“The quieter you become, the more you can hear.” – Ram Dass
My first week of being still was a struggle. I had no idea how I planned to pull off a month of “Being Still”. Either I was going to go crazy or drive those around me crazy. I decided to explore other avenues of being still and here are a few I came up with going into the second week:
Taking a bath
Knitting or crocheting
The list is endless if I just began to look at stillness differently. The only requirement for Being Still is you have to do it alone, and you have to do it in silence. That means no tv, no music, and no noise other than nature or white noise. I bet you were thinking I do this all the time, but do you really? Do you stop your mind from wondering and just focus on the right now? Some of you are saying if you are reading or scrapbooking you are thinking. Yes and no. For some people it requires no thought to scrapbook. It’s like muscle memory and you just do it and enjoy it. You are able to be free and relieve your mind from the day to day.
My current job requires me to think all day and make what some call life decisions. No I’m not a doctor. I work in the corporate sector and it seems like everyone needs something right now or the world will come to an end. When you work in a highly stressful job such as this, doing a puzzle is heaven. To be able to not decide some major issue and simply ask if this piece fits is my joy. Over the the course of a day I make hundreds of decisions. When my brain can finally shut down I am at peace.
Being Still will be a challenge and everything will attempt to get in your way. There are days where you will not be able to accomplish this task. Don’t double up because yesterday is gone and you cannot fix it. Make a plan to focus on today and make Being Still a priority in your life. In my house I have a quiet room. Not a panic room, but a quiet room. It’s the only room in my house that does not have a tv. My husband loves electronics so there are tv’s in every room in my house except the bathrooms. In this room I have comfortable furniture, lots of blankets and throws, plants, a fireplace, books, and a lot of pictures of my family. There are two large windows that let me see the front of the house but most importantly they let in natural light. In the morning I sit in this room with a cup of coffee. Sometimes I read the Bible, sometimes I read my devotions, other times I just sit. I’m just still.
My favorite spot is at the end of the couch. It faces into a little space behind my front door and next to our coat closet. That space use to contain the families to do list so every time you walked out the door you knew what was happening in our family. Let’s just say I wasn’t the best in filling this out, but the concept was amazing. This was Pinterest at work again. I removed the calendar one day and put a large sign up that says Thankful. That’s all, just Thankful. It’s hard to sit and stare at a sign that says Thankful and not be Thankful. In those moments when I stop and look at the sign a wave of bliss comes over me and I’ve accomplished my only task for that day. I was still.
I’m challenging you to Be Still. I’m challenging you to find five minutes in your day where you are in silence. If you can’t find five minutes you are not even trying. I’m not asking for thirty because let’s be honest, you can’t find thirty minutes at first. This is something you have never done and our rule for this book is to go small. Small is five minutes, if your small is one minute then find one minute. You will need to work yourself up over time to accomplish whatever you would like to accomplish. I need at least fifteen to remain sane. I found this out by trial and error. Five minutes made me feel good and my mornings were great then the afternoon was a mess. Ten minutes got me through the afternoon but then I was jittery by night fall. Fifteen for me was the perfect amount.
Here is another great tip. I never said you have to do all your time at the same time. You can split it up. If you need several five minute breaks throughout the day take them. While I envy people who can meditate for an hour I know right now I am not that person. I can Be Still for fifteen minutes a day and thank God I can pull that off. This is my mantra before I am still:
“Hey brain. I need you to slow down for just five minutes. Thank you for all the great thoughts you have provided me with today, and thank you for all the great thoughts to come. I need just a few minutes to pause so we can have a super fantastic day.”
I know my brain needs to be thanked for all its hard work. I’m essentially talking to myself remember. If I want to go go go its because my brain is telling me to go go go. I just have to assure my brain that we will be going again, but I need five minutes. It’s similar to you telling your children to give you five minutes and then you will do what they are asking.
I want to tell you I am still not perfect with this. I am no where near perfect which is hard for me to admit. I struggle daily with making this work and being ok with it. With all the positive that has come from it I should have this down. I don’t. What I do is continue daily to try and get better, I continue to work on it. I continue to get better and perhaps one day I will be in some zen space zoning out for an hour. Until then I will take my fifteen minutes and graciously accept the bliss that comes with it. Find your bliss this week. Let me know how it goes. Remember start small. Every silent minute means you’ve made progress. Every silent minute is a win.