More trust in stillness, and restoring equilibrium.

December 4, 2018

 

Taking a break from work this month gave me permission to actually write and post without the self imposed pressures or expectations! I can actually write more for my own personal self reflection and enjoyment, and share it for any of you still actually read blogs;)

As I wrapped the 30 Day decluttering effort, I found myself sitting with the realization that for so long I have desired rest without knowing how to actually rest. In theory, it is easy to opt for a peaceful and slow advent leading up to our favorite holiday, but in practice it has felt impossible for me to put into practice in the past. Last year, I was determined to slow down so we worked really hard to wrap everything up early, but I pushed myself a little too hard. My body shut down not long after and the flu took me out for several days before the New Year. Once again, I stepped into January exhausted, burned out, and determined to start over with better habits this year.

 

 

Starting 2018 with the perspective that my productivity vs. rest habits sorely needed addressing, I knew I had to put new boundaries and practices into place. Old habits die hard, but I was determined to break out of the patterns of stress and burn out. The way we care for our bodies, minds, and souls are so closely knit. When one is under nourished, you can almost count on the others following suit. This mind shift ended up preparing me for the months following when we went through pregnancy and loss. I knew that slowing down was imperative to healing.

This year turned out to be one of the most personally challenging of my life, and yet as I stand here facing the last month of 2018, I have so much gratitude for the perspective shift it has allowed. December is usually a big month for bloggers and partnerships, but I knew this year I needed to put on the breaks, and in doing so I feel like I can finally see and understand what is happening right around me. When I observe my children, I notice how slow and un-rushed their little worlds are. It is simple, pure, and happy. I have such a strong desire to step into it and be a part of it this December with them.

 

 

I just started this book that a friend recommended. I am not far enough into it to give an honest review, but I can say the first few pages were an uncanny mirror of everything I have felt, but haven’t had the words to say.

“In a society that endorses activity, I think we would all do well to put more trust in stillness. No matter how busy we are, we can find meaning and renewal in those moments that are available to us. We can come together in an intimate way, even at the end of a long, draining day, if we are willing to be fully present with our children – to make the time to hear their confidences and to respond from the heart. We can teach them the value of a deep breath, of a spiritual pause, of rest, if we take the time to learn it ourselves. When I come to a stop myself, when I draw a circle of stillness around me, my children are drawn into that peaceful place. They visibly relax as if my calmness nourishes them. The impact of just a few minutes of quiet attention can be profound, changing the mood of the entire day, restoring equilibrium…” – Katrina Kenison

 

 

These photos from last night, doing a simple family tradition…decorating our tree with tacky and nostalgic ornaments, Bing Crosby on the record player, and hot cocoa. The tree during advent (which means “coming”) has always been a reminder of the preparation, waiting, and hope that comes with Christmas. And so as I take this time of rest with my family, I await Christmas like my children – with joy filled anticipation for the greatest morning of the year.

Leave a Comment

  • I’m doing the de-cluttering this month in preparation for the new year! Wish me luck!

  • That quote from the book you are reading brought tears to my eyes as I am sitting at my desk preparing to head home for the day. When I walk in the door after my 8+ hours in a sedentary job, I am typically bombarded by 3 girls who are excited to see me, yet all I crave is 5 minutes to myself, to reset. Today when I walk in the door, I will very intentionally sit down and connect with my girls (one of whom lost her first tooth last night and was so excited this morning when she saw that the tooth fairy came and she couldn’t wait to tell her teacher all about it). Tonight I’m going to use my commute home as my “quiet time” so I am prepared to welcome my children into my circle of calmness. Thank you so much for sharing this post because yes, I am one of those people who still devours blog posts 🙂 and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

    • Jeanne, having to put in full time working hours at different times this year, I know exactly how you feel. It is hard to give on an empty tank. I bet your girls value those moments you give them, even when you wish it could be more. Cheers to finding the in between moments that string together meaning in our kids lives!

  • I love this so much, Anna! I have been doing the same thing…slowing waaaaay down and just trying to enjoy. My favorite thing this time of year is to just sit on the couch by our tree with our children and watch Christmas spcials. Nothing fancy, but it is so peaceful.

  • Jessica Meli

    Hello, Anna! I’m a first-time commenter, long-time lurker 🙂 As an over-thinker to the extreme, I definitely find it particularly hard to be still and simply allow life to unfold before me. I wonder how much of this happens to do with temperament vs. the society in which we live (definitely some combination of both), and I’m wondering what you thoughts are on that matter. I’m an INFJ, and I’m curious as to what you and Gabe’s MBTI are (I’m pretty sure I’ve seem you mention it before, but I can’t remember!), as you two seem to balance each other out so well! Do you find that his temperament helps you to be more at ease/ live more in the moment?

    • Hi Jessica! I think you are absolutely right. Temperament plays a large role in this. I am a fellow INFJ and chronic over-doer and over thinker! This is why the healthy habit of rest comes harder for me. Being able to enjoy the moment comes a lot easier for some of my siblings with different personalities and even for Gabe who is am ENFP. I could discuss this topic for hours. ha! I find it fascinating!

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