Still Water Is Where Its At
“Back to the interstate, Ben Stone, back to the interstate”. That was a line in the movie Doc Hollywood. It was the last movie Michael J. Fox shot before he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and his neurological problems bloomed full force. The line was spoken by the mayor of a small southern town called Grady, and it was (at the time) an acknowledgement that the town couldn’t entice the big city Dr. Stone to practice medicine there. The streets were just too slow. Ben Stone thought he needed the fast life, the interstate. Now, there is nothing wrong with the interstate, and by and large, it’s a good thing. But there is something to be said for the slower more deliberate route. By now, if you have been following my blog and other writings, you know I that I am not going to profess to give you answers, that’s for experts. I can only share some simple ideas and observations…for your consideration, or not.
It just seems to me there is a lot of noise out there. A lot of it is good and useful. I probably get 40 emails by 9 in the morning giving me advice on everything from dog training to child rearing to making a million dollars by noon. Some of it is good, but there is an awful lot of noise. Sometimes, there is so much noise, I can’t hear myself think. Its hard to focus like that. Sometimes, I can’t even tell if I AM actually thinking. Now, that’s noise. But that kind of noise can be easily eliminated or at least reduced so you can hear yourself. But that’s not the only kind of noise that needs to be silenced sometimes.
Running water in a brook or stream is beautiful to see. I have heard that, but I don’t think I have ever actually seen a brook. I have read about them, but never actually recognized one. Running water can be even more magnificent in a waterfall. The confluence of sound and motion produces a power that is breathtaking and a release of energy we can never fully harness. If you were to throw a pebble, or a rock, or a stone even, it will make no noticeable impact. There are too many other things happening. The stream is whishing and whirling and roaring and moving someplace downstream, and fast. You can’t see the ripple. But, it is there. The ripple is unnoticed and absorbed immediately. But, it is there.
And then there is still water. It looks like glass. It is motionless and awaits even the tiniest agitation of another object. When the introduction of anything other than the water itself occurs, be it a leaf, a stone or even the wind, it notices. It reacts. It sends forth ripples upon ripples upon ripples.
When the mind is unclogged, unburdened and, well, still, that’s how ideas work too.
The mind is like a river. It is always at motion, always at work, and always awake. The mind is always conjuring, pondering and considering. And this…is the other noise that needs to silenced sometimes. This is the internal noise, the dialogue that goes on all the time. Every now and again the mind needs to be silent and still. The decks need to be cleared, just for moment. And when the decks are cleared and the mind is still, new and wonderful ideas can get the attention they deserve. When the mind is still, even a tiny idea has a ripple effect that is noticed. It counts. It counts because no other ideas are crowding it out, because nothing else is going on. Even if it is just for a moment.
One day when you are feeling just a bit anxious or overwhelmed, sit quietly alone and release all of your thoughts. Be selfish for a minute and forget about your wife, your husband, your child, job, your bills, and everything else. Then, listen to yourself think. Hear yourself breathe. Listen for that voice that is inside of you, that has always been there, and really listen.
The voice isn’t forceful, its just constant. It has been telling you the right thing ever since you came here. The beauty is in its patience. It will always be there, waiting for you to listen. And when you hear it, you will recognize it as your own. You just couldn’t hear it before because the water was running. Shut off the flow for a minute. Believe me, the world will keep spinning in that moment you get off of it.
Prepare room to talk to yourself and to hear. Make your mind still, like water, just for a minute. Still water is where its at.
COMING SOON: What is that voice?