Did you hear those words as a kid? Sit still. Be still. Settle down.
I hated it. Why sit? Why be still? There was too much to see, discover, taste.....
I'm still that way. I hate sitting still...I hate the quiet. I hate being cooped up. Even now that I am on ADD meds it is difficult for me to slow down. There is so much work to be done on my job. Deadlines, achievements, people to impress, flights to book, calls to makes. There is so much work to be done at home. Food to buy and cook, homework to help with, closets to organize, bills to pay, rooms to clean. There are so many relationships to keep up with. Who is sick, who needs a hug, who is getting married, who is having a baby, who is accomplishing something great. And then there are the fun things. Books to be read, things to paint, movies to watch, decorations to be put out, cookies to be baked, places to visit, things to experience.
Moving...moving...moving. Always moving. Always thinking. Always making lists. Always tired.
Then sometimes all the moving comes to a screeching halt.
Sometimes all the moving leads to a crash.
The tired leads to exhaustion. The thinking makes your head pound. The doing, always doing, causes your body to hurt.
Has that happened to you? It has been an all to common pattern for me. Push, push, push until I can't anymore.
This fall has been no different for me. I came off of a busy, emotional summer into a blindingly busy fiscal year end and audit season. I took a few days off to go to Ohio, but what did I do with that? Drove for hours....slept only a few...then drove more.
And I came back to my body shutting down. Several doctors visits, tests, antibiotics, etc. later and I was stopped in my tracks.
Thanksgiving break found me barely moving. And I had no choice but to sit still. I was miserable. Not only from the pain, but also from all the things I wanted to do and accomplish. The only option I had was to sit still.
And guess what!? I loved it. I sat on my couch for HOURS working on a project that required me to sit still. It was glorious. I read things. I pinned things. I was quiet.
Great, right!? Learned my lesson, right? Nope. After an amazingly restful Thanksgiving break, came the month of December. The least restful month of them all. I pushed and pushed and shopped and worked and planned. And I ended up at the doctor again with a white blood cell count of 500. (Normal is 0-10). Awesome. More tests. More pills. More stress.
Did I stop? Nope. Until the wonderful, glorious day when I was able to drive to Daytona to spend a couple days at a time share on the beach. That in itself stressed me out. I mean a few days before Christmas and I am not able to do any of the things I "need" to do???
I had no choice but to sit still. And that I did. I sat on the balcony watching the ocean for hours. Just watching the sky, the sea, the sand. And it was the most amazing time of my whole year.
I watched the sunrise for the first time in ages. I cried. I thought about a million things and I thought about nothing. And I rested.
I was able to come back and finish the things for Christmas that I WANTED to do and nothing more. I enjoyed the moments and the experiences. I laughed....really laughed for the first time in ages. I felt love and gave love because I had it. I wasn't running on empty any more.
So here I sit writing to you. I gave myself permission to shut down. Yesterday, after a doctor's appointment, I came home, put on my pjs, and slept for hours. And then I rested some more. Even now, I am still in my pjs and in bed. Sitting still.
Of course I am fighting the urge to get up and do a million things. Luckily, I guess, I am too tired to do anything. And so I sit still. I am practicing the art of being still.
It's not easy, but it's nice. It feels good to not be moving and not doing. I feel like I can think and process. I can feel things instead of glossing over them or push passed them.
What about you? Do you struggle with this too? In this fast paced, driven life, do you take time to sit still? Will you join me? Find a quiet spot....or even a noisy Starbucks. And just sit. Read if you want. Journal. Crochet. But just sit and let yourself be still. You'll be surprised at what a few minutes can do for you. Let the stillness fill up the places that you have emptied but moving.
A new year is quickly approaching and I want to take the stillness into it. I want to find times, make times, force myself to be still. I hope that you do the same. I know that we will feel better for it. Love better. Live better.
Let me know how it goes....I love to hear how my friends are doing and living :)
peace, love, and beautiful stillness,