What does calm mean? At first thought calm means quiet, peaceful, and still. We often hear parents requesting that their children “calm down” or telling a co-worker who is upset about something to “calm down”. Those are applicable, but can calm look like something else?
When we look up calm in the dictionary it states “calm is not feeling nervousness, anger, or other strong emotions. The absence of violent or confrontational activity within a place or group.” Interestingly, it does not mean being quiet.
What if, for a moment we consider that calm can mean energy, connectedness, contentment, and movement?
On a vacation years ago, our family had traveled to The Grand Tetons National Park in Wyoming. We decided to rent paddle boards and head to String Lake, tucked away at the base of Teton range. It is a beautiful lake surrounded by forest, hiking trails and the opportunity to kayak or paddle board on the calm waters.
The area we were in was very calm and serene. As we paddled around the lake, I was awestruck with how much movement, life and force was flowing just beneath the calm surface. The water was so clear you could watch the fish swim alone or in schools and discover the wide variety of fish that existed in this lake. The different textures of rock, sand and vegetation were just as varied and lively.
On the lake surface the water was calm, yet what was going on beneath me, the movement and beauty was awakening something inside of me. I felt energized and content. I wanted to learn and explore and connect with what I was experiencing. It was interesting to recognize being content and energized could coexist.
The link between calmness and contentment reveals a truth that it is an internal state of being. By redefining what calm is, we begin a new journey toward lasting contentment that is stronger than the external waves of life that inevitably come, and the calm can carry us through the high tides and low tides of life.
In reflecting on what I felt that day in the Tetons, I have found the desire to calm my mind in the same way the water surface was calm. A mind that is not perpetually chasing after the next thing coming or constantly battling the storms of life. Instead, creating a safe place or oasis of acceptance and gratitude for the present moment. When we cultivate calmness, we gain the ability to appreciate the beauty of life as it unfolds, which empowers us to manage stress connectively.
Mehmet Murat ILdan said, “Stay calm inside! You will then see that outside storms of life, even the most terrible ones, will turn into soft winds.”
In a world that often glorifies chaos and constant activity, the profound relationship between calmness, energy, contentment, and connectedness serves as a reminder of the importance of finding balance. Cultivating calm is not about avoiding challenges or retreating from life's demands. Rather, it's a means of embracing these challenges with a centered mind and an open heart.
Let us remember that calmness is not a destination; it's a continuous process of growth and self-discovery.
In Believe we understand that storms of life come, we are working together to create the calm to help us move forward in becoming better than we were yesterday despite the storms. We would love to have you join us!