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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Practice of Stillness | Michael Hyatt, Intentional Leadership

Hyatt responds to the first chapter in a book he's reading, The Joy Diet by Martha Beck. The chapter title, "Nothing."

He writes:
I was so challenged by this chapter, that I haven’t gotten beyond it. I have now read it four times. I have also practiced this discipline for twenty-two days in a row.
Honestly, this has been one of the most transformational things I have ever done.
What is "stillness"?
Doing nothing is being still, quieting your mind (and the cacophony of voices), and simply being.
Why you need stillness. Hyatt's reasons, summarized:
  1. I want to maintain perspective. ...
  2. I want to stay connected to my true self. ...
  3. I want more internal margin in my life. ...
How to practice stillness. Hyatt's suggestions, summarized:
  1. Schedule a time. ...
  2. Find a place. ...
  3. Set a timer. I am following Beck’s admonition to set aside fifteen minutes a day. ...
  4. Relax your body. ... Beck says that if you can’t sit still, then engage in any mindless physical activity, like rocking in a chair or watching some natural motion like fire or running water. ...
  5. Quiet your mind. ...
  6. Be present. ...
  7. Learn to return. This has been the most helpful component. In involves recalling a “place of peace,” where you had a particularly vivid experience of peace and stillness. ...
Hyatt refers to God several times, but my perception is that this is not a book promoting religious belief or practice.

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