Wednesday, April 13, 2011

be still

i made a resolution in january. but not your typical resolution. it wasn't about exercising more or losing those last 5 lbs. it was more a theme to live by during 2011. a mantra, of sorts. 

i did this last year - with simplify - and it was actually a great experience. i wrote my "theme" in various places that i might happen upon during the course of a day as a subtle reminder of a goal i felt was worth reaching for. i needed simplicity in 2010 after such a lovely end to 2009 and, with that reminder, was quite successful. 

this year, i changed my theme. i again wrestled with a handful of words, wondering which might serve me best during 2011. and i chose be still.

turns out, i really needed this one. and it's only april. 

i've found myself in a whirlwind of emotions and circumstances in a short three and a half months. some of those emotions and circumstances have been public domain while other remain much more private - perhaps to be discussed or remembered when they're not to raw. "be still" as my mantra has proved to be a lifesaver.

we live in a world where our switches are always flipped to the 'on' position. we go go go. we do do do. we rarely take time to just be. to enjoy what is here and what is now. to take time to look for the bigger picture and see how it's all fitting together. if we find ourselves waiting - in line, in the car - we're flipping the stations or checking our phones. if we're not doing something, we're not being productive. and if we're not being productive, we're being lazy. 

yet we've learned that being still and taking time to meditate, think and be can do wonders for stress management and emotional well being.

i'll admit, this is a big problem of mine. i like to go. i like to do. i enjoy sitting, but i'm rarely just sitting. i'm usually doing something whether it's important or not. 

this year, i want to take time to think. 

to stop {and smell the roses with leah}. 

to not worry about things that are not in my control. 

to learn. to grow. 

to read. to reflect. 

to take deep breaths. 
to count to ten.

to take time for me so i have energy for others. and yet to take time for others so as to not only focus on me. 

to force myself to be still. 

to do less of the unimportant.

to remember i'm not alone. that there is a plan. and i am part of it. 

like i said, it's going well thus far. i don't have my visual reminder in plain site, so i'll work on that. {this is fun. or this, although a little more noticeable.} there is  also some religious meaning implied in my choice of these two words and i want to study that out and find some even deeper meaning for me. but most of all, i just want to be still. 

what about you? do you have a mantra? a theme? a resolution for the year that you're still hanging onto?


Jessica M said...

Be still is the theme of my life. I'm not terribly good at it but it's always the light guiding me back to where I need to be. Great theme.

I really appreciate that you share your feelings as you work with your sweet daughter. I so much appreciate your perspective and honesty. I think we all struggle with feelings of self doubt as we try to parent but we're trying and that's the important part. I know you've got a great support group, have you found any good books to give you ideas? The parenting books I've pulled out when feeling overwhelmed and underqualified have been a great help. And never feel guilty about taking some quiet time, batteries don't run forever without being recharged.

Porters said...
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Porters said...

That is interesting...I actually have been living these past few weeks with a goal to simplify. Everything. And it is so interesting how good I feel to just make efforts to cut out 'extra'. After some chaos of last year I felt I needed to really toss the pages of resolutions (really each year I make long lists...beautiful pages of goals with quotes and such and on and on...) this year I put a big fat "ENJOY" on my goal list with 4 simple teeny tiny goals revolvoving around faith and family. And I do. :) Not easy some days...but I am enjoying much more than I was before.

Rob and Marseille said...

that is a great mantra for the year. I think I need this but would need to start small. once a week i'd work on 'smelling the roses w/the kids.' in the past when i've tried this rob comes home hungry wondering where dinner is not interested in hearing about 'smelling the roses.' Maybe we'll do freezer meals on those days. and cleaning the next.

Colleen said...

I love those words! In fact, I have that verse on my bathroom wall, it is what I look at when I am stuck on the toilet, which is more often than I would like. Anyway, I have been working on not using the word 'should' and allowing myself to be, the two things have really been a great blessing to me, it is a work in progress though!

chellae said...

My mantra for the year is "Hurry, Never." It's from a poem called "My Symphony"It's about an attitude of peace. It doesn't mean that I'm on time for thing. Quite the opposite. But rather I'm trying to just calm down and make time for things and not rush so much. When I have quiet long runs I think about it. I especially think about it when I'm going crazy trying to get my kids out the door to school/church/anywhere. Mantras work. They really, really do.

Rebecca Parker said...

oh how i needed this tonight mare...can't say i'm very good @ it, but definitely would be beneficial in my life as well!! love you & your sweet lil' fam-so excited you will be visiting family mecca again this summer:)

Jenny said...

I, too, chose something along these same lines as my resolution. It was "Slow Down." I found myself getting out of control with how busy I was and how much stress I was causing myself and my family. Unfortunately, I have felt like I haven't been able achieve this, and it's been so frustrating for me. I'm in a constant state of "rush" and don't know how to eliminate some of those things that are causing the added stress. I've wondered if I felt it was necessary to slow down, precisely because all of these things would come at me this year -- and perhaps had I been going at my normal rate, my hands would have been so full that when this all came to me, it would have struck me DEAD! Not sure. Just a theory. Either way, I dont think we are "still" enough. I'm glad it's working for you, and I'm grateful for blogs -- so when you move I'll still have access to your genius:)