How does stillness generate activity?
Stillness is a containment vessel that quickens what is held. Paradoxically, stillness is also a very mindful activity. In one sense, stillness can be seen as similar to the pause between inhalation and exhalation in the breathing cycle. Without the stillness of the pause, no action in either direction is possible. Without the pause newness does not emerge.
The notion of stillness generating creativity and activity has import personally as well as organizationally. In today’s business world the maxim of “he who hesitates is lost” has been fully integrated into exhortations to be first to market, to be constantly vigilant (Intel's Andy Grove’s notion that "only the paranoid survive") and to swim like sharks (which will drown if they stop moving). Trying to get a manager, a leader or a team to take a full day to become still enough to examine where they are, who they’ve become and where they are going is increasingly difficult. It takes courage, discipline and intention to become still when there are so many stimuli demanding our attention. Yet, without periodically and intentionally becoming still in order to examine these questions we run a very great risk of losing connection with that which gives meaning to what we are doing. And, without meaning we invite burnout, disease and emotional disengagement – the number one cause of lost productivity and employee turnover in the world.
Stillness invites and encourages reconnection. It is necessary to the process of sustainability. Stillness is a meaning filling activity.