Anybody who knows me, and particularly anybody who has known me a long time, will read this title and think “What?!?” “Is Karen Openshaw really telling ME to be still!”
I have always been an activist but, particularly over the past year, and since discovering mindfulness and meditation I have changed! Much of that change has been enforced – many of you are probably not aware that I have fibromyalgia. I don’t really talk about it much! I don’t want to. I said when I got the diagnosis that I wouldn’t let it define me. However, the reality is that, living with a debilitating condition has meant I have had to make a lot of changes to the way I live – and work. I am now very much a contemplative activist.
The scripture that has always popped up for me is Psalm 46 v 10 “Be still and know that I am God” and I have completely ignored it, to my cost! You don’t have to be a person of faith to know that periods of rest and stillness are essential. My nickname is Wonder woman. My own business coach described me as a one woman missile. Because I haven’t ‘been still’ I have burned out – several times!!!! Once is unfortunate – 4 times is foolish. I heard this week of a very precious friend, who works incredibly hard, finishing up in hospital. Thankfully, he is ok. But these things are wake up calls. Read Ariana Huffington’s book ‘Thrive’ if you want to know more about that.
However, I believe that it is out of our own wounds, experiences and ‘failures’ that we are equipped to help, support and encourage others. It’s why I feel well placed to offer the services I do through my consultancy – if anyone knows what NOT to do I do. I have the qualifications, the training and, sadly, the t shirt!!!