Live One Footstep from Stillness

You have to meet yourself where you're at. And since *pure* stillness seems to be beyond my capacity, and the capacity of most humans I know, I have shifted my focus: I want to live one footstep from stillness.


I want to have stillness in range. I want to feel stillness, even fleetingly, often enough to recognize it. I want to know the experience of stillness.


The emotion of anxiety is pretty much synonymous with the energy of motion. Anxiety is your body's fight or flight response in action; a primal message from your brain to your physical body that you need to get ready to defend yourself or get outta there. The problem, of course, is that your brain uses this fight or flight response in situations where it's totally uncalled for. Our ancestors needed this response to survive. We inappropriately experience it to get through PTA meetings.


So, if anxiety is motion, stillness is the obvious antidote. As someone who has experienced a considerable amount of anxiety, I recognize the importance of stillness to steady my mind's natural tendencies. I also recognize the barriers my mind perceives to stand in the way between anxiety and stillness.


Erich Schiffman says, "Yoga is a way of moving into stillness in order to experience the truth of who you are." Which is a pretty good way of explaining a daily yoga practice. Which is why I believe that yoga goes more than a long way towards transforming anxiety from something you suffer, to something that can reveal the truth of who you are.


Living one footstep from stillness means a dedicated yoga practice (for movement). A committed meditation practice (for breath). And truly living from the moment instead of living from the mind or the body or the future or the... Living one footstep from stillness means maintaining a life off the mat that feels like life on the mat. A life off the cushion that mimics life on the cushion. A life that experiences true stillness as a natural remedy to the emotion of anxiety.