We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon, and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.
~ Mother Teresa
I Was Wrong About God
I have been very restless lately.
Bogged down by career challenges, family challenges, worries of the future, and facing a battle in the courtroom, it has sapped me of my normal joy and ability to be an effective leader.
Actually, the challenges I have faced haven’t robbed me of anything.
It is my normal routine of waking up before the sun, sitting still, listening to my mind chatter hush to mum like a college auditorium before a lecture that has gone missing.
It hasn’t been a long time, but enough of a time for me to not notice it as the missing link.
During this time, I have often remarked to myself, “God has been silent.”
Last night I realized I was greatly mistaken.
My seven-year-old son was playing with my ten-year-old daughter in another part of the house while I watched Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals thriller between the Golden State Warriors and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
All of a sudden, I heard a yelp.
Immediately my daughter came to express my son had thrown an item of some sort at her head in frustration of losing a game they were playing.
When I called him to uncover the source of the dispute, I discovered the to origin of my own disquiet.
The Stillness of a Child Teaches
For the first quarter of the year, I have been using mindfulness training with my children, particularly to sit in stillness to contemplate course corrections when their actions fall short of their best selves.
It has done wonders to help them get to sleep on time and it far has made it far easier for them to genuinely discuss how they can improve on their personal ethics.
A couple of months ago, I had so many things hit me all at once and that training has gone out of the window. Not only for them, but for myself, and the more than 15-year practice that has been the cornerstone of my personal development.
So last night, staring at my son and seeing the confusion on his face, before I could get out a stern word toward him, I immediately directed him to sit in stillness before me, breathe, and contemplate how best he could behave until his thoughts washed away.
At first, my son wrestled and fidgeted, and he looked around to see whether I was paying attention. I gave him the directive again, slowly.
And after sitting for ten minutes something happened.
I looked upon his face he appeared as if he wanted to be there.
That’s when I knew I could bring him back to arise from his sitting. When I calmly spoke to him to finish his sitting, the most amazing experience I’ll never forget happened.
He eyes snapped open at me, and a burst of energy surged through me unlike I’ve ever felt.
I could see and feel he felt the power of his own stillness. He didn’t want to get up!
He finally rose to his feet and nodded to me in a silent knowingness what he should do.
He made a beeline to his sister and asked for forgiveness for losing his temper over his own frustration with his performance.
Their play continued uninterrupted, and I was able to witness Klay Thompson put on a three-point shooting clinic, stave off Warriors elimination, and force a Game 7 against star forward Kevin Durant and dynamic point guard Russell Westbrook.
It’s My Turn
I’ve been living with half-hearted to-do lists, less energy, less focus, uneven work ethic, less determination, and more excuses than I have in quite some time.
I’ve been blaming every single thing in the world except for myself.
I blame no more, not even myself.
I credit my son for pointing me back in the right direction and getting me on track to experience the compass that allows me to face every challenge in life willingly and openly.
My peace, my joy, my power rests in my own stillness.
God hasn’t been silent. I just haven’t been listening.
Now that I am listening again, I can continue to touch souls in the way I know I’m capable of.
Exavier B. Pope I, Esq. is an award-winning attorney, on-air legal analyst, media personality, Fortune 500 speaker, content creator, writer, tastemaker, thought leader, and yogi. Mr. Pope is the host of #SuitUP Podcast for his production company 528 Media Group, and a contributing writer and host of the Radical Inspiration Podcast distributed through Wanderlust/Yoganonymous. Mr. Pope has over 200+ appearances on air, including: international television on BBC and Al Jazeera English; national television on Fox News Channel, HLN, NBC Nightly News, Al Jazeera America, WGN Morning News, Fox Business Channel, and Huff Post Live; Top 3 Local Media Markets on Fox, CBS, and NBC; international radio on BBC Radio; national radio on ESPN Radio, Clear Channel Radio, NBC Sports Radio, CBS Sports Radio; written and contributed to digital pieces for The Hollywood Reporter, CNBC, Huffington Post, Jet, and Black Enterprise; and has appeared in other media outlets nationally and internationally. Mr. Pope is represented by top media and literary agency RLR Associates.
© 2016, Exavier B. Pope I, Esq., 528 Media Group.
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