How to Harness the Creative Power of Stillness

August 6, 2012

Perfect_momentWhen I broke a large bone in my foot, I entered a phase of involuntary stillness that was both challenging and surprisingly rewarding.

As a core component of my daily practice, stillness has been an integral part of my life for a long time. So I chose to accept this unexpected situation fully and see it as an extended meditation on stillness and surrender.

Naturally, there were moments when I have felt a long way from this balanced perspective! Yet, overall, the requirement to prioritize physical stillness opened up a whole new level of appreciation for the depth of creative potential accessible to us all through stillness.

Fortunately, there is no need for you to have such a dramatic entry point or such an extended duration of stillness to benefit from the conscious and creative gifts it has to offer.

Conscious Stillness

Conscious stillness means being fully present to deep inner and outer stillness at every level. Having a still body with a chattering mind will not deliver up the same results.

When we prioritize complete stillness, even for short periods of time, a whole new world is revealed. Imagine seeing the reflected world in the surface of a lake and suddenly finding yourself within the reflection looking out.

Conscious stillness is a way for us to reach our inner core, the deep place of truth where we feel connected to the pulse of life itself – the ultimate creative principle – and know ourselves to be One with that.

As we melt into conscious stillness, we drop into eternity and feel the spaciousness of infinite creative potential with all the time in the world to merge with it and then return to share the fresh perspective we have gained.

From here, we notice everything with all our senses sharpened. Instead of skimming over the surface, we dive more deeply into the way the breeze blows ripples through the long grass as the intricate chattering of the distant stream fills our whole being with its song.

Rainer Maria Rilke describes the visual component of this level of perception:

“I am learning to see. I don’t know why it is, but everything penetrates more deeply into me and does not stop at the place where until now it always used to finish.”

As we notice more, we appreciate more, and feel immense gratitude for the sheer wonder of life.

From this open-hearted space, deep insights arise and ideas take shape, inviting us to capture them in words to share the joy of our experience so that others may also know the wonder for themselves.

Our writing becomes infused with the fragrance of timelessness that reaches well beyond the form of poetry, fiction or non-fiction we may choose for our creative expression.

Perhaps most important of all, our readers feel the communication far beyond the actual words on the page so the impact our writing has becomes truly memorable.

The Way In


Finding ways in to this deeper realm of being is one of the most significant stages in the creative process which artists since the dawn of time have explored.

Here are a few suggestions for finding your way in through stillness:

* Give yourself permission to slow the pace of your life down on a regular basis and explore the depth. Schedule some time each day to savour the depth of each moment and all it contains. Let go of the impulse to skate rapidly across the surface and accustom yourself to depth and detail whether it is for an hour, an afternoon or always.

* Work towards stopping altogether and enjoying complete inner and outer stillness. Ideally this will be time spent on your own and the perfect setting is out in nature. However, if you live in a city and it is pouring with rain, bring nature in to your space with fresh flowers or indoor plants. You can also try some form of movement just before your time for stillness, walking or yoga both work well for this purpose.

* Dive deeply in to the essence of physical, mental and emotional stillness through seeing and feeling. When you are physically still and looking at the same view, what details can you see that you might normally miss? Ask yourself, what does stillness truly feel like beneath the surface of simply not moving? It’s a bit like walking into a room and feeling the atmosphere as welcoming, or not, as the case may be.

* Release all effort and open up the naturally flowing part of you that “allows” rather than “makes happen”. Be careful not to try too hard. This is not about achieving anything that is reserved for the few. This level of awareness is a natural part of who we already are, we just need to give ourselves permission and the right circumstances to remember what we already know.

* As and when you feel inspired to do so, capture your insights and ideas, and enjoy writing freely. Experiencing the creative power of stillness is entirely valid in its own right and there is no requirement for an “end result” in the form of words on the page. With that said, as writers we are likely to feel drawn to writing from this deeply creative space, in which case, do so and enjoy!


Q4U: What is your experience of stillness in relation to the creative process? If this is new to you, are you willing to give it a try for the next 21 days? Share your comments below.


© Julia McCutchen 2012. All Rights Reserved.

If you want to use this article in your ezine or on your website I’d be happy for you to do so as long as you use the complete article, including the copyright line, and include the following paragraph in its entirety:

Julia McCutchen is an author, conscious creativity coach, intuitive mentor, and the founder & creative director of the International Association of Conscious & Creative Writers (IACCW). A former publisher of books on spiritual and personal development, Julia teaches conscious creativity, conscious writing and a holistic approach to writing for publication that combines the inner journey of creative self-discovery with the practical steps required for writing and publishing books. She is the author of The Writer’s Journey: From Inspiration to Publication.For more information and a FREE Special Report on Discovering Your Authentic Voice – on the page and in the world,

Filed under: Articles — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Julia @ 2:40 pm


  1. Thank you, Julia. I can actually feel the depth and the power of your thoughts and being expressed in your words. They are very powerful and makes me shiver with the insights you have divulged.The feelings of power over ourselves and our thoughts is incredible to experience.
    Thank you, again, for all the inspiration you provide,

    Comment by Eleanor Beck — August 8, 2012

  2. Thank you Eleanor, I truly appreciate your comments. It is rewarding to know that some degree of what I am aiming to point people towards with words has seeped through to reach you and triggered a response at the level of your feelings as well as your thoughts. Thanx again for taking the time to let me know your reaction and wishing you an interesting adventure to stillness and beyond! 🙂

    Comment by julia — August 8, 2012

  3. Stillness is part of the ebb and flow of the creative process these days for me, Julia, but it was the most difficult thing to learn. I had a card on my study wall reminding me, ‘Impatience is a form of resistance.’ I think writing is like any other thing in nature, it has seasons. There’s a season for sowing seeds, a season of early drafting, a season of harvest… but then there has to be fallow time before the next seeds can be sown.

    Comment by Jenny Alexander — August 8, 2012

  4. What I love about this piece is that no matter how many times I read a piece of writing about stillness there is always something that touches me. Your words penetrated through me today. I am in Barbados at the moment finishing my third book. I have the mornings to myself surrounded by the beauty of nature and the sea. I am thankful for this moment. And reading your piece this morning has helped me to sink deeper into the stillness and also to write about the stillness. Thanks Julia.

    Comment by Jackee — August 8, 2012

  5. Hi Jenny – you’re not alone in finding stillness difficult! I think most of us brought up in the West are taught to value action over stillness … yet when action arises out of stillness, it has a totally different quality to it. Nature is a perfect example and one of my own greatest sources of inspiration. Thanx for sharing.

    Comment by julia — August 9, 2012

  6. Thank you Jackee. How wonderful that you are in Barbados and that the words from this article have reached through to open up a deeper space for you in such a glorious setting. Enjoy the depth …

    Comment by julia — August 9, 2012

  7. Julia, once again your words have touched the core of my heart. For the last two years I have been practicing the art of stillness, the art of being in touch with inner strength, mind and body through various avenues as you suggest. Once a day, for half an hour I sit in nature, alone. It is the most valuable lesson one can learn. xx

    Comment by Jenny — August 12, 2012

  8. Thank you Jenny, and vice versa. I love the fact that you already have a stillness practice that is exactly like I am suggesting people engage with. Valuable lessons at every level indeed! Thanx again for sharing x

    Comment by julia — August 13, 2012

  9. Julia,
    Thank you so much for your timely message. I do take quiet time each day and relish the opportunity to notice the leaves dancing in the breeze or humming bird pausing to preen. Though the book that I am writing has been “in the desert” for a while, I continue to trust that these still moments I continue to create will eventually generate new life. I love what Jenny A. said about the “fallow time.”

    Comment by Helen Gennari — August 17, 2012

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