Feel, Be Still and Know

I have been rereading parts of author Glennon Doyle’s newest book Untamed.  There are so many powerful nuggets in that book, but the concept resonating with me most right now are the two “Keys” to freedom she talks about.  Key number one: feel it all.  Key number two: be still and know.  It is powerful when we look inside ourselves rather than to the outside world or others when we need to center, when we need to know.  Being still and knowing is trusting yourself.  It is the process of finding your peace and path by first checking in with yourself, rather than with others, society, or the thoughts your head.  It requires allowing yourself to feel all your feelings in your heart and your body, which are all normal and okay and healthy to feel even if they are scary or hard, and sinking into the deep part of you, listening to that inner voice.  Some call it the Self, God, the Universe.   Being still and listening, sinking…until you hear.

See, it is from the depths and the darkness – the place that feels most scary, the place we often (for good reason!) try to avoid - that true transformation and change can happen.  When we sit and stay in the discomfort, pain and face the darkness and the fire, and we go through it instead of around it or above it, we are changed.  It is incredibly hard to go through the pain, to feel it all, but when we know we can go through hard, painful things and when can survive, we will feel more alive, stop living in fear and experience true freedom.  Pain is no longer something we think we shouldn’t feel thus we should avoid, instead, we know it’s part of the way.  Instead of viewing a happy, good life as the absence of pain and discomfort, we know that it’s often the way.  It’s in the pain and dark that there is transformation and change, as Glennon terms it, “the rising.”

How do you be still and know?  There are many ways, but here are some tips to get you started.  Sit still, get grounded with feet on the floor or sitting on the floor possibly, breathe, eliminate outside noise and distractions, visual and audio input, and find a safe, still place to check in with your body, what you feel in your body, where you feel it, and check in with that quiet inner voice inside.  It’s the one that usually wants good and health for you, although it may be challenging or it may be comforting.  And then just listen to it, breathe, hear it, check in with yourself.  Also expect to practice this quite often.  It is the practice that usually leads to the understanding, knowing and rising. This works best as a repetitive, evolving practice and process that is used often and throughout our lives, not just one time.

As a psychotherapist, I do this often in one way, shape or form in my work with clients. It is much less about me telling them what to do, think or feel, but creating a space to check in, explore, and listen to the inner voice – their knowing.  It is from here that connections start to form and make sense, and from the knowing then decisions can be made around them.  In the process of knowing, we are not usually remembering new information, but remembering and making meaningful connections and understanding based on what we already know.  From that place it is less about life happening to us, and we become more aware and can make more active choices and decisions about our lives.  Not that we have control over all of it, but it’s about areas where we do have power.

If you are interested in starting this journey, schedule some time in your daily schedule to be still, feel and listen to the knowing.  Therapy is also a great place to practice to listen, discover and make sense of your emotions, thoughts, experiences and story.  If you would like more resources or support on this journey, please reach out and I can help you get started!