HOLY HERETIC DEVOTIONAL- JULY 29, 2016-BE STILL
Compiled by Mercy Junction Justice and Peace Center Council Member Sadie Morgan
Just for a moment.
Listen to the world around you. Feel your breath coming in and going out.
Listen to your thoughts.
See the details of your surroundings.
Be at peace with being still.” – Leo Babauta
As a poor kid growing up in downtown Chattanooga, our house on Lindsey Street was crowded with my mother, grandmother, three brothers and me. I shared a double bed with my mom, and she did not take kindly to me having the wiggles and squirmies. Since I also hated to be fussed at or threatened to BE STILL, I developed “methods.” One I recall was to focus on holding the tip of my tongue to the roof of my mouth so intensely that I could ignore the little itches and things that made me move.
Stillness opened my ears to night noises, opened my eyes to night sights (did you know a building downtown used to have a neon light box on top that changed colors to forecast the weather?). It opened my mind to surging thoughts, questions and fears. Eventually I would sleep.
This is very much different than my understanding of stillness today. The fearful survival-based absence of motion is not the same as a sensation of peace or wellness I hope being still will impart at this stage of my life. I joked that our summer topics of “stillness” and “solitude” were something about which I knew nothing: I do know, but such concepts come with baggage for me. I have to sort out my motives, and also my goals.
Today’s Action: If you find “being still” incredibly difficult, examine your past for the messages of childhood that may still be influencing your behavior today.
Sharing: What were your reflections on how your past experiences shape your feelings about “being still” today?
** Don’t forget your gratitude journal at the back of your print edition of Holy Heretic!
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