Creating Calm in the Center of Crazy: Making Room for Your Soul in an Overcrowded Life
  • Creating Calm in the Center of Crazy: Making Room for Your Soul in an Overcrowded Life
  • Zondervan
    June 6, 2017
    224 $5.50
    Buy Creating Calm in the Center of Crazy: Making Room for Your Soul in an Overcrowded Life from Amazon

When I say to my son Elliot, “Still and quiet, please,” what I mean is, “Hold your body still (try to stop drumming, moving, tapping, fidgeting) and then quiet your mind, but first, your voice.” But this is not easy. Far from it. It’s hard, and not just for children. I know plenty of grown-ups who don’t like to be still and quiet. I was one of them.

Roughly 25 years ago, I participated in a silent retreat with Brennan Manning. It was the opportunity of a lifetime, and I was grateful to get to do it, but it almost killed me! I felt lost and ineffective for five hours, uncertain of what I was supposed to be doing, which was nothing. I felt panicked and anxious over what others must be doing with this time. Surely it would be better than what I was doing with it! When the retreat was finally over, I was joyfully relieved to get back to talking. I remember talking nonstop to anyone who would listen to me about why extroverts should never participate in silent retreats!

It has taken me decades to get to this realization: I have spent more of my time trying to control the crazy on the outside than I have working toward creating calm on the inside. This was as big a revelation as the one that came in my late 20s when I finally understood that the way you look on the outside matters, but only a fraction as much as who you are on the inside. In the same kind of shift that turned my attention in my 20s from the external to the internal, my attention has turned once again to the inside to provide the way to creating calm.

Nicole Johnson is a writer, speaker, and actor as well as the author of Calm in the Center of Crazy. Learn more at NicoleJohnson.org. Taken from Creating Calm in the Center of Crazy by Nicole Johnson. Copyright © 2017 by Nicole Johnson. Used by permission of Zondervan. www.zondervan.com