December 5, 2012
Be Still… by Joanne Ladley
Be still and know that I am God has always been one of my favorite Bible verses. And in this ridiculously hectic season of shopping, decorating, family gatherings, music concerts and busy times at my retail place of business, it has become my mantra.
Normally I thrive on chaos. I love being busy. The challenge of efficiency, the tetrix-like puzzle of schedules, fitting everything in with the right people at the right time and the seemingly endless hours of “getting ready”. It’s all so exciting. However, you also may remember an earlier blog post of mine where I waxed eloquent about the tangible silence of a Montana sky. So I only thrive on chaos when it’s balanced with serenity.
I’ve developed a short list of suggestions for keeping that balance and am happy to share it during these holiday hours.
Breathe – It sounds so elementary but stopping to take deep, even breaths in and out is extremely calming. Start inhaling all the way down at your toes and slowly follow the breath up into your belly, your chest, your throat and your head. Then just as slowly exhale and follow it back through that same path all the way down to your toes. Just three or four breaths will work wonders to calmly center your mind and your body and voila! You’re back in balance – at least for a little while.
Meditate – Whether you start or end your day with it, or somewhere in the middle take time to quietly drop out of the chaos, it is an extremely calming exercise that will have lasting effects. It’s difficult to empty your mind and just be, but with practice the stillness comes quickly.
Be Grateful – An attitude of gratitude keeps up your spirits and your energy. Keep a gratitude journal or just promise to write down each day at least two things you’re grateful for that day.
Take a minute before automatically saying yes. – When you do, make sure you genuinely enjoy what you just agreed to do. I had a terrible time saying no. So I learned to say, “Thank you so much for thinking of me. I need to think about the opportunity for a little bit. I promise to call you back tomorrow and let you know if I can help out.” I was amazed how often after the initial compliment of being asked got a little time around it, I could clearly think about whether or not I really wanted to participate. And the next day it was much easier to say no if that was appropriate.
In this month, remember the reason for the season. – Staying true to the story of the humble manger, the birth of a Child, the wonder of His life brings me back to earth every time.
Enjoy this season of Christmas. When all the extras take too much time and too much space, don’t forget why we’re celebrating. And remember: Be still and know that I am God.