Finding Stillness In Stormy Places

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This post comes from our contributor Kristen Hedges.

On most days, I write my blog posts from the flat lands & musty city of Fort Hood, Texas. It’s a fine place to be for now, but it’s temporary, and as the year quickly carries on, I’m finding myself wringing my hands and tapping my feet, already impatient for December, the month that we’re finally moving our little family of four back to our hometown in California.

But today, I’m writing to you from the pine peppered hills of the West Coast. The new Spring sun is pink on my shoulders, my ears are full of laughing uncles, sisters, cousins, friends, and all the world is soft and warm and slow. I’ve missed it here. The hundred shades of green, the way the grass turns transparent in the sunlight, the way everything tastes sweeter.

finding stillness

When I’m back in Texas, I can easily allow myself to be consumed with quick, urgent thoughts — the kind that make my belly knot up & my mind fog over. When can we start packing? How many days are left before I move home? What’s happening in the hills that I’m missing out on?

It’s this kind of urgent, unhappy thinking that serves as a silent poison to your spirit. It snatches you away from the present moment. The beautiful here, and now. And this is where your life is truly happening – not somewhere in the future.

finding stillness

We unintentionally cultivate a sense of urgency about our lives. Things aren’t moving fast enough, we don’t have enough time to make our flight, there are too many days before I get to pack cardboard boxes and move back home. It’s a difficult habit to shake off, and you may find that after a while, it’s turned from a habit, into a lifestyle.

But in any situation where you begin to breathe quickly, more shallowly, and your heart slams against your ribs, you can pause, and remember that within you, there’s a constant & accessible stillness.

finding stillness

So, if you find that it works, kindly remind yourself: I am an Ocean. With a turbulent surface, yes. Sometimes stormy. Sometimes placid. And below, a rocky bottom, littered with bits of broken glass, arrowheads from battles past, rocks, dirt and mud. But between? An incredible depth. Always still, no matter how tumultuous the surface; how jagged the floor.

You can close your eyes. Take a breath. Imagine diving in, past the surface, into the quiet and calming depths below. Find that still place. That sweet spot. There, you will find happiness, no matter how many days you have left to cross from the calendar, no matter how late you are to your dinner date, or how much you still have to pay on your student loan.

finding stillness

Now, open your eyes, and begin again.

You can find Kristen here, and at facebook.com/withonlylove.

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Comments

jess -March 24, 2014, 9:05AM

totally needed to read this today :) thank you!

Megan -March 24, 2014, 9:43AM

Loved this!! I live in Kansas, yet I yearn to live in a place I’ve never been. California seems like such a beautiful place, so I can understand your urgency to go. I once lived in Louisiana with my now husband, I moved there on a whim, and even though things didn’t work out the way we expected and I missed my family way too much, I often yearn for the big city of Shreveport, LA.

sincereju -March 24, 2014, 12:33PM

always love your writing. I had to write down the statement about the Ocean, make it a new affirmation!

Michaela Jean -March 24, 2014, 12:36PM

This is a beautiful post, totally brightened my day.

xo

Michaela

http://michaelajeanblog.com

Susan Jizba -March 24, 2014, 12:59PM

so wonderfully written. when my mind gets too tangled up in my “have to do’s” and “should” I like to pause and remind myself that in the great scheme of things, the little stuff, doesn’t really matter. and I remind myself of the things that truly matter. the things that make me happy. such as being loving to and kind to myself, such as spending time listening and being with the people that I love, such as sitting in the park watching children play, slowing down, being fully in the present, embracing the beauty of the moment, that’s what truly matters. The other things are just stuff. http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheWeaverOfWords

Shivani -March 24, 2014, 2:16PM

Definitely needed this reminder today – thank you!

Tiffany -March 24, 2014, 2:17PM

Love your words and thoughts! Happy to hear you’ll be back in CA :)
Xx, Tiffany { http://www.sunshinedaydreamphotography.com }

Katie -March 24, 2014, 3:04PM

This is beautiful advice, and really applicable. Thanks for the reminder :)

xo Katie

http://www.etsy.com/shop/adifferentsun

Nila -March 24, 2014, 7:36PM

sooo beautiful! your posts are poetic in a very raw, real & relatable way! xoox

Shelley -March 24, 2014, 10:26PM

Beautiful. Thanks for that ocean imagery. I do find myself living life as if everything is urgent and I can’t be happy until. . . whatever happens. Life is happening right now! We need to be more mindful.
https://www.etsy.com/shop/EarthChildArt?ref=si_shop

Kelsey -March 25, 2014, 1:24AM

beautiful writing.

Arita -March 25, 2014, 4:26AM

This <3

Juliette Laura -March 25, 2014, 11:48AM

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