Stillness – what does it mean to be still?

In Long Beach, CA, a group came together in a small coffee shop named Commodity
Coffee. Three artists, Jen Sosa, Joey Espina, and Jeff Mercado, put a pop-up gallery on stillness with motivational speaker Johan Khalilian. The theme of Stillness prevalent throughout their photographs.

Each artist depicting what stillness means to them – each unique in their own way but all connected by the unifying theme of being still. The photographs were displayed all over the coffee shop with friends, fans, and strangers ooing and awwing over the art. After a bit of showcasing the art, Khalilian gave a speech on the overall message of just being still.

“How many of us have developed the practice of being still? Even though life can force you to sit still,  stay down, or not move…you can be sick and still be..ugh i need to get up and binge on Netflix,” said Khalilian to a packed house.

It gets you thinking of how you and almost everyone else is on the go. You’re running from work, to the gym, and everything in between. It instantly became self-reflective as he hit you with a simple yet deep question. He moves on to share a personal anecdote on how he’s unable to just be still which applies to most of us especially in this day and age.

“How many of us have developed a way of life where we show up but we’re not really there?”, said Khalilian as more of the listeners started to ponder.

It was that figurative slap in the face that made you think are we actually even present when we say we’re present – how many of us are guilty of physically being in a place but mentally we’re making lists of where we to go next, who we need to talk to, and etc.

If you thought the thought-provoking questions were going to end, you are completely wrong. The essence of the message which might’ve triggered a few tears, Khalilian shared what being still led to.

“There was one day I turned everything off, no distractions, and I started to be so still. I could feel so many emotions swirling inside of me. I started to feel this pain…that was deep inside my soul. like some of the things i know I’ve done wrong in life then it started to connect to the world where there’s so many people hurting, so many people longing for love…and I just started to bawl,” said Khalilian to intrigued listeners.

The more the speech went on, the more it made you believe that being still led to a breakthrough. Is it the case that we run away from our own thoughts, feelings, and etc because we’re too busy or are we making excuses to not face the realities of our lives? I was thinking well…what am I not facing? why do I  always choose to be on the go? Am I always on the go because I can’t really sit here and deal with all the truth?

Khalilian described being still as a practice that most of us haven’t mastered yet. I am guilty of being on the go – are you guilty of just going, going, gone? Once someone fully hits the notion of being still, you’re quickly immersed in the moment and most importantly, your feelings.  In order for us to move forward, we have to go acknowledge the truth..even if it’s one of those things that you’re scared of.  On the other side of that fear is…peace.

So I leave you with the same question that Johan left the crowd with…

“Where is your peace?”


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