Stillness, silence, contemplation…. So much of my life has been lived in survival mode… Anticipating the next crisis, bill, struggle, or conflict… A brain always on, always thinking twelve steps ahead… This is what trauma produces. It creates all or nothing scenarios that keep the body activated or shut down. For me it leads to activation. In an activated place I find it so hard to stay in the present moment. I find it hard to really connect with others and the world around me. I miss out on the beauty and the blessing of current reality. I am reminded today that God is in the present. He is right here, right now, attentive and safe. I am learning that slowing down, through practices of breathing, silence and reflection, my soul settles, I can see clearly and I can actually hear God. He speaks through sunsets, flowers, rainstorms and art. Those things require presence to feel the full effect. He speaks through the smiles, stories and tears of others… Those things require presence to receive the gift they offer. He speaks through holy scripture and the prayers prayed by the saints that have gone before us… In order to receive this gift I am learning that I need to still my soul, quiet the noise and just be. “Be still and know that I am God!” This is the way of our Father. He is not surprised, worried, or hasty… He is calm, kind and gentle… As I sit in silence this morning I can remember sitting on my grandfathers lap as a small child. I can remember his strong arms as they held me, his powerful voice as he sang to me songs from his past…. I can remember feeling safe, secure, soothed and seen… This memory comes as a reminder of what God is like! In a harried world filled with so much noise, the invitation is to be still… To BE!