Stillness. This is something that I have craved for as long as I can remember. I have never been one who likes a lot of hustle and bustle. To leave the house and run a bunch of errands, or even to go to a party seems a bit like a punishment to me rather than a reward. Some people thrive on busyness. The more they are doing, the more alive they feel. Paul, for example, loves a bit of chaos. First thing in the morning (unless I'm still sleeping), he loves to flip on the radio and have music blasting through the house. He loves the sound of a dozen kids playing, laughing and bouncing off the walls. If there are 20 activities going on in the house, he is happy and at peace. He feels alive and blessed.
I, on the other hand, wither and wilt in that environment. When I first wake up, if I hear that music flip on... or a loud tv, or kids being crazy... it's like a cheese grater running across my nerves. The hairs on the back of my neck stand up and it instantly sets me on edge. The first words that will pop into my head are "noise pollution" or "noise rape." It can set the tone for the whole rest of the day if it starts out that way. I struggle for the rest of the day to bring myself back into balance and have a peaceful attitude. My soul craves stillness and solitude.
Don't get me wrong, I love that my kids are around and all of that, but when I get down to what makes me feel centered and peaceful in my own skin, it involves a lot of quiet. Often, when things in life are a bit crazy and I'm feeling stressed, overwhelmed and out of balance, it is usually because I have not been kind to myself. What does being kind to myself mean? I suppose it's different for every person, but for me, being kind to myself means giving myself quiet time, reading my Bible, meditating, doing yoga, staying away from the phone or texting too much. Those are the keys to a happy life for me and I can always tell when I've violated my own rules because I will be cranky and on edge, easily agitated, stressed, have a headache, etc. It the Tylenol is disappearing way too fast, then I know it's time to get myself in line again.
I used to do yoga every single day and meditate twice a day. I LOVED how I felt during that time of my life! I easily lost 30 pounds and was joyful and peaceful. People who were in my life back then sometimes still tease me because I was actually described by someone as being "effervescent" at that time and sometimes I still get my chops busted about it. But there was truth to that. I was my most authentic self at that time and was the most still, centered and happy. And you can tell when a person is in that space.... you know, the God-space where they are as close to what He created them for as they can possibly be.... they kind of glow, don't they? They are effervescent.
I am not effervescent at this point in time. Trust me. But I want to be, and I know that I can be. And I decided today that effervescent is one of the goals I have set before me. I watched one of the new Oprah shows today where she went to Fairfield, Iowa (I think?) where everyone in the town practices mediation twice per day. While watching, I wondered why in the world I ever stopped meditating. Seriously, when there is something that is so good for you, that feels good after you do it and has proven physical results of decreasing stress, improving heart health, improving quality of sleep, improving peace and decreasing depression and anxiety, etc etc etc..... WHY would I stop? I think it's difficult when you live in a house full of noisy people to carve out a space twice a day where things are quiet, even for 20 minutes. But I know that I have to try. It's that important. As soon as the show ended, I turned everything off and did my first meditation in a long time.... and I feel wonderful now. I feel calmer, almost like a cat rolling around in catnip. This definitely needs to be a priority.
What do y'all think about it? Anyone want to join in and meditate every day and compare results?
lurve you, xoxo v.