philosopher, Epictetus. He said, “It is not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.”
(Here are some other Stoic thoughts.) Shakespeare echoed this philosophy through Hamlet’s assertion that, “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so,” shortly after he said to Rosencrantz & Guildenstern, “Denmark’s a prison.”
During his life, the late Senator John McCain said that a Stoic philosophy helped him survive 5 1/2 years as a Prisoner of War in Vietnam. After his release he referenced several tenets of Stoicism that helped him survive. Perhaps, more importantly, his ability to find stillness gave hope to his fellow prisoners. He refused early release from prison (his father was a 4-star Admiral in charge of all military operations in the Pacific theater, 1968-1972), and committed himself to support others who were also struggling to survive.
It’s easy to get so inundated with our own problems. It’s hard to find stillness, and even harder to be the rock that others can cling to. Yet, it’s important in our practice of mindfulness to realize that our stillness might serve as a lighthouse for those around us. Imagine the disaster if the lighthouse moves.
You might feel like you are spinning out of control. But, Stillness may be like a perfectly centered and balanced spinning top; spinning so fast it appears perfectly still. It appears this way, not because it isn’t moving, but because it is spinning at full speed. In the midst of your busy week, we encourage you to find stillness that will transcend the storm. Perspective is your choice.
(Check out this video of the World Record of a spinning top.)