Be Still & Know
Do you ever just sit for a few minutes outside in the quiet? I find myself today being drawn to my back porch; listening to the Purple Martins talking to each other. Sitting outside with the sun on my face, I can finally breathe. I mean really breathe…that slow, inhale-exhale without distractions or pressure or technology pushing me to the next task..just taking, finally, a deep breath. I often find myself working towards something and feel a little overwhelmed from information overload and then sense a longing to find time to just be quiet..to be still and process life. The problem I think with this gut response of mine is that it contradicts my need to either check things off my to do list or to feel the internal pressure of reading/listening/watching one more article/podcast/YouTube video on the topic of my search. And yet, by pushing on, I find myself unable to really process or retain any more information I have mentally hit my max and cannot shove anymore thought provoking data into my brain. If I’d just listen to my gut sooner rather than later, I’d be more effective. I’d make more progress and be able to quickly categorize which items to spend my time with and which to save for another day.
It’s funny, the gut…it’s so smart and yet, I struggle to listen to it more. It tells me, “No, do not eat another bite of that dessert, because in a few short minutes, your stomach will hurt,” and yet, more often than not, I ignore the reminder and complain about my stomach hurting as I’m shoveling in another bite of chocolate cake. The gut, it knows how you operate and what you need to do, if only we’d listen to it more. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been reading a lot about the importance of writing a personal mission statement. I understand why it’s important; I know it’s something that would benefit me to do, and yet...weeks later, I keep telling myself, “I need to stop and take some time to think through it and write it..to be still..to be quiet and listen to my gut, listen to my heart, listen…to God.”
I think, as with so many things in life, while writing my mission statement is good for me, like eating more vegetables and drinking more water, it isn’t easy. It isn’t chocolate cake. It would help me clarify which things I needed to spend my time and energy on and which things I could put on a list for another day. It would help me clarify how I should be spending my time and how I shouldn’t be. It would help me see in black and white exactly where I want to go without the daily guesswork and stress. Writing a personal mission statement would bring the much-needed clarity to my murky mid-life transition.