As I forced myself to do meditation this morning, I realized how hard it is for me to be still. Being still is different than sitting at my computer writing or reading through research. My mind is still going, and I’m usually jumping from one project to another.
The leader of the guided meditation on my app suggested that I gaze at something still in the room; not my dogs walking around, not my leg bouncing up and down, or the kids heading to the bus on the street outside. I locked on a book called The Grammar Devotional, well because it wasn’t moving! As I stared at the cover, I let any thoughts float through my mind and fly out my ears. My body settled, even though my legs felt like running off.
I wondered why I had a hard time being still, even though I wasn’t supposed to be wondering anything! When we are still, sometimes we feel that we are idle, wasting our time, and not doing all the hundred other activities that are on the to do list. When we are still, our body has a chance to catch up with our mind and realize that it needs some reenergizing. When we are still, feelings, emotions, and doubts seep in like smoke under a closed door. Yes our mind realizes that smoke means fire, and there is danger beyond that door, so we had better run!
When we are still, we realize we can still be who we are when we are running around saving the world and accomplishing small and huge tasks. Being still, caring for ourselves, taking the time to drop into our space, allows us to connect with who we and keeps everything else in perspective. Perhaps by being still, we understand that we don’t want to run around aimlessly or even if we are saving the world, sometimes we have to save ourselves.
The next time you find that you can’t slow down or feel guilty for slowing down, find something beautiful to focus on, settle in, and be still. And if you can’t, journal about why you feel the need to keep going. Then try to be still for five minutes a day and write about how that feels in your body, your mind, your heart.