It is the still, small voice that the soul heeds, not the deafening blasts of doom. –  William Dean Howells

“Learn to Be Still” is the fourth track on When Hell Freezes Over, the first album released by the Eagles in 1994 after a fourteen year silence. The album title is a reference to Don Henley’s comment after the 1980 breakup that the band would play together again “when hell freezes over.”

The song became my anthem that year.

1994 was an extremely challenging year for me: within a four-month period, my marriage of thirteen years ended and my mother died. After emerging from the initial shock and grief, I went through a period of re-examining my life and beginning my journey of finding my bliss. Those of you who’ve read me for a while already know that cats have been the catalyst (pun intended) for some very major life changes for me. What you may not know is that music is also very important to me. There are some songs that immediately bring a specific phase of my life to mind, even when I hear them many years later.

“Learn to Be Still” is one of these songs. At the time, it reminded me to listen to that still, small voice inside. Ultimately, that helped me discover what really mattered to me.

This “still, small voice” is your true self. It can be difficult to hear in this world we live in: every day, we’re assaulted with the noise from news commentators predicting gloom and doom, natural disasters, and economic ruin. Everywhere we turn, there are stories of fear, ugliness and despair. We’re bombarded with information online every minute of every day.

The still small voice does not buy into any of this. It does not come from anything that happens outside ourselves. It comes from deep within our core. It is the voice of our soul. And the only way we can hear it is if we learn to be still.

Here are some suggestions on how to get in touch with your still small voice:

Meditate. Even five minutes a day can make a difference. For additional benefits, meditate with your cat!

Spend quiet time in nature. Go for a walk. Leave your iPod at home and just listen to the sounds of nature all around you.

Stay present. Live in the moment. Don’t spend so much time analyzing the past or worrying about the future.

Watch your cats. For me, watching Allegra and Ruby play, or sleep, or do any of the thousands of cute things they do every day, instantly creates the presence of mind that is conducive to connecting with my true self.

Practice gratitude. Gratitude is about being in the present moment, and appreciating what’s around you. The energy of gratitude connects you with your soul.

Learn to be still, and learn to connect with that small, still voice. I promise you that it will change your life.

Do you have trouble hearing your still, small voice?


9 Comments on Sunday Purrs: learn to be still

  1. Great thoughts….I would have not gotten through the first year of my divorce without Elton….unfortunately, he left me not long after because of FIP. I feel he was brought for a reason, to help me be strong. Love the Eagles….Cats always bring peace!

  2. Great song! Music is so evocative of time and place. It can act as touchstone to bring comfort or to trigger past trauma. Thanks for sharing. Our paths are so similar. I believe good healers are tempered by pain and transmute it into compassion.

  3. thank you, It was great to revisit that song. With a few years between that time and now, the song takes on an even deeper meaning for me. Also, thank you for sharing about your difficult times. It helps others to know that time passes and we heal.

    • I’ve found that, too, Candace. Sometimes songs take on an even deeper meaning when we listen from the perspective of time gone by.

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