Tag Archive | Quiescence

Psalms of Life

A long time friend of mine has begun a new project.

Now we have spoken very little, if any, about his topic.

Imagine my surprise when I began reading his words!

(Surprised, but not surprised. Our verbiage is even the same!)

If you have been here on my blog for any time at all,

you know how much value I put on having quiet time.

How much peace there is to having time to settle your heart and soul.

And how I also always delight if in some small way, I can help you to help yourself.

Even for just a moment; a little at a time.

So with Gary’s permission, I share his offerings with you now.

Psalms of Life

There is a quiet place
Far from the rapid pace
Where God can soothe my troubled mind

Those are the first words of a song that is not an original work of mine but have been on my heart a lot in recent days. I would like to suggest, my dear Psalms of Life friends, that dedicating yourself to a time of ‘stillness within’ is so valuable.

Establishing the habit for even a few minutes a day (especially at the beginning) is where the power lies. It is the ‘master key’ to a more fulfilling life.

Find a quiet place if only for a few minutes. Be silent, place your hand lightly on your heart. (Your mind focuses on where the touch is felt.) Then breathe slowly and deeply, listening to your breath while you choose to feel grateful.

Listening to your breath actually relates back to the fact that, in Hebrew, the deepest root meaning of Yahweh is ‘passionate breath.’

Practicing the simple habit of daily stillness with the Lord will transform your life. Studying and reading the Scriptures is good, but the art of practicing simple stillness is the most important foundation to build upon. Thanks for spreading these thoughts with 👍 ❤️ !

Gary Ellis
Psalms of Life

Remember to share your thoughts and comments.

We really love to hear your “Voice”.

Until next time.

Click here for more of Psalms of Life

ADD and Quietude

Can they survive together?

This topic is huge. So huge in fact, in order to understand it totally, one would have to research and study a good long time to begin to see all of the nuances.

Let me be clear; I am no expert. I am no professional.

What I am, is an adult female who was diagnosed in adulthood with adult onset ADD.

“I thought I Was Stupid” is a really good article on the struggle of women with ADD/ADHD.

And growing up, I DID think I was stupid, when the truth was quite the opposite. I would finish my work early, then wander around the room and disturb those who were still working.

I never learned to study, so what happened was that at that very early age, when the neuron pathways were still being connected, without proper focus, I was self teaching my mind to wander.

Those connections were being made, but not exactly correctly.

This is not to say that everyone begins the same way. There are so many different scenarios that could happen. I simply believe that this is how it began with me.

Back in the day, no one was talking about this. The research just wasn’t there. We didn’t give little Johnny, or little Debbie extra work to do.

We did not guide them in the direction of their gifting. We did not “Play to their strength.”

We told them to sit down, sit still, behave, be quiet or write 500 times on the chalk board “I will stay in my seat during class.” Stop being a brat.

Consequently, at least in my case, my brain went everywhere, like monkeys in a tree, or a fart in a skillet. Everywhere except where it was supposed to be.

I would doodle. I would hum. I would whistle. I would tap my feet.

What a stupid thing – to not be able to focus. There must be something terribly wrong with me.

This is turning into a lot of words, but I need you to understand what was going on, not for me, but for yourself!

Some boys my age were diagnosed with ADD, rarely, but girls? Almost never.

“At the end of the day, if you’re just dealing with ADD, that’s great,” Solden said. “But most women—because they weren’t diagnosed as children, because they didn’t have hyperactivity or were smart—grew up absorbing a lot of wounds and shame. These women are often twice exceptional. They have incredible strengths and are really smart and creative, but they have these struggles that nobody understands, including them.” Sari Solden

Read – They had to work twice as hard!

Please read HERE for more on ADD/ADHD.

So began my obsession with Quietude – Quiescence – Quiet.

Like I said, I was diagnosed as an adult.

Here is my back story, at least in part.

Finding the doctor that I found was simply a miracle. All others before her told me I was depressed. Told me I was anxious. Told me I was something. You’ll get over it. Well I’d spent my entire life this way, so I probably was not going to just get over it.

She wanted to do a different kind of test. One for adult onset ADD.

I took a very long test followed by some in depth counseling with her, and the findings were conclusive.

This indeed was my issue; Mild enough to not be dangerous, but strong enough to keep things from settling in my brain. I did correct her about the “adult onset” part. She agreed I was most likely right.

She prescribed a low dose, medication that worked by “improving the way parts of the brain communicate with each other.”

Enter Quiet Time!

Over some time, a year or so, I saw much improvement.

I was able to actually train myself to sit quietly in my chair by the window, and calm my thoughts, and actually follow through on finding what God had in store for my life.

My doctor and I decided that since the medication had showed me how it felt to string two thoughts together, what calm(er) felt like and what it felt like to focus, perhaps I could wean off of the medication.

I did so successfully.

I had made some Quiet time rituals. I follow them to this day;

  • Same time every day
  • “Do Not Disturb” settings on all devices
  • Bible or other devotional type book
  • Quiet music or silence
  • Journal/note pad for catching random thoughts
  • Strict determination to make it work
  • Some days it is just quiet. No music. No book. No paper. Just quiet.

To close, I would like to say that EVERY day may not be successful, but I can tell you that when I began the art of “Quietude” ANY day that there was a space for quiet was a success!

Nowadays, I do have to keep track of things closely.

I still forget sometimes that “Quiet” is what I need.

On those days, like I’ve said here on this blog before – two minutes – six minutes -ten – Whatever I can do to make it work.

Introvert, Extrovert – Does not matter. Every one can benefit from a few minutes of quietness in their day.

I must tell you, YOU can overcome the issues keeping you from a quiet space.

The effort that you pour into this endevour will pay you back a thousand times over.

Because of this prolonged practice, I believe that moments that SHOULD stress me out, don’t. I believe it’s because of accumulated Quiet time.

Thanks for reading.

See you next time!

Toxic Thoughts

Toxic Thinking Although I did not buy the product, I DID buy the idea, and so went on a journey of my own to detoxify my mind.

“75% to 95% of the illnesses that plague us today are a direct result of our thought life.”

Dr. Caroline Leaf

Toxic Thoughts

What are Toxic Thoughts, and how do I get rid of them?

“Consciously control your thought life and start to detox your brain!” Medical research increasingly points to the fact that thinking and consciously controlling your thought life is one of the best ways, if not the best way of detoxing your brain. It allows you to get rid of those toxic thoughts and emotions that can consume and control your mind.

On Dr. Leaf’s About page, she gives several examples of questions to consider when beginning to get rid of toxic thoughts. Feel free to stop now, and visit the link to see her questions.

Welcome back.

Now that you’ve seen the questions, you may be wondering just exactly how they will be helpful in your search for “Quietude”?

Here’s the thing; When ever these thoughts are present in our minds, our minds become like a playground. Those thoughts are like the littles all running and jumping around! They are raucous and noisy. Some are ill mannered and disrespectful.

At any rate, it is near impossible to contain all of their activity without a plan.

So with the help of one of Dr. Leaf’s questions, we can begin.

Here is a sample of beginning to control at least one of those thought patterns.

The question I chose for this example was #5;

How much is speculation taking out of your day?

Back in the beginning, before I began to transform/renew my mind, I really had no idea just how much time and energy I spent running ideas, thoughts, speculations through there.

Now I’m not dissing the thought part, what I am dissing, is all the time and energy I spent mulling over the things I either A. Didn’t have the answer for or B. That I had no control over.

When I learned to recognize those thoughts, and then refused to give them time, it actually freed up a lot of space in my head. (And energy in my body!)

It did not happen overnight, but over time, with practice, and I might add, the Word of God, my mind (at least in the area of worrying) became a little more quiet.

I did find that reading a Proverb from the Bible every single day, helped me to isolate some of those random thoughts and concerns. (Thirty one days in a month, thirty one Proverbs – neat how that works!)

Proverbs 19:21 (ESV) Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

Now choose another question.

Note; Working on too many of these questions at the same time may not be helpful, but one or two I found to be very doable.

After a bit, you will no doubt come up with questions of your own to consider. Everyone is different.

At first it may seem counterproductive to add more questions to your already noisy mind.

However, it has been my experience, that once the answers are reached, then the mind actually will begin to quiet itself down, because it is no longer trying to figure out a hundred things a minute!

Little by little, toxic thinking shrinks and shrinks, and thinking that produces and brings life takes its place.

Join me next time as we take a brief look at the effect that ADD/ADHD and the like have on building up our quiet time.

Quiet vs. Silence

Hello again “Quietude” seekers.

Welcome back!

In this post you will find;

  • Outtakes from and article in the HuffPost
  • Results of an interesting study
  • Some practical application – Do you think they are right?
  • Links/credits at the end

The article from HuffPost states that a World Health Organization report called noise pollution a “modern plague“. The article says that;

  • Silence relieves stress and tension.
  • Silence replenishes our mental resources
  • In silence, we can tap into our imagination
  • Getting quiet can regenerate brain cells

This, put another way, is the same thing as transforming, or renewing your mind, and stated in Romans 12:2 where it says; Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

“Unnecessary noise is the most cruel absence of care that can be inflicted on sick or well.”

Florence Nightingale – Founder of modern nursing.

“Silence first began to appear in scientific research as a control or baseline, against which scientists compare the effects of noise or music. Researchers have mainly studied it by accident, as physician Luciano Bernardi did in a 2006 study of the physiological effects of music. “We didn’t think about the effect of silence,” he says. “That was not meant to be studied specifically.” (See link below to continue reading the study.)

This research began by playing quiet music, then “Bernardi and his colleagues discovered that randomly inserted stretches of silence also had a drastic effect, but in the opposite direction. In fact, two-minute silent pauses proved far more relaxing than either “relaxing” music or a longer silence played before the experiment started.”

” The blank pauses that Bernardi considered irrelevant, in other words, became the most interesting object of study. Silence seemed to be heightened by contrasts, maybe because it gave test subjects a release from careful attention. “Perhaps the arousal is something that concentrates the mind in one direction, so that when there is nothing more arousing, then you have deeper relaxation,” he says. “

I found this fascinating – I hope you did too!

“All unhappiness of men, arises from one simple fact; they cannot sit quietly in their chamber.”

Blaise Pascal – French mathematician,physicist, inventor, write, theologian.

For the final part of this post, I’ve linked a six minute video without music, just nature sights and sounds.

Won’t you take some time, two minutes, four minutes, six?

See if it has an effect on you.

Can you share what you experienced?

Silent Time

Here are the links and credits for what I have used here;

Bible Gateway

HuffPost Article

Two Minute Research

Next time; Toxic Thoughts

Hope to see you then!

All That to Say…

The whole point of the last post, “My Genre”, was to begin to give an explanation to the reason why I think having regular times of “Quietude” is important.

Here’s the thing. (I just found out it was a thing…)

I’ve been on this trek for at close to twenty years (give or take) and my INSIDES know why I do it.

When I sat down to explain it to you, I found that I didn’t know how to explain it.

So I’ve spent a couple of days, reading what I Googled, and every other thing that popped into my head.

Everything from renewing the mind to what causes it to need renewal.

What that has done, is bring back to mind many things I learned along the way, validated my thinking, and … Showed me some new advances in study about my “Genre”.

Today’s post will have two points;

  • Reasons we need Quiet
  • A new fact or two

As I state in many of my “Quiet” videos, “The world we live in, will not give us a quiet place to be. We have to find that place for ourselves.”

(You can find these videos on YouTube @Deborah SPC)

The world is constantly clamoring for our attention, wearing us so thin, that our thought processes, our emotions, and even our health, begin to pay a steep price for it.

We pay for it in sleeplessness. We pay for it in our relationships. We pay for it in addiction. We pay for it with our mental health. We pay for it in our bodies. We look for that place, and it does not exist in our sight.

Unless we create it.

Our days are busy, we (I) need time to prepare for whatever is coming my way. If I have prepared, things go much smoother.

According to scripture, even Jesus needed to prepare; to slip away and be quiet; (KJV) Mark 1:35 And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.

And from what I’ve been reading, scientists have found out that silence (instead of simple quiet) can even be better for you in some circumstances.

Silence gives our brains a chance to internalize and evaluate the information that we are receiving daily. In other words, your processors have room to work. They process.

“All profound things and emotions of things are preceded and attended by silence.”

Herman Melville

Silence also relieves stress and tension, and cognitive tasks are performed better after there has been silence.

Without all the sensory input of a noisy space, our minds can actually recover.

There is so much to say and some very interesting studies I’d like to share.

Some of it is “old” news and some of it newer.

Join me next time for a study I’ll share and even an opportunity to practice it and see how it works.

See you then!

Stormy Weather

It’s been raining for days.

Rain in April is great. Not so much all through April AND May.

The joke here in the mid-west is some variation of “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes, it will change.”

Or “9:00 AM – Winter, 11:00 AM, – Spring, 1:00 PM – Summer, 3:00 PM – Fall.”

We have often used the furnace and the air conditioning in the same day.

An annoyance to be sure, but relatively harmless.

This constant rain has some long lasting repercussions.

On the the small side – mowing grass is really difficult.

On the larger, more impactful side, the farmers cannot get to their fields. The impact will be far reaching, and most likely the costs of everything will rise.

How does any of this connect with “Quiet” or “Quietude” or “Quiescence”?

The answer is simple. Not easy. But simple.

Weather is among a long list of things that we have absolutely no control over.

If I cannot control it, then what must I do to get through it without bringing myself and those around me down?

I have found that when I take the time for quiet. Five minutes. Fifteen minutes. Thirty minutes. Whatever I can, then my mind can calm down.

When my mind is no longer running amok, then I can think rationally about what steps need to be taken next.

If we leave our minds to their own devices, they can get crazy in a hurry, and it can take a really long time to come back from all that trauma and drama.

So take a moment, or four, with me, and gather your thoughts. Calm your mind.

Be able to be constructively helpful, even when times are tough.

You may even be able to enjoy some flowers in the midst of the storm.

The Down Side of Quiet

If you have been visiting here for long, you may know that one of my favorite topics is Quietude. Quiet. A little time for gathering the thoughts.

Even though this article is about noise, silence was mentioned as well. I thought this author had some interesting perspectives, pro and con.

I enjoyed the pros, of course.

I hope you enjoy reading it too.

Noise Cancelling: The Good and The Bad

Noise cancelling has it’s benefits and draw backs. We have to make sure we tune out the right things so we can best hear God’s voice.

Noise Cancelling
I travel a good bit these days, and spend a decent amount of time on airplanes.  Over the years, people have become more and more comfortable listening to anything and everything to block out the noise of the airplane, announcements being made, or crying babies.  Companies (BOSE, Beats, etc) have become better at creating headphones that can block out all noise around you so you only hear what you decide to listen to. And this doesn’t just apply to airplanes. People use these to focus at work or simply walk around outside.

People spend a lot of money on these headphones to accomplish one simple goal: block out distractions and noise. We want to have control over what we listen to or don’t listen to.

The Downside to Noise Cancelling

Airplanes:  If you can’t hear anything that means you cant hear any important announcements (safety, or emergency notifications).

Jogging/Running:  If you are completely blocked out from noise, a car could honk its horn at you, or someone could try and warn you about something around you, and you may not hear the warning signals.

The Lesson

Sometimes we decide that we know better than God does about what we should be listening to.  God gives us warning signs or direction through many different mediums throughout our lives.  If we don’t allow God to speak to us through a specific channel we are only hurting ourselves.  Using an extreme example, if you decide to block yourself off from anyone who isn’t a Christian in an effort to protect yourself and not be tempted, you are not abiding by God’s greatest commandment to “Go out and made disciples” (Matthew 28:19-20)  While we have protected ourselves from the “noise” around us, we have limited God’s ability to work through us.

Related Post: God is Calling Us All to Listen

I would encourage you to ask God to speak to you. Start to listen to His voice everywhere you go.  God can speak through anyone or anything.  Don’t block Him out.

The Positive About Noise Cancelling

With that said, there are times that silence is important and being able to cancel out distractions can be helpful.

Basketball Players:  If you’ve ever watched a Duke basketball home game, the fans do everything in their power to distract the other team and make them mess up or miss a shot.  Players on the floor have to find a way to block it out and perform to help their team.

Football Huddles:  Or think about a football team in a huddle.  The purpose of the huddle is to block out noise and allow everyone to understand the next play’s plan.

Airplanes:  Sticking with this analogy from before, think about the pilots of the airplane.  They can’t be distracted by the passengers.  Their job with all the noise going on around them is to get everyone to the destination safely.  They actually wear headphones to talk with each other and block out the actual noise around them.

The Lesson:

Christianity is similar in that there are times you need to clearly hear God’s voice and not be distracted by the enemy who is doing everything in his power to knock you off track.  I grew up with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) so I understood at a young age how the smallest of distractions could affect me.  I had to learn how to block them out.

When I want to hear from God, I need silence or an environment where God is welcome (worship, church, etc).  God doesn’t need complete silence to be able to speak to you, but sometimes you need complete silence to listen.

In those times, cancelling out your surrounding is a good idea.  After getting alone away from distractions, though, we should come back to full awareness of our surroundings so we can see and hear God move. Ultimately, it’s about doing what’s needed to be able to hear from God. We block out the distractions but lean in to listen to Him however, whenever, and wherever He chooses to speak to us.

So noise cancelling can be both good and bad. In the end, don’t block out God or limit His ability to use you or speak to you by attempting to block out others.

Written by Charles Hamrick

I am very simply a follower of Christ.  While here, I enjoy the passions that God has given me that include my family, friends, church, sports (specializing in golf), traveling and simply experiencing God’s creation to the fullest.  I additionally have a passion for writing and sharing what God is speaking to me on a constant basis.  I love the fact that our creator chooses to use the least of us to communicate His heart to others.