BE STILL. Two words. Two words that, at their core, seem so simple to follow. Yet, in the busyness and chaos and struggles of life, they often prove difficult to remember, then practice.
What does it mean to “be still”?
New York Times bestselling author, journalist, mother and celebrity Maria Shriver addresses the topic in “A Time to Rest,” a chapter in her book, I’ve Been Thinking…Reflections, Prayers, and Meditations for a Meaningful Life. In the chapter focusing on the importance of rest and reflection, Shriver reminds us to “be still.”
Those two words are a reference to Psalm 46:10 which, several years ago, became a bit of a mantra for me thanks to my friend Steve. Steve is quiet, a man of sparse words. So when he speaks, people tend to listen, really listen. He holds a deep faith. And when he pointed me to a specific verse in a Psalm that would remind me often to “be still” and hear the voice of God, he knew exactly what I needed.
This past week, Shriver’s book has based my morning time of quiet, of prayer and devotional/inspirational reading. I recommend this reflective collection of short themed chapters ending in prayer to anyone, whether a person of faith or not. I fully agree with Shriver’s advice to take time each day for quiet reflection, for thought and for a centering that calms. Be still.
Her inspirational book covers so many topics—empathy, listening, gratitude and much more—that, if we choose to practice them, will make our lives better and this world a much better place, We are, after all, all connected, Shriver writes as she calls for kindness and love to prevail. None of this is new. Yet, to read her words, from her perspective and experiences, reminds me that none of us are truly alone, unless we choose to be alone. Each of us deserves to be valued and appreciated. Heard.
She encourages each of us to pause before we pass along something we’ve read or heard as truth. Like Shriver, I have worked in journalism and understand the necessity of verification, of truthfulness. She calls for a social kindness movement. I’ll take kindness period in a world where kindness feels more and more elusive.
In the end, Shriver holds hope. And I do, too. Hope has been my focus word for many years. Hope, centered in my faith, has carried me through some especially difficult times. We’ve all had them—the struggles that stretch and challenge us. I hope you’ve never felt alone in difficulties. I haven’t.
I need to read books like I’ve Been Thinking…, to remind me of hope. To uplift and encourage and inspire me. To remember always to rest and reflect. To be still.
TELL ME: How do you work at being still? And what does “be still” mean to you?
© Copyright 2022 Audrey Kletscher Helbling
“Being Still” can be so powerful. I find that when I spend some Quiet Time with God, I come away with such peace and calm within myself. To me, that is “being still”. I will look into this book! Thanks for the recommendation, Audrey. ❤
Penny, thank you for sharing what “being still” means to you. And, yes, I think you will really like this book.
this sounds like a wonderful book, she has such an insightful look at life and how we get through it. I’ve always admired her and loved that her words serve to make the world a kinder and gentler place. I work at being still and sometimes need reminders like this, though the older I get, and the more I’ve gone through, the more natural it feels. being still means reflecting, accepting, and being exactly where I am at any moment in time.
Beth, I relate to your “the older I get” because I feel the same about reflecting, accepting, etc. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts.
Sounds like an interesting book.
Be Still and know I’m God is a powerful scripture. It takes intentionality… I try to spend quiet time being still in His presence daily.
Be still and know I am enough… is an another twist to the scripture verse.
Valerie, thanks for sharing the ways you are still and also your take on Psalm 46:10. I like “know I am enough.”
Rest, reflect, pray, listen … “Be still and know that I am God…” one of my favorite scriptures. I’m being told to slow down and watch where I’m going. Also, to do less going … and do more staying. Just BEE!! I can do that… but it ain’t easy!
Laughing at the “ain’t easy” and appreciating your ways of being still. Good to hear from you, Jan.
One of my favorite books on hope is “Almost Everything, Notes on Hope” by Anne Lamott. To quote the cover flap “Lamott calls for each of us to rediscover the nuggets of hope and wisdom buried within us that can make life sweeter than we ever imagined. Candid and caring, insightful and sometimes hilarious.”
Thank you, Audrey. I look forward to your postings each day.
Marcia, thank you for your kind words about my blog. And thank you for your book recommendation. I appreciate that, especially since the book focuses on hope.
Loving your post 🙂 Being still has different meanings for me. From doing nothing to making time to do something fun and playful. I crave inspiration, humor, hope, taking it day by day (at times a few hours at a time), etc. Thanks for sharing and making me think. Happy Day – Enjoy!
You are welcome, Renee. And thank you for sharing your definition of “being still.” I like how you practice that.
Hope has long been my favorite word. Plaques, signs, artifacts of various kinds display “hope” at our home. It’s such a positive, forward thinking word. It speaks to me that this is not the end. There is more to come. Anxiously await. There’s hope!
Mary, I love that your home is filled with displays of hope.
When I hear “be still” I go right to that verse in the Bible “Be still, and know that I am God”, then I am reminded that God is in charge of my day so I slow down, listen and trust. I’m curious about the book, does Maria quote scripture in her book?
I can’t recall if Maria specifically quotes scripture. I know she didn’t with this “be still” reference. I recognized that this was rooted in Psalm 46:10.
I love the “social kindness movement” idea. Mick and I practice being still quite often, with morning Zen meditation. Sometimes we sit outside in our wild back yard, quiet, just listening and watching. This often inspires deeper conversations about whatever is going on around us.
Kathleen, I love that you and Mick do this, make time to be still in your backyard.