The Ponder Effect | Am I…calm?
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Am I…calm?

I know, I know. This question is not fair.

Hear me out: I was reading Madeline L’Engle to my kids recently and in the story Meg has to “kythe” – which is to communicate without any standard tools of communication, like words, expression, or movement. To kythe is to infuse understanding into someone else, and it’s really really hard to do. As Meg struggles to do it, her angel/mentor/partner asks her a simple question: Are you calm?

We cannot kythe or parent or work or love or pray or sleep or listen or ponder if we are not calm. Often, I am not calm. I am irritated. I am overwhelmed. I am hurried. I am worried. I am any number of things that are the exact opposite of calm. We all are.

To break that pattern, we can bring this question to ourselves over and over again in the practice of mindfulness. When we feel anxiety this week, when we start to get swept up in the endless to-do lists of the holiday season, let’s gently breathe into this question, letting it be a mantra to help us build self-awareness, that necessary precursor to intention.

It is okay if our ponder board is empty this week. We need not write; we need only to check in with ourselves, and with one another lovingly, as we continue this wrenching, exquisite onward journey.

Share your thoughts [All posts are 100% anonymous]

4 Ponderings
  • Anonymous

    November 25, 2018 at 9:29 pm

    I just read the best thing that I think is what is key to keeping calm— Release expectations and be open to Surprise!!
    What if we remember— “If God is for us who could be against us”! Keep Calm and Carry On!!!❤️❤️

  • Anonymous

    November 27, 2018 at 9:46 pm

    The reminder to slow down and breathe is appreciated!!

  • Anonymous

    November 28, 2018 at 11:38 pm

    I think it is funny (odd) and funny (amusing) to be asked to ponder if I am calm at this time, of all times, of the year. When I am trying to think of “the perfect” gifts, then struggling to find them. When I am decorating and baking, and going to parties and having parties, and visiting Santa in the mall, and wrapping and decorating cookies with my children, and being early for their pageants mad remembering the teacher gifts. And on and on. And meanwhile continuing to fix breakfast and dinner and read bedtime stories or help with homework and hear my husband. Calm? Calm? Isn’t that for summers on the beach? And yet. And yet. When I drive home now with the time change, it is dark. The road home takes me through beautiful wooded hills. And every year right after Thanksgiving someone puts a lighted cross up high on one of those hills. Every night I look eagerly for the cross and when I see it all of my worry and anxiety and busyness falls away. Looking at that cross reminds me of the real reason we are celebrating Christmas. And I am calm.

  • Anonymous

    November 30, 2018 at 6:31 am

    My breath is always the answer to “Am I Calm.” I will notice shallow breathing or even notice I am barely breathing, then I can look for a cause. Sometimes just noticing will relieve the tension.