Thea Design for Getty Images in Canva Pro

This is the last in the series on creating change in your life. This week we’ll look at the third aspect – being still.

If you missed the other articles, you can catch up with “On Being a Writer,” the piece that inspired this sub-series, as well as “How to Create Change – Support” and “How to Create Personal Change – Inspiration.”

Still Yourself

This third part is crucial. Sit with yourself daily, with no distractions. You could meditate. You could go for a walk. You could watch the sunset. You don’t need to make it difficult, but quiet yourself inside and out.

The point of being still is to get in touch with your inner guidance system. So many of us, myself included, shoved down our inner voice at some point. We learned to distrust our gut instinct and got lost in outer reality. We strived for money, material gain, career success, or feeling we had to please everyone around us at the expense of ourselves.

We started listening to what other people thought – not what we wanted.

If you’re looking for the courage to transform, make friends with your inner guidance. The key is to feel your way into your new life.

It’s a simple concept, though not always easy to do. The key is to listen to yourself – your emotions are your compass. If you feel good, you’re on the right track. You’re veering away from your inner guidance if you don’t feel good.

The challenge is knowing what we’re feeling. How often have you told someone you were fine when you weren’t? How many times have you acted like you were okay when someone hurt you? And then, to keep the peace, you buried your feelings? After years of pushing down things that bother us, we can forget to listen to our inner truth. We become focused on what other people think, feel, and want.

Meditation above the clouds from Mona Barnes’s images for Canva Pro

How to Get Still

Meditation is an easy way to still yourself, but it’s not the only way. If you’d like to learn more about it, check out my piece, “Meditation.” It’s not as hard as you think. And you don’t have to sit on a cushion for hours to be a meditator. There are walking, chanting, breathing, and many more ways to meditate. If the word freaks you out, forget I mentioned it.

You could walk alone in the woods or anywhere outside that’s peaceful. You could watch clouds float by. I’ve done a lot of cloud sitting and can’t begin to tell you how happy it makes me. I’m watching them dance by as I type this.

The goal is to settle your mind and not think about anything distracting. Focus on the now. Soak in what’s around you. Follow your breath. Hand wash your dishes and focus on the water, the feel of the suds, and the plates you’re handling. Get into the present and experience whatever it is you’re doing.

Your inner voice, inner guidance, Higher Self – it doesn’t matter what you call it. That inner voice is always there to help guide you. We often forget to listen, so being still allows us to reconnect with that part of ourselves.

I check in numerous times a day. I stop whatever I’m doing and sit with my feelings. If they’re positive, I continue with what I’m doing. If I feel angry or off, I stop and think about what would make me feel better.

I find this extremely helpful with my writing. If I get frustrated or angry, I’ll stop and check in with myself. Sometimes frustrated feelings are simply a matter of needing to eat. Other times, I realize I’m pushing myself too hard by trying to force something into happening.

When I get that feeling, I stop and take a break. Going outside for a short walk around my apartment complex, running errands, or exercising helps me recenter. It might sound counterintuitive, but in the long run, I’m much more productive this way.

Rudy Fonteijne for Getty Images in Canva Pro

Stillness and Change

How does being still help with change? Inner stillness will lead you back to your feelings, and those feelings will guide you through your transformation. If something feels good, do it. If it doesn’t, check in to see what’s going on and what you could do to feel better. It’s simple and challenging at the same time.

If you feel paralyzed and full of fear over something, sit to see what’s underneath. Perhaps you aren’t actually scared of the change – instead, you feel bad because you aren’t doing what you want to do.

You could also be afraid of failing. That still terrifies me on occasion. What if no one buys my books? What if I don’t make any money and have to get a job I don’t want? What if I end up homeless? Everyone will judge and ridicule me.

When those thoughts arise, I tell myself they’re merely the societal conditioning I was brainwashed with. I was told over and over to get a solid job in a big company to have stability and a steady paycheck. I was groomed to sit at a desk for decades, helping make money for someone else. That stability doesn’t exist anymore.

How you judge yourself is all that matters. Not taking the leap into writing is the only absolute failure I could imagine. I’ve made a pact with myself to have no regrets. And not leaping into full-time writing would be the most significant sorrow of my life.

If there’s something you want to do, and you’re held back by fear or hesitation, now is the time to jump. Millions of people worldwide are returning to their true selves. Join us!

If you’d like to stay in touch, please do!

***Next Draft is broken up into different sections to cover several topics, including the main Next Draft category (monthly zine mainly), My Books/Fiction, Indie Publishing & Promotion, Self-Care/Spirit, and a couple others. If you’d like to receive one or a couple of these topics but not all, please visit my About page for instructions on selecting specific areas. (Scroll down the page.)