Stillness – Chapter One

This post inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #32: Stillness

 

Sit still, will ya?
Hold still!
Keep still!

The directives we receive along the way.
Quite often as children.
So the exasperated adults can do their thing.

Sit still…and eat.
Stand still…so I can help you get your coat on.
Lie still…and go to sleep.

In school even more so.
Sit still at your desk.
Stand still while you line up.
Keep still while I’m talking.

Vital lessons, obviously…

However…
Being physically still can border on impossible for some children.
My little brother constantly used the dinner table as a drum. While tipping his chair back…way back.
My young son was affectionately compared to a Great Dane by his first grade teacher as his natural inclinations leaned toward constant movement.
“Refrain from excessive talking” was a black mark on my report cards during grammar school…an ongoing challenge to keep my mouth closed.

I wonder…if children were shown ways to be still
As a source of pleasure. Reward rather than punishment.
On some basic level…
Tempting their budding imaginations. As ready sponges.
Before screens and apps and television crowd in…
Shifting mind and body into overdrive.

Take a slow breath.
Close your eyes.
Take your time.
Imagine….
Pretend you are…
Think about…

From earliest memory.
The welcome calm.
Taking time. Undefined.
Discovering that stillness feels good.
A refuge for the mind…
…more crucial as the years fly by.

Maybe sitting still…
and waiting for recess to discuss the important events of the day…
would get just a bit easier.

 

2003

9 thoughts on “Stillness – Chapter One

  1. I’d forgotten all those old admonishments from childhood. So true that we never teach children the benefits of stillness, although as a teacher, I used breathing as a way to calm the class down – not sure it always worked. Your post reminded me of how many times I was caught daydreaming – some now say this is an important aspect of processing awareness. No wonder finding a calm point is so hard, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you! Mindfulness is spreading elementary schools but not fast enough nor far enough. And still, teachers, unable to truly be still themselves are missing the boat (conceptually speaking). I truly appreciated this writing and would love permission to share it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I appreciate your feedback. And, yes, you have my permission to share. Just imagine if mindfulness was taught at an early age…it could have very far reaching positive consequences. Thank you for your comment! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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