Be The Stillpoint

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I continue to be amazed by the way good questions lead us so naturally to good answers, and how beautiful questions lead to even better questions. When we open ourselves to the things we don’t know, we open the doors to wonder and discovery and greater understanding.

I’m Scott Lennox and you’re listening to The Beautiful Question, a weekly consideration of things that matter every day.

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As life swirls around you today, may you stay rooted and settled in the stillpoint that is always deep within you.

Join me today as we consider ways of remaining calm, regardless of what’s happening around us. Stay with me.

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As a way of introducing this week’s consideration, allow me to offer a poem I’ve shared with you in the past.
After going through a number of extreme challenges years ago, I wrote my first book of poems about my time on and around the Brazos River. I consider the poem, What The River Taught Me, to be one of the most essential pieces in that collection. I’m sure you’ll see my point.

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I’ve learned a thing or two by looking back
at what the River taught me—
the Brazos,
always flowing,
high and low,
fast and slow,
yielding to its own rhythms,
without resisting, in every season.
I’ve learned a bit
after years of straining,
pushing hard,
too often overflowing my own banks
and finding parts of myself
strewn among the litter and the broken branches
in a country where I clearly did not belong.
I’ve learned of holding on,
and letting go,
alive to where the path is leading.
I’ve learned at last to be that stone
nestled into the riverbed,
settled, safe,
even in flood time.
And that long after I am gone,
long after,
the Brazos will still be flowing.

(What The River Taught Me is from In Brazos River Country by Scott Lennox)

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Photo: Scott Lennox


It’s easy to be swayed or become deeply moved by the events that are taking place in our lives or happening around us. If we’re not careful, we get caught up in the drama and chaos of office gossip or social media or the so-called “news” or the troubles of family and friends.

We can even be swayed by well-meaning conversations that are off the mark. Before we know it, our mood and thinking have shifted, our judgment is off, and our decisions are no longer coming from a clear place.

We’ve given our peace away.

As challenging as it may seem when that happens, it’s so important that we come home to ourselves by becoming still from the inside out rather than depending on something outside us to make the difference. Having grown up as a highly sensitive jitterbug who was always in motion, I understand that contrast all too well.

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A while back, a shift came for me in a most unexpected way. I once trained a highly energetic Golden Retriever named Scooter by using gentleness and a soft voice. I wanted to give him as much freedom as I could while keeping him and everyone else safe, so I decided to use what I thought of as a “verbal leash.”

It was exciting to watch him run and explore and play. It was equally marvelous to train him to be calmly responsive when runners or skaters or cyclists or other dogs were around. Simple, quiet, and loving, my method was an elegant one.

When I spotted a challenge heading our way, I would have Scooter come sit at my side. Then, while gently running one finger along the top of his head, from just between his eyes to a place behind his ears, I would quietly say two words in a strong but gentle voice.

“Just watch.”

His response amazed me. No matter what was happening around him or coming toward him—a dog, a runner, a skater, a cyclist—Scooter would calmly sit beside me without moving. In fact, after only a few trials I would whisper “Just watch,” without touching him, and he would take his place beside me and not leave it until I said, “Okay, go!” at which point, he would run off to happily explore his surroundings.

It was beautiful!

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One day, as some drama was unfolding near me and the people involved were what I’ll call “highly activated,” I used the same voice with myself I had used with Scooter. With no real thought to do it as the drama intensified, I quietly whispered to myself, “Just watch.”

The change was almost instant as I calmly watched the chaos but didn’t react or get spun up by it. When I thought about it later, I remembered other critical incidents I’d been involved in, both in and out of combat. Staying perfectly calm in those situations, I did what needed to be done without becoming anxious or overwrought. Like the rock settled into the riverbed in my poem, I stayed calm while everything swirled past me.

To my surprise, I had become the stillpoint!

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Though people may doubt it, the ability to remain calm as things swirl dramatically around us isn’t rare or extraordinary. It’s built into each of us. It isn’t a question of whether or not we have the ability to center and calm ourselves; that part is a given. The question is how to set that elegant ability into motion when we need it.

That being said, let’s look at some ways we can make it happen.

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As a starting place, it might be interesting to think about a time when you were drawn into someone else’s chaos or drama. What was happening that day? What was it that drew you in? What disturbed your sense of peace?
How did you react?

Whatever you tell me about the drama you witnessed will belong to someone else, not you. Conversely, the things you tell me about your reaction or your feelings about the situation will all be about you. You’re the one who owns them. You’re the one who set your reaction into motion.

That’s good news, actually. It means you’re the one—the only one—who can create the inner and outer changes you want. And how good it is to know that it usually happens by making simple changes in what you’re thinking or telling yourself.

You’re the one who can choose to step away from the drama or keep yourself from being caught in it in the first place.

One of the foundational statements we can tell ourselves to keep from being entangled is elegantly simple. The phrase is, “That is not mine!” Another question we can ask is, “What is mine?” It sounds too easy, yet with a bit of practice, the truth of it sinks in and it becomes easier to tell yourself. The better we know what’s ours and what isn’t, the more effective our choices about them will be.

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This week’s Beautiful Questions can help clarify that and make the process easier to accomplish. Here are my questions.

Question One: What drama have you been drawn into in the past (or perhaps now), and how did you react to it?

Question Two: In what ways did your sense of peace or inner calm change as a result of being drawn in?

Question Three: What will you whisper to yourself to relax as you let the drama go and settle back into yourself?

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As always, I’d love to hear where your considerations take you. Write and tell me about them.

As I say each week,
My Light with Your Light!

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I’m glad we can engage this way every week as we consider some of the things that matter and what to do about them. If nothing else, I hope you feel inspired to look more deeply at ways of caring for yourself. You deserve that.

You can be further inspired by visiting my friends at Kosmos Journal. That’s K O S M O S Journal. Their mission is to inform, inspire, and engage global transformation in harmony with all life. You can easily find them online at Kosmos Journal dot O R G.

And each week at, you can read the illustrated transcript of each podcast as you listen. We’ve also included an archive of all previous podcasts, including guided relaxation audios that can help you practice letting go on a daily basis.

If you find these podcasts useful, I encourage you to share them and tell others about them. That’s a great way of helping me get a voice of calm and collaboration and balance and encouragement out into the world.

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I’m Scott Lennox, and this has been The Beautiful Question.

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The Beautiful Question is a One Light production, written, produced, and engineered by Scott Lennox at HeartRock Studios in Fort Worth, Texas, as a way of paying forward to life, being fully present, becoming better engaged with things that truly matter in a complex world, and committing to a healthier future for all of us.

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