Be quiet. Be very quiet and you may hear everything you’ve been missing.
Sometimes I play the “quiet game,” with Jude and Charlie. We just stop talking to tune in to other noises around us. We’ve heard the sound the refrigerator makes, Grandpa snoring in the next room, the air conditioner going on. We’ve even heard the bubbling of Cream of Wheat, in the pot.
I admit it, I like quiet. Maybe it’s because there are so many noises all vying for my listening ears. All I know is I relax when it’s quiet, much like when I put things away that were out of place.
Noise is everywhere.
Noise screams, shouts, yells at us all day long. It rings, buzzes, hammers and knocks at our brains. Anything to get our attention.
I know everyone is different. Some people say they have to have the television or radio on for background noise.
I used to know students that preferred studying with music on. Not me, I like the quiet, I need quiet. I enjoy getting up early when the house hasn’t even opened its eyes.
Today I read a post by Michael Hyatt about being still and I was challenged to do an exercise. Sit still for 15 minutes that are timed. It was early morning and I specifically chose a quiet place in my living room. A room with a nice view of the neighborhood.
Benefits of being still.
When we are still we reap certain benefits:
- anxiety leaves when we relax.
- we become aware of new things.
- creativity gets awakened.
I realized when I sat still, I had also made the conscious decision to keep watch on my mind, refusing to let any anxious thoughts in. When any thoughts started knocking on the door of my mind, I quietly ushered them out. I gave my mind a rest.
Sitting there in the quiet, I began to notice the oversized tree across the street. At first, I observed all the shades of green. Then I began to see slight movement in the branches. Subtle at first, but then I saw certain leaves move almost in a pattern while the rest of the tree remained still, like me. I actually saw the effects of a breeze. It’s as if God said to the breeze, “go and tickle that third branch.”
Or maybe the branches were waving to each other. It’s possible, one day the trees are going to clap their hands.
After my 15 minutes of silence, my day started on a softer note. My sense of urgency was replaced with a sense of peace. Soon after, I also had a desire to write. To pick and choose thoughts translating them into words on a blank screen. I think my mind liked that little break.
Being still is not easy.
I believe sitting still is a discipline. It’s a behavior we can learn. It may take a few attempts to achieve the stillness, but it is attainable.
Maybe you think you can’t take the time, things won’t wait, but they can. Being still is a deliberate act that will reap rewards.
Jesus, often went off by himself, needing solitude. All of us need solitude; it rejuvenates us.
I remember when the neighbor needed his roof replaced. From early morning till quitting time noise constantly bombarded me. If it wasn’t the hammer hitting the roof, then the music blaring from the radio tried robbing me of my quiet. Tried and succeeded. I’m certain the worker was happy finishing his work each day, but I know I was the happiest as I heard him pull away in his truck.
Try sitting still.
Well, I’ve shared with you how I was challenged, told you some of the benefits, now it’s up to you.
What have you got to lose? Anyone can stop the world and get off for 15 minutes. And who knows, you may find that you like it. You may have to do it again and again. In any case, you will be giving your body a rest, as well as your mind and your spirit.
I dare you, try it.
About Anne Peterson
I write words you can feel, sometimes they rhyme. If I'm not writing, I'm telling stories from my head, to little ones who call me grandma.