There is a frantic pace that builds every year at this time. It starts just before Thanksgiving and revs up as the year winds down. It's such a counterintuitive sensation, at odds with nature's rhythms, when typically animals and plants settle in for a long winter's rest. They remind me of the need to slow down amidst this chaos, to find a place of stillness.
Maybe it's those moments before everyone is out and about when time can unfold unhurriedly. Or it's a walk in the woods amidst the morning frost and first glimpse of daylight. Even a solitary drive to do errands can become an opportunity for stillness with no radio to interrupt the quiet hum.
Whatever opportunity presents itself for becoming still, take it. This is not wasting time or being lazy. Consider it an act of resistance in a society that thrives on competition, doing, and outdoing each other. See it as a gift to yourself to connect with who you are, and what truly matters. The brilliant actor Morgan Freeman reflects on stillness as the link between himself and his creative muse. "Learning how to be still, to really be still and let life happen - that stillness becomes a radiance."
Stillness is a place of peace that emanates from within, often buried under layers of stress, worry, and responsibility. In Zen Buddhism, this stillness is a form of non-attachment, non-being, and non-doing -- essential to maintaining balance. Our minds protest: but how can we possibly accomplish our goals when we're sitting still doing nothing?! Lao Tzu answers, “Be still. Stillness reveals the secrets of eternity.”
Resist the temptation to rush around at a frantic pace contributing to the chaos in this world. Instead, trust that place of peace inside you that beckons stillness. Be still and know you are.