When was the last time you were truly still and quiet, mind and body, when you weren’t sleeping? “Be still and quiet for 10 minutes.” This is probably my most over utilized phrase as a mom trying to get her child to sleep. The idea was that slowing the body and mind down for just 10 minutes would be enough to allow him to drift off to sleep. Just 10 minutes…
When did being still and quiet become a bad thing? Please don’t misunderstand. I am not talking about couch potato still and unhealthy as an overarching lifestyle. I am talking still, peaceful, and quiet, the kind of quiet that where your soul and mind have the opportunity to jump off the rat race and ponder, drift, create, imagine. The kind of quiet where ideas float in and out, swirl around on puffs of air, whirling like dervishes in a dust storm and then naturally dissipate. When was the last time you gave yourself that time?
I too often find myself proud of the fact that I can have five major items going on at the same time, requiring totally different skill sets, and still get it all accomplished in the time frame given with a smile on my face while listening to the radio, talking to my son, and internally going over the next day’s agenda. I have to read my email, check my text messages, Facebook, Twitter, news, Yahoo, blogs, work email, phone messages, answer, respond, be witty, do it quickly #oryourahater. Good God! No wonder I feel like I can’t finish a thought anymore!
And all of this is about more, more, more. Always do more. When did “I did nothing this weekend” really start to translate into: clean the house, do 6 loads of laundry, cook 2 meals a day, go to the kids ball practice for one sport, his game for another sport, do lawn work, grocery shop, win at a mean game of HORSE, and write a blog post? That sounds like a whole lot of “something” to me!
I had the opportunity of being still and quiet given to me, nay, gifted to me by Mother Nature and a virus we all so affectionately call FLU. My son got it and was down for the count for two days. The only thing I could do was clean up puke, try to say soothing things, and pet his head. He wouldn’t let me leave the house until he was much better, even for a trip to QuikTrip for Gatorade and ginger ale. I was rooted. For two days, I was rooted in my pj’s focusing on him getting better, watching TV, joking, and being still and quiet. Then he got better, and I got ready to head back to work after my nice respite.
Of course you all know what comes next…I got it. I mean, seriously, cleaning up vomit is a one way ticket to Sickville for any parent! So on Day 3, I did nothing. When my son got home from school he asked me what I did for the day; I told him I got out of bed, sat in the chair, and laid on the couch. And that, my friends, is nothing.
After the fever broke I still felt like crap on a cracker. I was still rooted by my body, but my mind was able to process, ponder, and have those moments where I was truly still and quiet.
They were beautiful moments.
As we move into spring and the busyness it brings, I hope you are able to take some time for yourself to be still and quiet. Step out of your type A personality for a moment. It’s a gift really; a gift we give ourselves.