Be still and (not) know
I’ve stumbled into meditation.
Actually, I was prompted to do meditation about 2 years ago, and found EVERY excuse not to take it on as a consistent practice.
But then the other day, I felt a physical discomfort and spiritual discontent that was unfamiliar to me. I went on a nature walk. I listened to inspirational music. I called a friend. Nothing soothed me.
Then I picked up an inspirational book.
I couldn’t even stomach opening it. Really. I couldn’t stand to hear one more inspirational platitude.
I went outside on my balcony and stared off into the sky. There in that moment of non-doing, I felt it.
A sense of peace.
My phone rang. I ignored it. This was it.
The tendency to fill my day with productive activity was a side effect of being a multi-preneur. If you run a business, and you’re not hustling, you’re not bringing in the clients. But I have enough clients, and now use a system that has eliminated the need to hustle.
Why did I still need to fill my day with activity?
But I didn’t know how not to be busy.
That seems counter-intuitive, unless you’re used to “making every day count”. Or you want to “live without regret”.
I was regretting some of my days. I was coming home after a whirlwind of activity and events and meetings, and barely remembering any of it. It struck me that this was my life flying by.
How much of your life have you spent doing something unpleasant that had some future benefit? Where was your mind while you worked in sadness and boredom?
People wonder why the years sneak up on them. The years don’t sneak up on you. You ignore the days that are unpleasant, and those days turn into years.
More than that, we settle for unpleasant days because at least we know what to expect.
Why do you have to know what’s next?
Not being busy means your life is open to new possibilities.
One of my mentors, Rev. Sheila McKeithen, loves the scripture from Psalm 46: “Be still, and know that I am God.”
I remembered it while on my balcony. I went back to it, and the rest of passage reads:
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea… God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved… Come, behold the works of the Lord. (Psalm 46:1,2,5,8)
At no point in all that turmoil and activity were the people of God moved– even through the unsteady time. In fact, all they were called to do was “behold the works of the Lord.”
All that I’m being called to do is watch patiently for God at work in my life. I have no idea how that will show up. Meditation is helping me do that. If it’s God, it’s the fullness of joy, it’s peace, it’s love and it’s overflowing. It’s a bit weird when I’m used to making things happen, but it feels so good to not know what’s next.