I grew up in a musical family. That sounds weird… Kind of like we all just broke into random song and dance in the middle of our Saturday mall outing. Rehearsed and pitch perfect. A lovely thought, but no. I mean my mom and dad both come from families where music is pretty much woven into every day life. My gran (on mom’s side) studied music, my gramps was a tenor. They started an a capella choir in the 70’s that traveled South Africa, Europe and Israel. My mom pursued a career in music before she went into psychology. My dad sings. My aunts and uncles sing. My cousins sing. My sister and I sing. We’re basically the Trolls. Without the sparkles, felt and rainbow hair.
You know those crazy, loud, emotional families depicted in films. Yeah, that’s us. I’ve grown to be a master in the art of following several conversations at once. I love my family. We’re brilliant at a lot of things. Being quiet just isn’t one of those things.
I think we can all relate, in some way. Being still is not something that comes naturally to human beings. If you ask me, it’s part of the human condition. Even when our lips aren’t moving, our thoughts most certainly are. Being a woman also doesn't help. Checklists. Overthinking every minute detail of conversations. Analysing body language. Pondering the complexity and simplicity of life. Connecting the dots. If my body was only half as active as my mind, my epic jean battle every morning would turn into a very civilized nod and hand shake.
(By the way, thank you Winter for making it nearly impossible to lose weight. My fat cells salute you.)
The older I get, the more I find myself turning the volume down. Suddenly I can relate to those people who are familiar with “the middle of nowhere”. You know, those little primitive mountain settlements and ghost towns people break away to, where you can hear your own cells divide at night. We are constantly enveloped in an ever growing wave of noise. There’s always so much to do, so much to see, so much to hear, so much to say. We’ve completely forgotten how to quiet down. To be fully present. To be still.
If you’ve ever faced burnout, you know how it feels to feel completely alone in a room full of people. To feel irreversibly disconnected. Sinking deeper into a numbness that’s comforting in a way... At least you don't have to feel anymore. Right? It’s just too much, and too little at the same time. Limbo.
I’ve been in a season of burnout many times throughout my life. Most of the time it was the result of allowing an overwhelming amount of noise into my heart. I forgot one of the most fundamental rules of the music that has been my companion throughout my life, and that is: For every beat, there’s a rest. Balance. The rests within a musical score create anticipation. Breaths, if you will. The stillness in a melody gives more meaning to the notes that are played. Those are the scores that move us.
Sometimes life’s most significant penny drops happen when we quiet down. When we take a minute.
Climb onto Father’s lap.
Reflect. Breathe. Rest.
Be still, dearest. Your penny awaits.