Why can’t you stay still!

Not sure I’ve ever heard a child say this, but this is a question I often ask mine and I think I could nonetheless learn something from it myself – and learning from our children is a large part of the theme of my blog so…… please indulge me.


Why can’t they stay still?

I don’t know where other Mums learnt to do fancy hair styles on their girls, but I obviously didn’t go there. And if she moves, that’s it…..forget the plaits, it’s bunches time.

Children do not stay still. That’s part of what makes them exciting to be around. It’s also why, despite my most sanctimonious thoughts prior to having kids, I cherished CBeebies when they were toddlers: it could stop them in their tracks long enough for me not be on red alert for 5 seconds!1

Busy people crave stillness, but we assume it’s totally unfeasible; we laugh when people suggest it and we see it as sheer indulgence. Yet, I think there are ways we can incorporate stillness into our daily lives however busy they are, and I think we’ll feel stronger for it.

I’m not about to give a potted history of Lent, which of course starts tomorrow (while we’re still scrubbing the pancake batter off our kitchen cupboards)! But to help us find stillness, let’s just think what the Christian period of Lent is supposed to point to.  Jesus spent 40 days and 40 nights in the wilderness fasting and bracing himself for the challenges ahead of him. I’m really not suggesting we can take that sort of time!

But to consciously – and not by accident – take ourselves away from the things and people and circumstances that distracts us, even if only for 5 minutes a day and actively be still and consider ourselves as individuals and not as a cog in a whole sequence of wheels, can uplift us and strengthen us.

2And I know that while considering my future and searching my soul would be useful, I don’t often feel emotionally up to it. But to light a candle and watch the flame flicker, see the mini tornado of black smoke spiral out of its tip and almost hear the wax drops hit the pristine smooth white candle – that I can do. As I do it I may not think of anything, but not thinking of anything is sometimes the point of stillness: our busy minds and hearts need a rest. Then perhaps we can look deeper into ourselves and it can be helpful, rather than feel like your heart’s in a brace.

So, whatever you’re faith or background – whether you’re an agnostic, atheist, humanist, pagan – allow a bit of stillness into your life. This can be a time of restoration. Why can’t you just stay still?

We may think we can’t aspire to having times of stillness, and that it is a sheer indulgence. I think it really is possible and necessary; necessary all the more for those of us who feel it’s an indulgence.

And partly with that in mind I’m going on a little blog-cation, as I believe the pros call it. Sometimes we can just try and fit too much in can’t we?  But I’ll be back.

In the meantime, please do let me know questions your children have asked you, because Big Questions from Little Minds can teach us “bigger”minds so much.



2 thoughts on “Why can’t you stay still!

  1. forestfleece

    This is wonderful – a breath of sanity and commonsense in a world that has lost its direction and is merely running…of people who almost daren’t stand still because it means forfeiting the illusion of purpose and therefore of meaning…means risking exposure to the thought that, far from running their lives, their lives ( or some vague idea of a life ) is actually running them; the panic-inducing notion that not only can the falcon “no longer hear the falconer”, but that there is no falconer left – or that there are millions of them and that the entire system of communication has been somehow scrambled…that order has disappeared and “chaos is come again”. We run, sometimes, simply to avoid the terror of such thoughts and dare not lose momentum. The thought of having to recognise lostness and to face the task of establishing properly-thought-out directions that bear some relation to ideals, beliefs or a ‘world view’, is intolerable to some people. They will simply go on running until either their strength gives out or they hit an immovable object. Your corrective – the candle flame, the cultivation of a time, however brief, of silent focus, is one excellent answer. I think it can be thoughtless ( as you allow ) without being mindless; but I’m not sure I can explain that properly. One thing I’m sure of: it would do us all good. And you’re right: it has to be a resolute act of self-discipline.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ordinarilyextraordinarymom

    Ahhhh…stillness. I need to incorporate more into my dAily life. A true step away from everything. I read a blog that discussed…can’t remember what it was called (very mainstream but my brain is dead at the moment) but something similar to yoga…like daily affirmations, mantras and stillness. I will be implementing this immediately!!

    Liked by 1 person


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