Sometimes there is a restlessness stirring within our souls that we can’t quite name. We long for more – more peace, more joy, more meaning, more creativity, and in reality, more of our true selves. And so we must be still and pay attention.
It’s surprising just how difficult it is to quiet ourselves and pay attention to our deepest longings.
We gain energy and fulfillment by creating, giving, sharing, leading, and encouraging others. But there is a danger in being too busy. We risk neglecting the nurturing of our inner life. We must take time to renew and restore.
So just how do we nurture our souls?
Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
Throughout generations, people have nurtured their spiritual life by practicing the art of stillness in order to draw near to God.
Stillness can often feel like a luxury rather than a necessity of the soul.
One of the common obstacles in creating space to be still, is feeling guilty about making boundaries for time alone with God. The demands of life call for our attention. The world tells us busyness equals importance. Voices within and around us distract, pulling us in all directions like a threatening riptide.
But when we make space for stillness, to wander and delight in the sanctuary of God’s Presence, we gain a renewed perspective. Our stress is calmed. Peace settles in. Hope and joy fill our hearts. Purpose and creativity flow. And our cup is filled and overflows to others.
We all need space for our souls to breathe and sing.
We are all created for and called to something bigger than ourselves in this life. God has poured His unique creativity in to each one of us. As He fills us, we are able to share our gifts with others, enabling us to encourage and build one another up.
The filling is always for the giving away. The receiving for the releasing. And in giving and serving others, we find our greatest purpose, a sacred place where we hear God’s whispers in our hearts –
“Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.”
God is the Creator of all things, and all creativity flows from Him.
3 Steps to Encourage Stillness, Creativity and Soul Health
1. Create a Place to Simply “BE”
Everybody needs places to play in and pray in; where nature may heal and give strength to the body and soul. John Muir
We must be intentional about seeking stillness, to allow time to wander and discover quiet places that nurture our soul. Places that slow us down; places for prayer and listening to the quiet whispering in our spirit.
A personal “be still” space can be anywhere we are able to still ourselves and recognize the Presence of God with us.
Space can be found on a peaceful walk, in a prayer closet, on a patio, in a garden, or curled up in a favorite chair in your own little corner of the world.
Surround your “sacred space” with things that are calming and point you to God. Be creative and pay attention to what nurtures your soul.
And God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. Genesis 2:7
God breathes life into us every day. The Breath of life and wholeness and creativity.
Breathing is obviously one of the most important physical functions our bodies perform. We do it about 20,000 times a day.
Getting more oxygen by simply paying attention to how we breathe can facilitate healing in our body, soul and spirit. When we breathe in deeply, expanding our diaphragm, we improve circulation, ease stress, tension, and anxiety, and allow our body to function as God created it.
So breathe in deeply and let every breath be a prayer of gratitude to the Giver of all of life.
3. Create Space to Meditate
There’s a joyful state of calm attainable in these restless souls of ours. There is an inner peace that only Jesus can offer in the midst of the busyness of our lives. Stillness of soul can be found anytime, anywhere by taking time to meditate.
Science has shown that meditation increases memory and immune function. It also decreases anxiety, stress, depression, pain, and can lower blood pressure.
So creating space to meditate is good medicine for the whole mind, body, soul and spirit.
5-Minute Stillness Challenge:
Settle in to a quiet space and relaxed position.
Place your hands on your lap or by your side, palms facing upward. Open hands encourage an open heart and posture of receiving.
Intentionally release any tension that you are feeling in your body.
Still the clutter in your mind, tuning out all distractions.
Become aware of God’s Presence with you.
Close your eyes and breathe in deeply through your nose, exhaling slowly through your mouth.
With each breath you take, whisper within “Be still, my soul, be still.”
(Note: You can pray any 6-8 syllable breath prayer that expresses your deepest desire for God.)
Now set your stillness timer and enjoy simply being with God.
Repeat as needed throughout your day.
Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know that I am.
Be still and know.
Cindy Helton is a faith encourager and mentor, and founder of Soul Sanctuary – a gathering place, creating space to hear the whispers of God. She is a devotional writer with a passion for noticing the Presence of God and pursuing moments of stillness to nurture the soul. Currently, Cindy is working on publishing her first devotional book on Stillness. She finds great delight in being a bi-coastal Grammy to two little beauties, Masie and Evie Lu, who are the joy of her heart! You can follow her on TheDailyStill.com, Instagram – @TheDailyStill, and Twitter – @TheDailyStill