Stillness takes work.
Do you find yourself often talking about how tired you feel? When someone asks how you are, do you frequently say, “I’m tired.”? If yes, then the remedy is stillness.
Stillness is really the only place to experience rest.
This means stillness of body and mind. It means sitting in the recliner while the kids are napping or at school and just allowing the silence take over.
Trust me. This is as scary to me as it is to any of you. I have more things on my daily to-do list than I will get through in four days, so the thought of sitting in silence without any level of tasking (much less my typical multi-tasking) is scary.
It makes me feel like I will be further behind.
It convinces me that I don’t have time for rest. That I must use every waking second to be doing something.
But what I have found in my 10 years of being a parent and 12 years in helping parents is that if we don’t take this time, we will continue to feel tired and ragged.
I often talk with parents about the difference between inner chaos and outer chaos. As parents, it is likely that we are surrounded by outer chaos – for at least a portion of our day. Someone is always crying or whining or arguing. Someone always wants something to eat or drink. When we turn on the television, the news is always talking about something chaotic or sad.
There will always be chaos around us. That is really not at the heart of why we feel tired.
At the heart of why we always feel tired is the inner chaos. It is that you always have more things to do than time to do it. It is the constant thought of not being enough. It is the thought of needing to do more with or for your kids.
It is the inner chaos that we most need the stillness for. Your mind needs to rest from the chaos and your body needs it as well.
So what will you do this week to take time to find stillness. Notice what I said…FIND stillness. Here’s the thing. For most of us, stillness doesn’t just happen. Our lives don’t magically slow down so we can rest. They just don’t. We must seek it out. We must cut out the evening sitcom to find stillness. We might need to wake up 10 minutes earlier to find stillness. We might need to cut out some of our kids’ extracurricular activities to find stillness.
Whatever you need to do, will you consider being purposeful this week? Put it on your calendar so it becomes a priority?
Start with just 10 minutes and work up to 30 minutes a day if you can!
Then, wait to see how your mind and body respond. Reflect on your level of fatigue and your response to “How are you?” My hope is that is goes from “I’m tired.” to “I feel good.”