Don’t be afraid of moving slowly … be afraid of standing still.
When a friend posted this quote on Facebook, it stirred something deep in me. I could have let the comment slide by, like so many others I refuse to engage with on social media, but instead, I’m going to let it inspire me to speak out.
For a long time, I’ve had a feeling of being a little (or a lot) out of step with the flurry of activity that seems to consume so many lives.
For most of my life, I was driven to do more, motivated by a vision to contribute to a world that I felt was missing something important that I was intended to give.
All those years, I believed I was not reaching my full potential if I wasn’t setting stretch goals, testing my limits, filling my days with constant motion and movement toward some future person I was becoming.
It took a lot of standing still to find what I was missing.
I still move. I’m still moved to create and to give where I can with what I have. Yet I’m motivated by a different force, an inner quiet, that moves me in a different way than it sometimes appears others are being moved.
To be honest, I don’t have that many external goals and desires anymore. I’m simply beholding the wonder of the world as it moves me into the next beautiful moment.
Sometimes I judge myself for this. Am I doing enough? Shouldn’t I have more passion & enthusiasm? Have I given up on humanity, or myself? Is my thyroid out of balance again? 😉
Sometimes I buy back into thinking I need something I don’t already have. But, rather than give in to the voices, my commitment to stillness and spaciousness has grown.
I’m not afraid of standing still.
With all the turmoil in the outside world, we need stillness more than ever.
If you’re moving into a simpler life, searching for more meaning as you follow the less-is-more approach to living, stillness is essential.
If you’re driven by goals, if you’re trying to catch the next wave of whatever it is you’re chasing, stillness is even more essential.
Do not be afraid to stand still.
Be afraid of moving so fast that you miss your life.
Be afraid of getting lost in the currents of somebody else’s life.
Be afraid of moving past the golden moments where your Real Life is happening.
Be afraid of missing the deeper connections that will happen when you stop long enough to let them find you.
Stop being afraid to stand still.
And when you stop being afraid…when you begin finding joy in the stillness…you may discover that everything is more simple and more clear than before.
When you bring adequate stillness into your life, your actions will spring from a consciousness that couldn’t find you when you were rushing around in fear of missing the diamond hidden in the forest.
The diamond is right here, in the middle of you. It was never lost.
Be Still. Let life find YOU.
Do not be afraid.
“Lost” ― David Whyte
The trees ahead and the bushes beside you are not lost.
Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you,
If you leave it you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still.
The forest knows where you are.
You must let it find you.”
Perfect! For me, prayer in stillness and quiet, deep within, is a crucial part of my experience. Daily.
Cynthia, I’m in this place in my life again now … so much inner essence of standing still, even when I’m moving in my gardens & flowing in other ways. I feel it’s something we cultivate and learn to carry with us, even in the busyness of life. Maybe it’s time to update this article with that twist!! Thanks for reading & making time to comment. S
Sora, This is so beautiful. It begs us to pause and reflect upon your words, looking deeper and know we have found wisdom in your words.
thank you Larry! It’s always a good reminder to me, too!
That was beautiful. And part of the reason I’m glad I am here on this site. 6 monts ago I had spinal surgery which left me in a wheel chair, and working my way back to getting on my feet again, in whatever for that may take. Slowing down and even for periods of time, standing still have been skills I have had to develop. Being OK with that is a reality I have had to come to terms with. It’s nice to know that it’s OK to go slow. It’s OK to stop and rest. It’s OK to realize that it’s a long road back and I’m not going to get there in one frantic dash…so thanks for that.
Jim, this comment was very special to me. Thank you for making time to read, as well as for sharing where you are on your journey, which is a powerful message & reminder to all of us. I’m sure it must be challenging to experience the physical limitation of your surgery, but how great that you can recognize the gift as you make a choice to connect with the positive. Blessings on your road back, and remember to keep the stillness as part of your recovery.