Be still and know that I am God.
I love to move. Movement excites me and stirs up within me a passion for life. Be it through exercise, through adventures or simply through progressing towards any personal goals, movement sways my soul in a seductive melody to want to do even more. Even as a toddler I loved to move and was fiercely independent and insistently exploratory.
What doesn’t come as naturally for me is the ability to just be. Sitting still, being patient and absorbing the simplicity of the present moment are counter to my nature. Learning how to “just be” is something I strive to work towards every day, and have been for years, however there is nothing like being a brand new momma to accelerate my learning curve for being present in the present.
My now two-week old little Ellie is teaching me a thing or two about just being, and they are lessons that you don’t have to be a parent to understand or absorb. Below is a guest blog post from my intern Alicia Ceccarelli about one of the greatest lessons we can learn from infants, the power of knowing how to just be.
What is it about a newborn baby that strikes us at first sight? We are emotionally awakened with such immensity that we literally hold our breath for an instant. We clench our chests and gasp, and our feet rise a little off the floor as our mind attempts to ponder what exactly is beholding our eyes.
Of course, these “tiny humans” are cute, sweet and precious. Their features are soft and delicate. The gentle sounds they make, and slight movements, and that impossible-to-replicate “new baby smell,” all play a part in the intoxicating draw of this little person. But there is still something deeper that a newborn awakens within us that goes beyond the five senses.
Today is a miracle.
Each child brought into this world has a fighting story against incredible odds. However, it’s not the odds, the statistics, or even their personal story that makes a baby so miraculous – it is the deeper meaning that lies within this new life. It is their innocence, their dependence, their beauty and the limitless futures that lie ahead of them.
Each infant is adapting to the initial shock of its beginning, and its courageous journey beyond the life he or she knew in their mother. Their sparkling eyes are experiencing the sensation of sight. They process the stimulus and respond. Each moment of their life is a fundamental building block of how they will begin to shape themselves: their hearts, bodies and minds. Each sensation and response from this little person builds upon their character and thrusts their story forward. The simplicity of their nature makes it possible to be captivated by something as seemingly uneventful as watching them sleep.
Babies always live in the now. They feel each moment as it happens. They experience only the two most basic and primal of the senses: comfort and discomfort. When we think about it, those two are all we ever really experience. But as we grow, and our minds develop, we are able to use our language to describe and experience comfort and discomfort with more specificity. Babies on the other hand deal with comfort and discomfort by crying or self-soothing. Their world is simple. Eat. Sleep. Poop. Cry. Coo. Cuddle.
These bundles of joy serve to bring us back to simplicity. They show us peace and contentment in its purest form. They offer us a consolation that discomfort is fleeting and love is naturally abundant.
Looking into the eyes of a bright young soul is rejuvenating. We see their trust and a heart incapable of judgment. We see possibility and immeasurable potential. We cradle this gift in our arms and feel a warmth overcome our hearts for where we came from and for the continuation of life.
Though babies are totally dependent, they actually need very little to just be. As we watch them in their stillness, and are utterly mesmerized by all they encompass, we feel the meaning in our soul. They tell us it is okay to just be. A part of us realizes that we need them as much as they need us.
Ellie’s, and any other newborn’s tutorial to us is this:
- We all started out this life in pure simplicity with a natural capacity to know how to just be.
- Just being means that you will roll with the punches – between the cries and the coos life is good and there is Someone who cares for you and loves you
- You can trust those who hold you close to their hearts to actively participate in your well being and growth…knowing this will help you learn to take each day as it comes, allowing you to be in the present moment
- You have permission to embrace your life and destiny with the wonder and the unbridled resilience of a newborn child – and you can do this by knowing that life really isn’t that complicated…life is about love and growth, and more love.
- It is in our moments of stillness that we can best get to know God our Creator