A little bit about embracing stillness

Hi lovely friends,

 

Lately, I have been thinking about this concept of “stillness.”

For New Year’s, a few friends and I, went away on holiday. We all wanted to get away from the craziness that is our current “sciency” (not a word) lives, and decided to hop on a plane to Martinique. It was a spur of the moment decision, which found all of us in a pretty awesome place. Martinique is a French island in the Caribbean. It was beautiful, there weren’t many tourists around, and it provided the right environment to just really unwind.

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The thing about the trip to Martinique is that it began this thought process in me about what it means to be still. I thought about it, then forgot about it, until it was brought to my attention this weekend in yoga class.

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What does stillness mean and how does it apply to my life?

To me stillness means so many different things apart from just being in a moment and trying to soak that up.

I’ve been trying to finish this PhD and live my life at the same time, and I’ve been having a hard time doing it. In between writing, doing experiments, thinking about the implications of the research I’ve been doing, sometimes I totally forget what stillness is. I forget that laser focus does not necessarily mean stillness, and that within stillness there needs to be balance. The weird thing is that, even though, I am enjoying this process, my mind is all over the place. At first, it freaked me out, but now I am learning to embrace it.

The funny thing about yoga class was that, our yoga instructor brought this up, “You may never be completely still, even in this moment, and that is ok.” This filled my heart with hope because I don’t know that I will be ever still. I don’t know that this is a mode I can operate in, but I also know that I like not being completely still.

I thrive on doing many things at a time. I thrive on thinking many things at a time. At the same time, I also thrive on enjoying the moment, on being in the present, on thinking about the tiny things that make every day so magical. So, I am beginning to realize, that this is my “stillness.”

So, with that, I am deep in the throws of writing a paper, writing my thesis, and trying to wrap up my PhD. This has created a lot of stress in my life because, in some ways, this represents the culmination of so many years of work (all the way back to high school). I am learning to embrace the stress, to not let it consume me, to remain still while I can, and to walk forward despite it all.

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to embrace my definition of “stillness.” It is to be in this moment, to realize that this last student learning phase of my career is almost over, and to embrace all the little lessons it is teaching me about life, work, science, even though, my mind sometimes wanders all of the place.

It has been such a crazy and busy past few weeks! I will be writing my thesis in the next few weeks, so that means, a lot of work and less exploring this city, but I will try my best to be present in this blog.

I want to write about my paper and thesis writing experience as a biology soon to be PhD. If you are interested, give me a like and I will try to do this.

I hope all of you had an amazing New Year’s and that you are following up with whatever resolutions you set forth this year. If you didn’t have any resolutions, that is ok too 🙂 .

Here are more photos of Martinique!

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xoxox,

M

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