Today is the last Tuesday of May … time to check-in with my OLW. In our fully-vaccinated bubble, choices abound, as do opportunities for connection (as I wrote about last month). My Friday morning prayer group met in person (mostly – we did have one woman joining from Texas via Zoom … it worked great having her “there on the laptop”) last week. and last Saturday, our Atlanta family gathered at my brother’s house to celebrate May birthdays (my brother, my nephew, and my sister-in-law’s mom all celebrate this month). It was the most people I’ve seen indoors unmasked since last March. and it was delightful.
of course, any opportunity to see those little boys – look how TALL Sam is! – is always a fun time!
When I wrote about Connection last month, I had no idea things would move as quickly as they have to open up. Turns out my second intention – More Stillness – has provided some helpful balance.
My small group finished reading Brené Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection (Amazon link) this month. Most Fridays, we’d discuss one of Brené’s guideposts; it wasn’t a lot of pages, but oh my goodness the discussion was rich. Guidepost #8 – Cultivating Calm and Stillness – was especially meaningful. I love Brené’s definition of stillness:
“Stillness is not about focusing on nothingness; it’s about creating a clearing. It’s opening up an emotionally clutter-free space and allowing ourselves to feel and think and dream and question.” ~ Gifts of Imperfection, p. 138
She mentions that walking alone outside is one of her favorite ways to Be Still … she’s moving, but she’s finding that emotional opening (p. 140).
For me, a solo run to the lake – now a Sunday morning ritual (thank you Carolyn, for this framing!) – is that kind of time. I leave my earbuds at home. Once my feet and my breathing find their rhythm, my mind is open … for feelings, thoughts, dreams, questions, and occasionally, if I’m lucky, an answer or two.
It’s also my dark-early-morning-quiet time with my journal, a devotion, and 10 minutes of centering prayer.
Sometimes it’s reading, or knitting, or a conversation with a friend. Often it’s saying “no”.
and almost always, it’s a choice.
Huge thanks again to Carolyn for hosting … and to y’all for reading. xo.