still & quiet

At my old church I was a Sunday school teacher for 3- to 5-year-old kids. I learned many things in that capacity. Most notably: kids are hilarious! One morning we went around the circle saying our names. One boy, without cracking a smile at all, introduced himself as Spider-Man. Next we had Annie…Penelope…Ethan…

But I digress. In the class we did our best to help the children find a quiet place inside themselves. A place where they could quiet their bodies and minds and receive something from God – the day’s story, a blessing, an insight, a feeling of being loved. It was difficult for some to find that quiet place. We would start with sitting comfortably, not touching our neighbors (always key for this age group). We would focus on our breathing in and breathing out. We would listen for our heartbeat and close our eyes. “Still and quiet,” I would repeat softly.

These memories all came flooding back to me this morning as I gave a client a massage. She was demonstrating “still and quiet” very well. I happen to know she has 2 young children, so she may have been simply exhausted. But nevertheless she was really entering into a still and quiet place in her body and hopefully her mind.

When are we ever still and quiet?

I applaud those who have found a rhythm of stillness and quietness, whether or not it’s linked to any religious tradition. Massage offers us a unique opportunity to sink into a stillness that is absent in most other times and places during the day. And if your massage therapist can give you the gift of quietness, so much the better (I hope my clients always feel free to signal me that they would rather not converse).

My hope for you is time and space to be still and quiet on a regular basis. It’s a blessing in our modern world, an oasis amidst the hustle and bustle of our hectic lifestyle. When we quiet our bodies, quiet our minds, sometimes amazing things happen. Perhaps an insight, a release, a blessing comes unexpectedly. Unsought, yet welcome and received.

On a separate note, I’d like to thank all my new subscribers! Welcome! Prize info will be coming soon.


2 thoughts on “still & quiet

  1. Hi Susan,

    When I read this lovely piece, I immediately started breathing slowly and softly, but I kept reading (so, no I didn’t close my eyes). I felt just like the child (Spider-Girl) and was waiting for something magnificent to come to me.

    In all seriousness, you made me stop for a moment and realize that I haven’t taken a break all evening since I got home from work. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Karla says:

    I remember when I was a young child, and maybe a little rambunctious, my mom would encourage me to ‘be still’ rather than admonish me with something stronger. Even ‘sit still’ has a bit of an edge to it, doesn’t it? Especially when said in the usual tight voice of impatience : )

    Years later when reading Where the Wild Things Are to my girls, I discovered the locus of my mother’s wisdom: it was MAX! After the raucous party Max commands the Wild Things to ‘be still’ and stares into their yellow eyes…

    Pure genius.

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