Recently, God told me to Be Still. Ya, ok God. Be Still. Sure thing. In fact I have been hearing this phrase for quite some time. I am not a Be Still kind of person. Like, at all. I want to do, do, DO! I love conquering a to-do list, I love having the pressure to perfrom. I love mutli-tasking and getting crap done. My sister has joked that I can accomplish that of 3 people in a single day. I can't help it, I just don't like sitting still or if I am sitting still I want to be doing something productive. Productivity is what drives me, and when I am not accomplishing something I honestly feel like a complete failure.
So to sum it up, I pretty much suck at being still. And my mind is even worse at being still. What kind of Be Still are you telling me to do, God? I need specific instructions here.
I heard silence for many months as I asked that question over and over.
As in the birds were chirping, and that is it. No answer, no direction.
Since I had heard Be still so clearly, I surely thought that he would inform me of exactly how to do that.
ANd me, well, being me had to try to conquer that whole Be Still thing.
So I jumped into problem solving. But it didn't come so easy, because Being Still can mean so many different things. That I learned really quickly. There is the physical aspect of it and the mental. And then there is the heart rendition of Being Still. THose are three very different areas to conquer. I figured I would start with the easiest...the physical aspect of Being Still. I learned to mediatate and breathe deepely in yoga. I would sit in a sauna and just breathe numerous times a week. I would lay in a dark room and relax my body as much as I could. I found all of these tactics to help dramatically with turning off and being still.
I also dove deep in the the mental of Being Still. I read books, and listened to podcasts. I did counseling and even tried to journaling out my thoughts and fears. It all helped, and I even felt lighter. I learned about how imortant our thoughts are, and how greatly they affect our physical and mental well-being. I meditated and focused on promises that God had spoke to me. I realized that my thoughts needed to be reigned in, and began to be intentional about what I thought about every day and every moment. My mind has such a hard time turning off. I can replay the same 100 thoughts, thousands of times through out a single day. In the past those thoughts have been fixated on the things that I can't control.. I am the queen at turning any situation into a life-shattering- tsunami of a problem, when in actuality and hindsight it's not.
Just breathe, Carla. Breathe.
I even went on a quest to find activites that I found re-energizing and spoke affirmations out loud to myself. I give myself permission to rest and restore is one that I say daily. Yes, I am that person that has to give herself permission to have fun. Insert eye roll here. My journey led me to many positive new habits that have released so much pressure off me. But I wasn't there yet. I knew it deep down. There was something in this that God wanted me to still learn.
Be Still Carla
Be still? I am still God. Look I'm meditating. MEDITATING God.
Be Still in me.
One morning, I woke before the sun crested the horizon and I stared out into the darkness of my living room. I replayed the last year in my mind, and how frustrated I was that I felt like I was missing it---I was missing something. I couldn't put my finger on it. And I cried out to God, saying "Look, I've done all these things. I am TRYING to obey you. I'm just not getting it. What am I missing?!?"
Silence and stillness.
It was in that stillness that my heart got it! I had that AHA moment that Oprah likes to talk about all the time. My heart needs rest in HIS STILLNESS. My heart needs a heart change. It always ALWAYS comes down to a heart condition. I place so much trust in my own capabilities, in my own accomplishments, and definitely in my striving. God, in His mercy, led me to a place where I realized that my heart needs Him and ONLY him. It is in His Stillness that I am whole, I am free and I am at rest.
And it's a daily practice, just like the yoga and meditating and all the other crap....It is in His stillness I have to place my heart daily in order to stay there. It is a choice, and intentional one. And there is NO OTHER place that breathes more life into me that at the altar of the Almighty, resting in His power and His strength.