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Be still

stillness jim neeley

“All I have to do is to be still.” I wonder how many times I have said those words to myself. They are words that never fail to bring me comfort and assurance that the next step, whatever it may be, will surely reveal itself at the appropriate time.

It’s the only way I know to embody my unconquerable spirit. It’s the only way to hear the calm voice of wisdom within me.

My heart goes out to the families and friends of the children lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School. My heart goes out to the teachers who were lost, and to the first-responders and to the family of the shooter, Adam Lanza. My heart goes out to Newtown, Connecticut and anyone else anywhere who has been touched or traumatized as a result of this tragedy.

My heart goes out to President Obama, as he continues to serve his country with all the courage and steadfastness that is in him.

My heart goes out to John Boehner, as he too plays his part and makes his contribution to a country looking hard for direction and strength.

My heart goes out to you, taking the time to read these words. I wish I could sit down with you for a moment and connect with you face to face and heart to heart. How are you doing? I hope all is well. Are you finding your way okay?

My heart goes out to the whole world as it struggles to move forward and be creative and maintain its balance in the midst of the whirlwind of change that sweeps the planet.

There is one step we can always take. It is a step that never fails. We can take a moment to be still.

I’ve been struggling, I must admit, the last week or two, trying to give myself a crash course in marketing, trying to get things set up so that my new book is readily available. My blog has suffered a bit during the process, but what can I do? I can take a moment to be still.

In stillness, true stillness, our pain is enfolded and blessed. Our differences recede. We sense the outlines, however dim, of our next step.

In stillness, our heart is renewed. No potion or pill can renew our heart the way that a moment of simple, humble stillness can do.

In this moment of stillness I send you love and best wishes for a Happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year. Wherever you are, I am with you.

As a reminder, my new book, Aging into Bliss, is available now at Amazon as a print book. It is also available as a print book or a downloadable PDF book at this blog, and any day now it will be available as an eBook at Kindle and Smashwords. Please click here to find out more information and to purchase a copy of this book. PLEASE HELP SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT THIS BOOK, WON'T YOU? And if you feel so inclined, please submit a review to Amazon. My baby will thank you and so will I.

Picture credit: James Neeley

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Donna December 19, 2012 at 8:07 pm

Thank you for your warmth and care. At a time when we (I) need comfort, your words are more powerful than you know. Thank you.
Donna recently posted..Thanksgiving and Beyond….

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Christopher Foster December 20, 2012 at 11:33 am

Your words bless me Donna. Thank you. Your blog is beautiful (including the picture of the cat). Whereabouts in Carolina do you live and what’s the name of the cat? How long have you been blogging?

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johanna December 19, 2012 at 9:13 pm

Thanks for your words – it’s always a blessing. And it is good to know there’s someone out there taking the time to think about this whirlwind of a world we live in… yes, out of stillness there is flowing an everlasting stream of strength and abundance and everlasting life as from a deep, slow river. And I like your words: “In stillness, true stillness, our pain is enfolded and blessed. Our differences recede. We sense the outlines, however dim, of our next step.”
For you and your wife also, a Happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year.
Johanna, from China

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Christopher Foster December 20, 2012 at 11:40 am

It’s always a deep pleasure to hear from you Johanna. Thank you for writing and thank you especially for your words on stillness and your kind good wishes for Christmas etc. I don’t know if you’ve had a chance to look at my new book yet but I think your fine comment about the true potential of aging looks good in the front part of the book. Hope you like the way I set it up.

My love to you in faraway China. Not so far away, I guess, in this digital age.

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Grace Catley December 19, 2012 at 9:49 pm

Thank you for this beautiful post, Christopher.

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Christopher Foster December 20, 2012 at 11:44 am

Thank you Grace. I’m very happy to hear from you. It looks like you live in New Zealand. Whereabouts, may I ask? You live in a beautiful country. When I was a young fellow I spent six great months there. I was a reporter on the Marlborough Express in Blenheim, became good friends with a couple of other young reporters and we had great times together.

All the very best Grace. Have a Happy Christmas and wonderful New Year.

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Larry Pearlman December 20, 2012 at 12:31 am

Thanks for your words Chris. I share the experience with you. Stillness is always where I have to start when contemplating what is the next right thing for me in my life. I am in that cycle now, enjoying the sitllness and staying aware of everything that comes into my world to see if it is a sign indicating the most fitting direction for me to go.

Waiting for the second proof copy of my first book (you are WAY ahead of me) and then it will be available as an e-book and print-on-demand. The book is called Journaling the Journey: 25 Spiritual Insights to Light The Way and I have quoted you in there!

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Christopher Foster December 20, 2012 at 12:16 pm

Great to hear from you Larry. We’ve been friends a long time. Your sense of humor is a joy to share. A labor of love, isn’t it, writing a book. Maybe it’s a bit like ranching, you have to really love it to do it…

On the other hand, what a fine way to give our gift and express the love that is in us. That’s my experience and I know yours too. I wish you much success with your book but look, buddy, I’m not ahead of you in any way:-)

I just pray my 80-year-old brain can keep stretching wide enough to get a handle on marketing and comprehend the mystery of techie stuff like “keywords” and the like…

Love to you Larry. Have a wonderful Christmas and thank you for quoting me in your book.

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Nancy Rose Meeker December 20, 2012 at 1:40 am

Thank you, Chris!
Lovely to read your writing again and touch your tender spirit.
And the photo is the epitome of tranquility.
Much love to you and yours!
Nancy Rose

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Christopher Foster December 20, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Back at you, Nancy.

So happy to connect with you in this way. Where are you living now and what are you up to these days? Are you still in UK?

Have a wonderful Christmas and I wish you a happy and prosperous New Year.

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Linda December 20, 2012 at 6:25 am

I cried as I read these words, Chris. It felt as if you were here with me, as you described here –
‘My heart goes out to you, taking the time to read these words. I wish I could sit down with you for a moment and connect with you face to face and heart to heart. How are you doing? I hope all is well. Are you finding your way okay?’
It’s so comforting to know that people all over the world care. Thank you. Your family are lucky to have you.
I send you and your family my warmest wishes,
Linda.
Linda recently posted..Are You Constantly Worrying About The Future? Here’s The Simple Solution

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Christopher Foster December 20, 2012 at 12:40 pm

It’s always a delight to hear from you Linda. Thank you for your warm and poignant words. Perhaps we are all much closer in one sense that we might think, and compassion and love really don’t have any boundaries. Blessings.

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Beth Wilson December 20, 2012 at 8:11 am

Our most precious blessings come wrapped in simple ideas, don’t they, Chris? Well done.
Congratulations on your book’s success and all the best to you and your family this Christmas.

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Christopher Foster December 20, 2012 at 12:44 pm

It’s true isn’t it Beth. Simple seems to endure through time. Thank you for your kind message. I’m happy that we are sharing this blogging journey together and send you blessings and love.

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Elana December 20, 2012 at 10:51 am

Christopher, you are truly a wonderful spirit. Thank you for blessing the world with your wisdom and generosity. Wishing you much success with your book (buying a copy!) and, in spite of all of the tragedy that continues to befall us on planet Earth, warm, love-filled holidays.

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Christopher Foster December 20, 2012 at 12:48 pm

Great to hear from you Elana. Thank you for your encouragement and kind words. And hey, I just love the notion that you plan to buy a copy of my book. If you enjoy it would you please consider submitting a review to Amazon?

Love and blessings to you and have a wonderful holiday season.

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Nadeja December 21, 2012 at 5:15 am

In stillness with you Chris. Thank you for your beautiful presence in my world. Love to you and your beautiful JoAnn.

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Christopher Foster December 21, 2012 at 7:09 pm

Thank you Nadeja. Love to you too. Happy Christmas.

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kim December 21, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Hi Chris,

As always your words ring with love and wisdom. I’m so excited to tell you that I’ve ordered your book through Amazon and am waiting for it!! I can’t wait to read it and connect with you and your life through your book.

I will happily review it on Amazon once I have done and as I said before if I can help with the marketing over here in the UK in a small way,I would be honoured to do so.

Happy Christmas and thank you for showing me that age doesn’t have to be a limit. You are such a true inspiration.

Kim
kim recently posted..Wishing you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year

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Christopher Foster December 21, 2012 at 7:30 pm

Kim, thank you so much for your warm message of encouragement and support. I’m always so happy to hear from you. You’re a real friend. And thank you for ordering the book. It would be really great if you’d like to write a review, and perhaps let friends or neighbors (or your local newspaper or someone in the public eye who might be interested) know about it?

Have a wonderful Christmas Kim. Blessings to you and your loved ones and say hello to UK for me okay?

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Evan Griffith December 22, 2012 at 9:33 pm

. . .ever beautiful, you magnificent soul . . .
Evan Griffith recently posted..What can the old pass on to the young?

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Christopher Foster December 27, 2012 at 4:17 pm

Evan, thank you, it’s great to share the journey with you. Best wishes for a wonderful New Year.

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Joe Ikey December 24, 2012 at 9:51 am

Hi Chris
Joe here from Cape Town- South Africa. In my own little mental corner I’ve always thought I’ve been through the mill of life and that others would simply not be able to comprehend their severity. But it seems you’ve taken taken your share of uprooting knocks and come out the other end with your hope and faith intact.

Thanks for being an inspiration, and being willing to share.

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Christopher Foster December 27, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Joe, thanks so much for your comment. It’s a pleasure to hear from you. Thank you for taking the time to write and I send love and New Year greetings to you in that “little corner” that is you in Cape Town. Hey, you’re a handsome dude and your blog looks great:-)

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Maureen Moeller December 26, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Chris, boy did I need to hear those magical words. “Being still is the only way to embody our unconquerable spirit.” I have not been keeping still because there are some issues I am unwilling to face; so I keep moving. I tell myself that I will be still when….and “when” never comes.

Admittedly the holidays are crazy (something I would like to work on), but this year they have been a convenient excuse to “not be still”. Reading your words as well as Leo Babauta’s “The Other Person Is Never the Problem” have been a powerful 1-2 punch for me.

BTW, I have given away 2 of your 4 books I purchased on Amazon. I will mail the 3rd to my brother and his wife as they were not home for Christmas. My 80+ year-old parents were thrilled. I am excited about sharing your book with them. The 4th is MINE!! Because I am ADHD right now, I have not quite completed the entire book though I know just one more hour would do it.

Bless you and your lovely wife this holiday season. And as you say, I know you are “there” as we silently mourn those 26 babies and teachers. I hugged my kindergarteners that following Monday, and did not want to let go.

Love, Peace and Joy,
Maureen Moeller

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Christopher Foster December 27, 2012 at 4:41 pm

Thank you for your beautiful words Maureen. It’s been a crazy time for sure. You’re doing great. So impressed by the straightforward way you face up to what is going on in your experience.

Thanks for sharing about your parents and thank you SO MUCH for your support for my book. I wish you a happy and fulfilling New Year. Take Care Maureen.

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Ken Wert@MeanttobeHappy December 26, 2012 at 9:56 pm

Life can be such a challenge at times, so full of difficult events to comprehend. Why did Sandy Hook happen? Why the fiscal cliff? Why this and why that? More importantly, how to prevent it all? And how to recover once it has?

“Be still” is good counsel, Chris. It allows our hearts to catch up with our breathe and our minds to slow down to take it all in and process what’s going on. “Be still.” Like a “Slow Down” sign on the side of the road. That’s good medicine, Chris.
Ken Wert@MeanttobeHappy recently posted..The Happiness Pledge

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Christopher Foster December 27, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Ken, bless you and thank you. Your words are so apt. I love the notion of a “slow down” sign by the side of the road…which we take notice of if we are wise, so that we don’t crash into a deer or a semi or what have you.Have a wonderful and happy New Year Ken.

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Mickey Brown December 28, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Dear Chris,

It has been a very long time since we made contact. I do not remember if it was at 100 Mile or at Sunrise. So very much has happened in between but here we are. I live in Beaverton, Oregon now and have about seven years on you for age. I love your attitude of aging into bliss. We both know that there is a lot more than bliss involved. But we also know in our very core that Unconditional Love with Compassion is the way we follow. Compassion for our human shortcomings.

I live alone in a small perfect apartment and Stillness is so very important to me. I face my sliding glass door that opens onto a wild park area. I have birds that eat on my back patio and remind me of the great diversity that Life manifests .. That is where I have my morning coffee and bring each problem that the loved people in my life are going through into my heart and let Love have its perfect way. I do not have solutions for any of them and the older I get the less I am asked.

I find that holding them in my heart and mind and hold the situation up for what is for the Highest and Best for all is the most productive. And always I find that much more is involved than just the core person. I also know that the vibration that is Love is much more powerful and moves ahead of us into our evolving future.

So good to be with you in Spirit and form. It is just the form that resides in different places. My great love and appreciation to you and what you offer. Love and Hugs Mickey/Mom

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Christopher Foster December 28, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Mickey, thank you so much. Beautiful words. Wise words. You touch on something magical indeed, how on the outside our forms change (“age”) but look, a miracle, who we truly are hasn’t changed at all. Spirit, just as you say.

I love your image of sitting in your back patio with your coffee and communing with birds and Nature. A great friend to all of us, Nature, isn’t it. Most of all I am so very touched by the love in your letter and the compassion flowing through you. Some things simply get richer with age, don’tcha think?

So you’re with me, and I’m with you, and where does Love begin, and where does it end? Thank you for getting in touch after all these years and I send you much love and best wishes for a Happy New Year. Blessings to you Mickey. Stay strong.

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