Sunday, July 1, 2012

Being Still

The other night I asked Ward to come outside and talk to me while I pulled a few weeds. He was very tired and wasn't much interested, but he came anyway. As I pulled weeds, we chatted a bit until I reached a stopping place. Then I decided to to sit with him on the patio and enjoy the evening as the sun went down. I
sat a minute until the neighbor's air conditioner came on and thought we should move to another part of the yard to escape the noise. I sat there, once again, trying to enjoy the sound of the birds, feel the breeze, and just be still. However, the silence was soon broken when Ward asked what the plant was with the heart shaped leaves. It was a weed and I jumped up and removed it. I almost felt relieved as I had been staring at it since we sat down. I continued pulling weeds until it was dark. That was when I realized that I don't know how to be still. To just be.
There should have been a clue that I don't do still very well a few years ago when I was given an assignment to practice with a relaxation tape where you visualize calming images while relaxing your body. I was supposed to report on this exercise a week later. Somehow I never got around to doing it until an hour before I was supposed to go. Being one who didn't want to admit that I didn't do my homework, I put the tape in and listened to it on fast forward. Let's just say that I wasn't relaxed when I was finished.

My new goal is to be able to sit for five minutes and just appreciate what is going on around me—not engage in anything else like electronics, chores, reading, etc. That might not seem very long, but it will be five times better than I'm able to do now.

I give you the challenge to see how long you can spend not engaged in anything—no books, no electronics, no work—just being still. I think you will find it is harder than you think.