Below is a portion taken from a chapter in my new book, More Than Enough: Discover Your Limitless Potential and Live Your Bravest Dream.
In today’s fast-paced society the majority of us are on information overload: exhausted, worn out, and depleted. We are tired. Our bodies are screaming for healthy, nutritious food and eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. Our minds are ready to explode from all the information and advertising we take in every day.
We seem to be running around non-stop, sometimes not even sure where we are going! We fill our days with endless electronic communication (internet, TV, video games, cell phones, movies) and constant driving to/from activities, including meals on the run. Many of my days included picnics in the school parking lot while my boys ate a quick meal before their sport or band practice. We go go go. We do do do. We put out fires all day long. The urgent tasks seem to scream at us, while the important tasks silently stand nearby waiting patiently.
In our daily lives many of us even resort to praying on the run, hoping even a smidgen of what we request gets through the busy lines. We ask question after question. We ask for help and wonder why we don’t get answers. There is so much noise in our lives we couldn’t hear the answers anyway. Physically, spiritually, many of us are depleted.
That was me. As my body was running on empty, I was forced to Be Still.
I encourage you to try it before you are forced! Be Still. Just sit there. Stare out the window at nature as long as you possibly can! Notice how you feel. What does it feel like? How long can you sit still with nothing to do? Time moves slowly at first. Then, you embrace it. You crave the BEING. You look for ways to stop DOING all the time so there is more time to JUST BE.
With my graphic design background, I naturally look for white space. This white space is the place on the page where your eyes can rest. You can breathe there. I invite you to look for white space in your own life. Where can you breathe? If you can’t find any room, you need to look even closer and see what needs to go. Natural white space in your day will allow you to just BE.
For me, it looks like quiet mornings with a cup of coffee, enjoying nature. It’s my time to regroup and just BE. No hurry. I had to give up my morning rush, though. Rush, rush, rush. Go go go. It was exhausting and I was exhausted.
Last winter the polar vortex swirled around Central Indiana where I live. As the days grew shorter, so did my patience. I would hear God says to me, “Be Still and Know.” I thought, “I am being still, but I don’t KNOW what you are doing!” Soon I realized that I didn’t need to know what He was doing. I had to make the concerted effort to Be Still. And, honestly, if you can’t Be Still with yourself and slow down, you can pretty much guarantee that eventually God will put something in your path to make you still!
I was completely exhausted but continued to press my body and schedule beyond healthy parameters. God was trying to get my attention. Again, I say, if you don’t force yourself to slow down, God will! I quit one of my part-time jobs and began hiring help for my marketing company. I cut back on all volunteerism except that which allowed me to be with my two high school-aged boys. The rest of it was out. My friends were curious and rather stunned at what I was doing. Frankly, so was I! But I knew my life depended on it. My marriage needed work, but first I knew I needed to work on me. After that I could assess better if the marriage could continue.
Well-meaning friends would ask me, “What are you doing?” I honestly didn’t have an answer. I wasn’t doing anything. I was being. By the way, we are not human-doings. We are human-beings. It was the start of something beautiful for me to realize that. I didn’t have to DO-DO-DO all the time. I could just BE. It was beautiful and freeing!
The pressures of the outside world melted away as I embraced this new way of life. I followed my guidance every moment and got STILL. Being Still for me meant to slow down my life, cut out activities, and at times, sit on the couch and stare out the window like the children in The Cat and The Hat Comes Back!
This simple, deliberate act of Being Still became a daily ritual that I relish even today. I can’t explain it, but in the stillness, I began to:
- Be present.
- Enjoy each moment at a deeper level.
- Feel feelings and release pent up frustrations.
- Reconnect to the God spark inside of myself.
- Have visions of angels.
- Trust and honor myself.
- Know that I was ENOUGH just as I am.
- Feel centered and energized to fulfill my soul’s purpose.
- Hear God clearer.
Without being still we stumble through the noise. Without being still we take guesses at where we should be next. Without being still we don’t honor ourselves or our true calling.