Mornin' y'all!

It is chilly and raining here but I am still in the South and thus hail ye with that ubiquitous "y'all"... hope y'all are doing well? Er... I mean good ? lol

This morning began at a wonderful morning service at the Lady Julien Chapel at the Trinity retreat Center here on the island, not far from where I am sitting for this time. The small chapel surrounded by live oaks and mossy wet this morning was as cozy a haven from the storm (no snow here yet) as I can imagine... even better than the warm bed I'd left early in exchange for that piece of peace.

In a series of readings from Old Testament and New, the line that leaped (there is always something that leaps if I am attentive enough) was the famous "Be still and know that I am God."

Specifically, the "be still" part.

To date, that being still has not always been my strong point. But I am singing A Change is Gonna Come this morning...

When the proverbial sh*t hits the fan (as it does regularly in life, non?), in the past I have reacted in many ways... "still" not necessarily being one of them. Little did I know I was not going with my strength by allowing anger or fear to express.

Because my strength is not really mine... but more Mine... get it?

Rooted in stillness, and allowing that Thy will be done (Mine not mine), I can stand strong, flexible, bending but not breaking. And get on with the business of joyful Life.

In the past when I allowed chaos to overtake me, and emotions to run amok (running and ruining the show), I had a hard time finding that stillness and strength... but that very stillness is the only way out of the a-muck and mire of worry or anger or doubt or fear...

You get the point.

When we most need stillness and calm is quite often the very periods where it is hardest to get to... which is why stocking up on the stuff is maybe a good idea. Aligning with the Higher Will and allowing the current of Life to carry us where we are meant to go instead of swimming upstream toward what we think we want or need (but really don't) is a key to that calm.

One might imagine that being still must of necessity entail sitting tranquilly in meditation, not moving, somehow being sidelined from the Game (And ohboyohboyOHBOY is Life a Game!) One might easily fall into the trap of taking it too seriously... or of thinking that to rise above the madness it is necessary to leave the madness.

Although a retreat from time to time is a wonderful re-Source, we do not always have the luxury of taking time off in the middle of busy seasons to take ourselves out of the Game. So the trick is to find the deep well of stillness WITHIN us no matter what is going on OUTSIDE of us.

Tapping into that well can fill us up to the brim and help us to lighten up... or further, can allow that filling to overflow into the world through us, we can become a sort of "floating island" of peace and calm for others too. But only if we have it for ourselves first...we can't share what we don't possess.

How to find that peace in the middle of busy-ness?

Maybe before the day begins, find a space and time for silence, or (if silence isn't your thing) for your favorite music. Sing, move, dance, go for a walk in Nature... such movement can help cultivate stillness for some just as simply sitting still and breathing can, for others.

Thankfully, we do not need to add "seeking God in the stillness" to our long lists of things to do... God/The Divine/Source/Love finds us when we create calm time and space in our day.

And then, we carry that calming Presence (or rather that Presence carries us) all the day long... throughout whatever we need to get up to as we continue to still be who we are and do what we need to do.

Admittedly, in the past I have had something of an addictive personality: when I find something I like, I have tended to overdo it. And while it is true that I am becoming quite fond of beginning the day in morning service (to myself above all), I have a feeling that this particular habit will be one that serves and does not hinder the peace that is growing within me.

In fact, I am understanding now that ONLY when I am still, calm, quiet, can I get really clear. And it is only when I am really clear that I can have any FUN! :-)

So today, even as I paint the living room and organize the closets, and even as I go out to dinner tonight with friends, I will still be...

Being still from Emerald Isle...