Given the world we live in currently…a global pandemic that is slowly but unsure showing signs of clearing up, racism at an all time high, fractured relationships, broken families, domestic abuse and child trafficking on the rise…how do you find peace? How do you rest? How are you learning to be still?
What does it look like in your story?
As much as this is so needed in all our stories, it is a really funny one for me sometimes. If I was talking or writing about this several years ago, I wouldn’t know where to start. Here’s why…
I had so many people in my life telling me how to be still, what to do during that time and then where to be still. This was problematic for me because I didn’t agree with many of the ideas, they gave me. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to learn, I wanted to do different in my life, but I just felt unsettled about many of their ideas. The ideas themselves weren’t wrong or bad, just not a good fit for me. In fact, some would cause me more anxiety than peace. (more on that later)
In this post / podcast, I would like to share the how, what and where to be still in a way that might help you discover for yourself (according to your wiring) what that looks like so you can achieve the most peace and grounding.
By wiring I mean, your personality type, introvert/ambivert/extrovert; what number you are on the Enneagram; DISC personality test and so on. I happen to be an extreme extrovert (very energized by people…almost to a fault), and an 8 on the Enneagram (Leader/Challenger) and my DISC profile shows up as I/D (Influencer/Dominant).
I have learned that this requires a lot of self-control and creativity to be still in spaces where my wiring wants to take over.
Being still…who is ready to do that?
As a child, that phrase often showed up at parent/teacher conferences where the teacher told my mom that “Kinita has trouble being still in class”. Yes, that left a scar and probably a trigger to the phrase for years on wanting to do it my way.
Well, here’s to adulting!!
As I got older, being still became a pursuit of sorts. In my daily routine, in my spiritual life, in my relationships, in my heart, and in my soul. I hear so many people say “I just need to be still, but can’t seem to do that…” It made me wonder if they would benefit from understanding their wiring and hearing some new ways to do so.
I have also learned that being still is not instant but is cultivated over time.
Being still is learning to embrace a deep calm and stillness in your heart, you are able to experience it in other areas of your life.
Perhaps you have already discovered ways of being still that work in your story, but I would like to share how I have learned to embrace a deep calm from my narrative.
Let me answer the WHAT, the HOW and the WHERE of being still.
Because I like to approach things holistically, I need to consider being still physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. So, being still is a practice that calms our hearts to the core and even though it impacts a variety of areas, can be attained in different ways.
Physically, I sit quiet with my hands open and face up as a form of receiving and surrendering. I also physically rest by taking a nap and making sure I get the right amount of sleep every night. During this pandemic, I have had too much of this!!
Mentally, I take an inventory of my thoughts, dumping the negative thoughts and replacing them with positive thoughts. I journal, journal, journal…it is a way to “talk” and get it out of my head while helping me take every thought captive.
Emotionally, I am honest with my feelings. The good, bad and all the ones that make me feel stress internally. Ladies, considering our hormones and their impact on our emotional state is significant!! In my younger years, I would ignore the negative emotions in hopes they would go away. They did not. They grew!! I learned to welcome them, and then surrender them so I would not fuel them in other ways. I have come to believe that negative emotions are like the check engine light on the dashboard of a car, or a smoke detector, both doing just that, warning me that something is wrong.
Spiritually, I spend time in the Bible, reading and learning what God wants me to do with the chaos in my heart and mind. Depends on what is going on in my story, I have faith and trust that God already knows, and He will lead me to forgive, confess, surrender, or take a physical action to reconcile with someone or something in my life externally. I allow the Word to do its work in me. For Christians reading or listening to the podcast, in Psalm 46:10, where it says, “be still and know that I am God” it is important to recognize that the “be still” part is referring to “telling the Enemy (satan) to be still!!”. If that causes you to be still in any of the above areas, then that’s a bonus!!
Several years ago, I made an interesting discovery in my journey of learning to be still. I did not like quiet places. Let me explain…
I do not like to go to cottages or sit by streams or take walks through the woods. Those places are way too quiet for me. I find myself getting agitated inside with the slightest thought of those places. This does not mean I do not like to be quiet or times of quietness, I relish them.
I prefer to escape to busy cities where there are lots of people, and the lights and noise carry on in rhythm. I can hear so much better in those environments. Those who know me personally know that I love the “concrete jungle”. I see it as a “noise canceling” experience. I have had many healing and creative moments in a city environment. It quiets me and inspires me at the same time, I feel safe! A cabin in the woods or by a quiet stream does the opposite.
What can I say? I am an extrovert, and I need people and the ideal surroundings for those times in my life when I need greater peace and stillness. I have come to learn that my external surroundings used to negatively impact my internal space and they no longer have that control over me. The same can be true for you!!
As the saying goes… “It’s a jungle out there” friends! My question is, “what does your view look like and is it filling you with peace, calm, quiet and stillness or the opposite?”
What do you need to do in order to be still?
What are you willing to do to gain a deeper peace in your story?
Here’s to Growing Forward Together and learning to BE STILL!!