“Into the void of silence, into the empty space of nothing, the joy of life is unfurled.” -C. S. Lewis
I’m terrible as sitting still. (If you don’t believe me, just ask my husband). Whether I’m having a Lyme flare or have strep throat, my tendency is to “do” more than to “be.” However, in the past year, I’ve come to realize that if I want to be an emotionally healthy mom, I need to spend time in reflection, contemplation and yes– stillness.
This month at Room for Joy, we are focusing on YOU, mama– body, mind & soul. In the month of January, there is no shortage of exercise articles to read on the internet. Physical health is an important ingredient in our joy recipes as moms, but it’s not the only thing we need.
If we want to live joyful lives as moms, we must learn to examine our inner world from time to time through the practice of stillness.
If I’m being honest, sometimes this feels impossible as a mom, doesn’t it? It feels like there’s always something to do, a task to accomplish and a need to be met. Which raises the question: Is it even possible to have regular times of stillness as a mom?
I believe it is. While we cannot live monastic lives of meditation and silence as moms, we can learn to make room for peace & rhythms of stillness throughout our days.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Yeah, but you have only one kid and don’t work outside the home.” You are right. I do. But the truth is– the more you work and the more kids you have, the more this practice is needed.
In the next article we will discuss HOW to incorporate stillness in our daily lives, but before we do, let’s stop to consider WHY it’s so vital to our joy.
5 Compelling Reasons to Start Practicing Stillness Today:
1. Stillness disciplines you to face your real thoughts.
Since I struggle with depression, I don’t always like to be with my own thoughts. While sitting in negative thoughts is not a great idea, taking short times to consider your inner world can give you a sense of the true condition of our souls. Only then, can we feed them properly.
2. Stillness can lead to intentional living.
As Plato once said: “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Wise words. In the midst of our busy lives, it is easy to slowly drift from our ‘highest contribution.’ In stillness, we are given fresh eyes to see this and to press “refresh” on our goals.
3. Stillness provides a moment of rest– in every sense of the word.
When we still the body, it does not automatically still the soul. That part takes practice. However, it is the first step towards self-reflection and true rest for your weary self.
4. Stillness provides separation from your circumstances and often leads to prayer.
In my own life, stillness reminds me that I need strength outside of myself and leads me to ask God for help with my life.
5. Stillness is essential to thankfulness.
Without stopping periodically to examine our lives, it is easy to forget to be thankful– for all we have been given. In stillness, we can learn the practice of thankfulness, which is on the path to true joy.
If you’re wired like me, learning to be still will not come naturally. If that’s the case for you, think of stillness as a discipline– like learning a foreign language. In this case, I’m about as fluent in stillness as I am in Spanish (i.e. terrible). Stillness truly is a learned skill, but like all new skills, you will improve and– in time—reap rewards.
Not sure where to start? Stay tuned.
Also, CONGRATS to Danell, winner of the Starbucks giveaway!!! Enjoy! 🙂
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