This week’s Wednesday Words of Wisdom come from Pico Iyer, a British-born essayist and novelist. I came across one of his books, The Art of Stillness and I saw one of the book’s quotes on Pinterest. This quote isn’t particularly based on writing… but for me, it translates to how I try to approach writing and life.
“In an age of movement, nothing is more critical than stillness.” -Pico Iyer, The Art of Stillness
Our days are filled with errands, work responsibilities and chores. On top of that, technology and social media apps as well. We live in a busy world, no doubt about it. But lately, I’ve tried to take a simpler, more minimalistic approach to life.
I try to really be present in the moment–whether I’m looking out a window, taking a breath or walking. I try to take in the different calls of birds–red-winged blackbirds, robins, morning doves…I take note of the weather and what it’s like–is it warm and muggy, or cool and windy? I take note of how I feel–whether I’m stressed, frustrated, relaxed or happy.
Whenever I walked this same route years ago, I was always rushed and on my way to school, stressing over when the local bus would come. I was worried about being late or missing the bus. I was focused on school exams, projects and tests. I was trying to get across busy intersections in one piece. 🙂
But now that I have the time and patience to take everything in, it’s been very beneficial physically, mentally and emotionally. Getting into photography and taking pictures of the world around me has really helped me see the world as a simpler, more peaceful place.
And I believe it helps my writing as well. There’s nothing like a good walk and some peace of mind that helps you clear your head, look for inspiration and just enjoy life. As writers, it’s important that we be observers of the world: of the small details, of the things other people don’t see, of how we feel about things. Pico Iyer has it right–in such a busy age, we need stillness to pause and reflect.
Do you use any quiet or meditative activities to help calm yourself? Or to help clear your mind for writing?