It is 6:00 am on a Monday morning. There is a pile of laundry sitting in my living room that needs to be folded. My husband is eating cereal with a plastic fork because we have not had time to clean the mountain of dirty dishes and there are not any clean spoons available. I will leave for work soon which will keep me on my toes the entire day with meetings, projects and training. As soon as I leave work I will start on my to-do list.
I still use a paper day planner and each week I fill the pages with to-do lists that are meticulously planned out. I know the day, time and order I will run my errands that week. I know, I scare myself! But I fear that if I don’t plan this way I won’t accomplish everything. My list is filled with grocery shopping, cleaning, exercise everyday, renew my drivers license, take my car to get fixed, make dinner, plan scouting meeting on and on and on.
And that is the list of things I HAVE to do, I have a whole separate list of things I WANT to do once my “need to do” list is complete! What?!
Does this schedule ring a bell for you? Of course it does! We are all busy. It is easy to be busy! Your to-do list may have different bullet points but I am sure it is just as long and planned out. Why do I feel that I need to be so busy all the time? In fact, I feel I am being lazy if I am not constantly in motion. I am a believer in using time wisely and taking advantage of each day and the time we’ve been given. But I think maybe we move too fast and don’t give ourselves enough time to really ponder, think and meditate.
Between my mile high to-do list and filling my seconds of spare time with Spotify, Instagram, pinterest and podcasts there are not many minutes in my day that are empty, still and quiet. This void of stillness is something I am trying to fix in my life.
I have a new goal, that for 15, 20 or 30 minutes at some point each day I am going to take time to be still and quiet. I want to focus on my breathing, focus on where my thoughts wander and what I think about when I have time to be still.
Jack Stack is a business man who said, “The highest level of thinking leads to the highest level of performance.” We need allow ourselves time and space to reach this high level of thinking.
I don’t believe that this performance is referring only to business, studies or work, although it does apply to these categories. But I am hoping that if I spend 15 to 30 minutes thinking about the importance of my relationships with my family and my spouse I will find more gratitude and love. Or that I can spend this time focused solely on my breathing and thinking of nothing but can find relaxation and peace.
I think God can bless us with peace and understanding when the world around us is quiet. It is not just about “unplugging” but making a real effort to focus on the quiet, on breathing and thinking about your thoughts.
Would you try this with me this week? Help me know what has worked for you! I want to know what your experience is, what do you do to find that stillness and quiet? What have you found helps you to find this peace and stillness?