THE QUIET STILLNESS

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Submitted Date 06/07/2019
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I think we can all agree that at some point in our daily lives we find ourselves in the midst of some kind of NOISE. It comes from so many different places. Perhaps we find it in the jobs we do; machines whirring away, people interacting with each other, phones constantly ringing. Or in traffic on the highway; huge trucks with all their grinding gears, angry road rage people blowing their horns and yelling obscenities out of their windows along with hand gestures, as an added bonus. Or with electronics of any kind; either at home or in public, overhearing cell phone conversations we would so rather not, TV's in our homes, sometimes several going on at the same time all with different programming on, the awful music wafting over to us from our insensitive next door neighbor who thinks that turning up the volume on his device to deafening levels will make all of us love it even more..... For an inexplicable reason, some people are under the impression that they must have noise in whatever form it takes, to feel the most alive. I'm so guilty of this too...I used to feel that way myself. However, with age, I have discovered the wonderful, blissful state of quiet stillness. I feel so much closer to God in that space. I found out just how much I began to appreciate it during sessions of quiet prayer, yoga, and meditation. But it has evolved now into moments where even when I am not engaged in those activities, I make more of a concerted effort to find it. I will admit there are times when this is so much easier said than done, especially when all the noise is so inescapably around me in specific moments. I will give you an example. Let's say I'm at the grocery store. Before I even make it to the checkout line, I'm beginning to notice that the music playing in the store has been getting on my last nerve. I finally make my way to the checkout line. Five people are ahead of me. The first person is having a heated exchange with the cashier about the expired coupon he's insisting he can still use, the next is a mother who is continuing to completely ignore her two little darlings who are screaming at ear-piercing decibels because they see the "grab and go" snack items and keep insisting they waaaaant some, another is a young lady talking non-stop on her cell phone to her Aunt Alice who has obviously said something to piss her off. Then there is me....trying to patiently wait for my turn in line. These are the moments that I literally close my eyes, take in several deep breaths, find a reason to be grateful and thank God for whatever that reason is first. (Because I'm working hard on living my life now with grace and gratitude every day). Then I move on with thoughts of my happy place, which for me has always been the beach and the ocean. In those thoughts, I picture it.... the sound of the waves crashing, the smell of the sea air, watching the seagulls gliding over the water and the feeling of the sun on my face. Peace suddenly covers me like a warm blanket on a chilly day. This is also my personal wake up call in moments such as these to be in awe of God and in all of HIS creation. Where there was chaotic noise one minute ago, I have now found quiet stillness. Doing this immediately creates a mood shift that would of otherwise not been there. The trick is to find that thing you love which can bring this quiet stillness into your conscious mind in order to put the noise of the moment completely on mute, even if it's only for a minute. It's so funny, I think men have actually mastered the fine art of doing this far better than women have. I have heard so many wives say to me that when they thought their husbands were listening to them, they, in fact, were NOT.

They were somewhere else. I could really relate to that, LOL!! So, my advice is to find that thing you love....for me as I said, it's the beach and the ocean. For someone else it could be hiking in the mountains, basking in nature. Wherever you go and find quiet stillness and serenity, that is where you need to allow your mind to go in these moments. But it takes practice. In no way is this something you can master in a day. It is still a work in progress for me but I find the more practicing I do with it, the easier it gets. Let me know what you do to bring the quiet stillness into your life, I would love to hear from you!

 

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