The Secrets of Stillness

StillnessI am a bit in awe of how fast things can change. There have been many examples of this lesson in the last month, but the most impactful one for me is that “nothing is certain”. I thought I had already learned this lesson, but watching the dramatic changes to society and our community over the last few weeks has made me realize that I am still learning this lesson. Learning how to let go of the need for things to be certain and to be in control. Remembering that all I truly control is my inner state of being and reaction to the outside world. Inside all this uncertainty is a glimmer of hope for healing, that glimmer comes from solitude.

I can’t tell you how often I have “prescribed” stillness to a patient. With our busy hustle-and-bustle lifestyles people need constant reminding of how important stillness, quiet, and pause is in their daily lives. We are constantly distracted by phones, social media and the never ending onslaught of information. We feel this need to be entertained and distracted in an almost panicked way to escape the present moment. But now in this storm of uncertainty and unease, when the desire to escape and disconnect is even stronger, there is an opportunity. An opportunity to slow down and be still. An opportunity to check in with ourselves, be present with the moment and notice the little things in life that perhaps have gone unnoticed for a long time.

Great things are born from stillness. It was Pablo Picasso that said “Without great solitude, no serious work is possible”. I think there is a lot of truth to this statement.  A study by Duke University found that two hours of silence per day prompted cell development in the brain region related to memories involving the senses. Another paper from 2003 showed how solitude is associated with “freedom, creativity, intimacy, and spirituality”. It is also suggested that in 1665, during the plague, the university that Isaac Newton attended was shut down for two years. He was forced into a countryside refuge where he completed some of his best work in science and mathematics. It was during this time that he laid the foundation for groundbreaking theories on gravitation and calculus.

I am not suggesting that we should expect to personally create breathtaking art or make huge leaps in physics during this unprecedented time. Instead I suggest that giving yourself some time for daily stillness also allows you to connect with your greatest gifts.  It allows you time to reflect, forgive, and heal. It can also allow you time to connect with the most important person in your life – YOU! From this connection can come a deeper understanding, creativity, and healing. So turn off the news, put away the phone, and schedule some stillness into your day. You’ve been given the gift of time to do this now, use it wisely.


Dr. Angela Hunt, ND

Meditation, Mental health

Dr. Angela Hunt, ND, MSCP

Dr. Angela Hunt is an experienced Naturopathic Doctor and an integral part of the Kingston Integrated Healthcare team since 2015. She maintains a large family practice and treats a variety of health concerns including all aspects of hormone imbalance, autoimmune conditions, digestive concerns, and mental health. She is a Menopause Society Certified Practitioner.


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