By Bradley Robertson
Being still: this is a concept that I am personally not good at. One could argue that in my season of life, among kids and farm life and work and all the things, there isn’t much time to be still, but I have grown to believe this is false. There is time to be still. There is time for the here and now; we have just gotten into the backwards habit of not making room for it.
To begin, I want you to know that I am exceptional at not being still. I could actually write an even longer and more detailed version of this idea and call it “100 Ways to not be still.” I’m good at laundry. I’m good at turning on my music and tidying up my entire house. I’m good at running four miles. I’m good at running errands, and I’m good at cooking dinner while doing homework. I live for life in motion.
I am also a champion of excuses. I can come up with a multitude of things I must do in order to keep from being still. I need to feed the dogs at 6 a.m. I need to call the dentist. I need to make up my children’s beds. I need to balance my finances. I need to meet a friend for lunch. I need to look at social media. I need to send an email. I need to order a new winter coat. My list could go on and on … and it does, daily.
I am slowly beginning to learn this art myself. It takes time and practice. It takes perseverance and intention. It also takes grace. It also leads to the absolute best and most peaceful days of my life. And on these days, I am 100% sure my time and efforts of my 24 hours were used abundantly.
Stillness comes when we completely forget about all of the world moving around us and we rest in the here and now. Rest in our own thoughts. Rest in the love of a child. Rest in the embrace of our spouse. Rest in words on paper. Rest with ourselves. Rest in God.
I have learned too that there cannot be rest with distraction. Distraction is our enemy. It calls our name plain as day and steals our energy and thoughts. It boggles our brain, creates chaos and takes us places we may not even want to go. We cannot escape it, but we can learn to recognize it and steer it the proper course.
I see distraction as a person almost. It comes in sneaky and sometimes silent. It often waves at me like the finish line of a race or it comes quick and out of nowhere. It’s a manipulative thing and it can become bothersome, like a gnat. But when I see it for what it is, or who it is, I can learn to walk away or meet it head on. Either way, the distraction must be tended to.
There is a balancing act for me between stillness and distraction. In reality, I cannot be still most of the day. As a healthy, mobile human, I have things I must do. Distraction is going to happen; it just is, planned or not. So where does one begin to find the still?
You begin by finding it in just one place every day. Only one. And when this one tiny space begins to feed you, it will allow you to seek another and another and another.
Where can you find one simple time and place to be still in your day?
Maybe first thing in the morning before your “busy” begins. Maybe after you drop off kids at school. It could be your lunch hour at work or home. It could be at the end of your day on your back patio. Where could you find a small bit of space to be still and breathe?
This one space is the beginning of your newfound art. The art of listening in time and hearing your own voice. Art that can grow into large branches of life just like the mustard tree. One tiny move that brings abundance to life: the Art of Being Still.
This is the first part in a series of writings. Feel free to reach out to Bradley for comments or questions at Bradley.email@example.com
Bradley Robertson is a local mother, wife and creative. She’s an Auburn University graduate, loves good food and getting outside with her family. Bradley enjoys feature writing, as well as southern culture and lifestyle writing.