Monthly Mantra: Be Still

Monthly Mantra: Be Still | Jennifer Diaz | Illustration by  Julie Song  via  Design Love Fest

Monthly Mantra: Be Still | Jennifer Diaz | Illustration by Julie Song via Design Love Fest

Happy May! How are we already almost halfway through 2016?! I swear time seems to be moving faster as each year comes and goes! I'm excited to share this month's mantra with you, as I've thoroughly enjoyed my new meditation practice over the past few months. It doesn't always look the same, and some days are definitely much easier than others, but practicing consistently has really had a positive impact on me and is now something I look forward to. Lately, I've been thinking a lot about the way in which I want to live life. I know, I know... light subject ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ . In the past few weeks I've had many conversations about REALLY being present (like put-your-phone-away present). Eliminating unnecessary distractions in our daily lives seems to be a common, if not urgent, topic these days. And rightfully so, in my opinion. Living in our extremely fast-paced, more-is-better society causes us to easily to forget about what really matters. When we're distracted and rushed we don't make the wisest decisions, we miss out on opportunities to be kind and generous, and we don't grow. We may even forget to actually participate in our own lives (yikes). 

If I'm candid with you, I'm currently in a pretty sweet spot in life. Sure, there are still dreams and hopes yet to be realized and some days are less sunny than others. But I have a healthy family I get to see often, I'm surrounded by some of the best human beings anyone could ask for, I'm doing something I love daily, and I'm increasingly comfortable with the person I'm becoming. I do realize not everyone has these luxuries and that I am quite #blessed, if you will. I also realize that my life will not always look like this. I've experienced seasons of difficulties and heartbreak, and I know I will again. But right now, I want to be present. I want to fully experience this wonderful season, so that when circumstances get tougher, I can still choose to feel, learn, heal, and grow through it healthily.

"If you surrender completely to the moments as they pass, you live more richly those moments." -Ann Morrow Lindbergh

Being still and reconnecting with our souls allows us to maintain proper focus. So why then is sitting still and being fully present so hard? Even at red lights, "some of us" reach for our phones to start scrolling because we don't know what to do with ourselves in the stillness (causing quite an uproar when the light turns green). Maybe it's because that's when we realize that we have little control over our circumstances. Perhaps for some of us, that's when we find it difficult to let go and trust God. Or maybe it brings to light some scary questions we don't have the answers to. To be honest, I'm really not sure, and it's probably different for everyone. Silence can be uncomfortable, but it can also be very powerful. It allows you space to discover more about yourself, urging you to dive deeper into what makes you come alive. I desire to be fully present in my life and I hope to be very intentional about how I'm spending my time. I want to make decisions that show I respect myself and that are true to my priorities. 

In order for us to remain focused on what really matters, we have to take the time to be still and listen. So this month, I encourage you to join me. Once a week, let's be still, put away our distractions, let go of our fears, and prepare to live in such a way we are proud of.

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" The Summer Day by Mary Oliver

Live well,
Jen