Here in Middle Tennessee—and across much of the U.S.—we’re in the midst of a powerful winter storm. In fact, it’s so unusual and extreme that some parts of the country have received winter storm warnings for the first time. (Hello, parts of Texas!) Moments like this get our attention—we have no choice but to stop what we’re doing. However, some folks are struggling with power outages, no heat, and burst water pipes. It’s a matter of life or death in some cases. To those who are facing these dire circumstances, my heart goes out to you, and I wish you relief and safety as soon as possible.
For those who are fortunate to be inside, safe and warm, revel in this “timeout.” Surrender to a paused to-do list. While we’ve all probably had enough of being stuck inside over this past year, during this storm we are called by forces bigger than ourselves to take a break. To stop what we’re doing. To look around. To sit still. To enjoy a warm beverage and look out the window. Observe the snow. Watch the kids sled and build snowmen. We are reminded to be.
With the everyday anxiety so many of us feel as we scuttle from one task or responsibility to the next, it can be easy to forget to just take a minute, breathe, and simply be. We are often much more like human “doings” rather than human beings. In a culture that prides itself on productivity, the idea of stopping and resting can seem counterproductive or even sinful. But consider that it’s in the stillness, in the non-doing—the being—that we are replenished. We gain new perspectives and insights. We sit and simply breathe in and breathe out. Exhale the stress. Inhale the possibility.
No matter your circumstances, I encourage you to take a few minutes and allow yourself to simply be. Nothing to do. Nowhere to go. Just be right where you are. That may mean in the shower. Or in the five minutes before the kids wake up. Find what works for you. For your wellbeing, remember that you are a human being, not a human “doing.”