I remember two years ago I was running the Muddy Creek Greenway off Robinhood Road. The winter sun was setting, my breath was heavy, and my mind had been racing. It was one of those weeks. I don’t remember what was heavy on my heart that particular day but it was a new year and I desperately wanted to start this one off on a more grounded note. And as my feet pounded the pavement and the golden sun shined upon me something inside me said “be still”… “be still”.
For the past few years prior, we had moved multiple times, each time more enthusiastic and hopeful than the last. We had dreams we were chasing and life lessons we were learning. We’re idealists to a fault but sometimes things don’t go as planned. Now we were back where we began trying to start anew. We had a new baby and we were learning what it means to be parents. With that, something inside me kept saying “be still”.
So I listened.
For an entire year when my mind starting racing or I started questioning I returned back to that voice “be still”. By no means did this mean life was stagnant or complacent. In fact it felt more full and beautiful. I felt calm and took risks and if my mind doubted my intuition I simply said outloud “be still”. That simple phrase helped make 2015 one heck of a year.
As the calendar flipped to 2016 I waited for that voice again. Perhaps something new. A new word for a new year. Something brighter, bolder, bigger that I could hold onto. “Bloom”, “flourish”,”flow”, I liked the sound of those. Whadya say – maybe? But no, “rooted” was all I heard.
It wasn’t as flashy, but hey it still felt good. So over these first few months when my mind started racing or I started questioning I simply return to that word, “rooted” and more grounded I become.
So far this year everything was flowing quite nicely. We were making plans, I had started writing full-time, our son was thriving and in a blink of an eye we got the news. My step-dad was diagnosed with ALS and shortly after, my mom with stage three lymphoma. I was overwhelmed with grief and sadness. It was hard to comprehend. I felt helpless. What would we do?
But then out of nowhere those emotions were overtaken by gratitude. Gratitude for them and gratitude because I was here in Winston-Salem – right here where we started just when they needed me. And just like that I quietly said “thank you” to that voice – “be still” and “rooted”. Of course, it all makes perfect sense.