When is the last time you were still? Not just still in the sense of the absence of movement, but instead still in body, in mind, and in spirit. When I was growing up as an anxious child and then a sick one I often clung to a personal favorite verse from the Bible “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10). I have many memories of repeating that to myself over and over, trying to quiet my mind or calm my stomach. Be still, Be still, Be still.
In the years since then I seem to have lost the value and importance of my own stillness. I am content to race around. When I do finally lay my body still before bed my mind continues to race. I have been trying to find ways to slow my racing mind, CrossFit has helped, and Yoga has done even more. I missed a full week of Yoga last week, and hadn’t been since Monday of the week prior. So last night, two weeks since my last visit to Yoga I was thrilled to be back. I was excited to sweat, stretch, and reflect. I went with the expectation that I would leave feeling centered and balanced.
It felt wrong from the moment we started. I was cold and then too hot. My body felt tight, my muscles weak and shaky. My brain raced and I struggled to concentrate on anything, especially my breathing. My body felt off. Nothing felt right, even the poses I have grown to love and thrive on. My mind was making lists, focusing on the week ahead, reliving the days prior. I thought about my job, the contents of my refrigerator, what time it probably was, how much longer I would have to stretch and sweat before it would finally stop. At one point the instructor, assisting me in correcting a pose said “You are here, they didn’t have you checked in”. I laughed to myself thinking how right that was, I was here, but I was certainly not checked in. I felt guilty for missing CrossFit that morning, frustrated with the stuffy nose, scratchy throat, and cough I have now nursed since Christmas without improvement, in fact I was feeling worse this particular day than the few prior. Then my mind was back to my tight muscles, my shaking thighs, my inability to stretch and arch, my hamstrings tugging with every move. Thirty minutes into it I felt worse rather than better. I wanted to lay myself down. I wanted a pen and paper to make a real list of things I needed to do. I wanted a glass of wine.
Finally when I was nearly to my wits end we moved ourselves to our Shavasana. And the moment we got there the instructions came “Be still, stop making lists in your head. Clear your mind, be still”. “Get out of my head already!” I screamed silently, and then, “Be still. Be still. Be still” and finally, I was. The worry dripped away, my breathing was finally enough to fill my mind. And even just for a moment, I was still. And what a powerful thing that kind of stillness is. I need to practice it more. Chances are you probably could too.
In other news, the weekend was great. I worked both days but only for eight hours, I like to call those days half days. I did a lot of laughing with the girls I work with. And then Sunday I did one of my most favorite of things, hosted! I had a small last minute Super Bowl gathering. I can say the half time show was all I saw of the game. Does that count? We ate, drank, laughed. After the halftime show we played a brilliantly invented gave of Pinot Ball. A bizarre mixture of beer pong, Pinot Noir, football, and my brilliantly hand crafted goal post. If you’re looking for a good time at your next party I highly recommend it. I will even rent you my end zone! Here are a few photo highlights from the night!
So as you continue through this week, take a moment and “be still”. Run it through your mind a few times and try to let it settle in. If you are one who believes in God you can use that as a reminder, to be still and know that something greater is in charge, whoever that someone or something is for you. My brother sent me a fascinating email this week, and I will close with an excerpt from it, as he was discussing the core of us as humans as being relationships. I think his words resonate well with many of the things I have wrestled with in my previous posts.
“I suspect that were the Buddha and God’s Son Christ to walk and sit by the same well or tree or whatever, they might come to frustration together quite quickly and easily about the things we spend so much time worrying about and how little time we spend worrying about the thing at the center.” Matthew Allard