To Be or Not to Be? The Good Thing About Stillness

by Jennifer Haynie @JenniferHaynie1

A couple of weeks ago, we in North Carolina went through about a four-day rainy spell. Seriously, like I didn’t leave the house for two days, and it nearly drove me batty, especially since I’m working at home right now. That week, I literally stayed inside since it was so wet. No exercise outside or anything.

When I finished work that Wednesday, I came downstairs from my home office and fed the pups. After that, they jumped up beside me on the couch. Both of them simply lay down beside me. A miracle.

Why?

They’re Basenjis.

For those of you who don’t know Basenjis, they’re a very curious breed of dog. First off, they’re Congo dogs who are still used as small game hunters in the Congo. When they hunt, they work out in front of their masters, meaning that they have to be very independent-minded to do their work. In the States, that translates into dogs that are almost like cats trapped in a dog’s body.

If they decide to jump up next to you and snuggle, it’s purely their choice.

It was a sweet time. We stayed that way the entire time Steve prepared supper, probably about twenty minutes in total. It allowed me to do one thing I very rarely do.

Just be.

What does that mean?

I didn’t look at my phone. Didn’t read. Just sat there and stroked their fur with hardly anything running through my mind.

In today’s climate where a ton of noise assaults us each day through the news, work, and social media, it was a blessing.

It also got me to thinking.

Why don’t we just be more often?

We don’t know how to sit still. I’m certainly guilty of that. I’ve discovered that I have this need to be busy. Sometimes, just being can be freeing. While I sat there, it felt so good not to think of anything and instead just focus on the then and now of hanging out with pups who have chosen to be with me.

We think we’re wasting time. This partners up with busyness. If we’re not doing something, we think we’re wasting time by just sitting. I disagree. I think that sometimes, just being enables our imaginations to spark. Or, it can give us rest.

We’re afraid to be still. Maybe there are things we don’t want to think about, don’t want to contemplate. Being still may bring those out. When that happens, we can dismiss those thoughts and worry with them later.

Being still has so many good advantages.

It can enable us to relax. If we have pets like cats or dogs who are willing to share their space with us, it allows for bonding. I certainly felt that with my dogs.

And what about stress reduction? I think it can reduce stress, especially when incorporated with breathing techniques. But sometimes, just emptying the mind and calming it can reduce stress.

It allows for closer time with God. For those of you who don’t believe in God, this may come across as strange, but I firmly do believe that God asks us to come before Him and be still.

That previous time I spent with Bonnie and Clyde did a lot of good for me when I couldn’t leave the house without practically drowning. It lifted my spirits. It relaxed me. And did I feel closer to God? Yes. And to my pups.

Being still can actually be good for the soul. #authenticity #encouragement Click To Tweet

Question: What are some of the benefits you see from simply being still?

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