“Shhhhhh,” my mother would admonish us, as we sat on those hard wooden pews on Sunday morning. Dressed in starched colorful dresses, tights, and shiny patent leather shoes, mom would shush my sister and I to quiet our giggles and laughter, at the lady in the big hat, or the man with the “high water” pants.
Listening,” she would always say on our drive home, is your best weapon. Weapon against what? At eight years old, I had no idea. All I wanted to do was get home and out of those clothes. My mother, you see, was a product of the sixties generation. The generation of love, peace and incense. She’d take us to church, and then come home fix dinner for her family, and end the day sitting in her favorite chair. I can still see that beautiful Wingback Chair in our living room. And her, with her head resting against the back for what she called listening or quiet time.
This practice of quieting her mind, she would eventually instill in each one of her children. She didn’t have a name for this emptying of herself, but she knew that during times of turmoil it was her best weapon.
Today in speaking with a long time friend from childhood, she inquired about my mother. She said, “I was thinking about you, and your mom. You both live alone and I was worried about how you were doing” As we talked about my mom and prayer, I explained how I was getting through and how I knew my mother was getting through these days of uncertainty.
Life as we know it has changed. Many of us have had to slow down, pause and reset our lifestyles. Yet, for all the times we’ve said, “I need a break,” we are fighting against this pause. The world and society tells us if we are not busy, we are not successful. If we are not multi-tasking, we are failures.
While I could be out running errands, on social media, or chatting it up with friends on the phone, I’ve chosen to go back to my roots. I’ve chosen to once again learn this art of contemplative prayer and meditation.
I’ve chosen to “be still” like my mother taught me. Starting my day with contemplative prayer and meditation has helped me turn the chaos, fear, and panic of the outside world, into peace and calm in my inside world. I’ve chosen to take this time to be still, and to be quiet. I’ve chosen to use my best weapon…to listen.
In chaos, inner stillness is the key to your outer strength. In panic and chaos there can be calm and quiet. The quiet strength of a peaceful leader can help those who follow, weather any storm.
Beginning each morning in contemplative prayer and meditation, I choose to listen and journal in gratitude to greet the days challenges and stress with a quiet confidence.
I have come to understand that chaos, fear, panic is a condition of the mind, not necessarily the world around us. And as my mother would say, “shhhh, be still, be quiet. Listen…it’s your greatest weapon.”
And That’s A Brilliant Glimpse of Insight!