When it comes down to stuff that really matters, being true to who you are has got to be up there fighting for a top spot with, let’s say, health for you and your loved ones. We want to be brave enough to be who we really are. And our authentic selves are often revealed when we do something that we truly love. When there is no thought of financial gains (although that may be a byproduct) or external recognition from others (although that may happen too), when we engage in something simply because it brings us joy and peace. The doing is its own reward.
If you’ve ever been so engrossed in a task or in an activity that you’ve lost track of time and place, then you have most definitely experienced being in ‘the zone’. It’s like meditation, existing in the space between your thoughts and being totally present in your engagement with your task. For example, being in ‘the zone’ can be experienced while painting a picture, playing a piece of music, interacting with your child, wall papering a sitting room etc. It really doesn’t matter what the activity is as long as you are absolutely engrossed – to the point that time flies and you don’t know where it’s gone. You’ve stopped thinking altogether. How refreshing!
The main benefit of this is that you are giving your mind a rest from the relentless chatter we experience on a daily basis. That circular thinking that keeps us stuck in our problems rather than pondering solutions of what life could be like if we let it.
This is of particular importance today with the world spinning faster and so much going on in the world of politics and technology. How do we retain that peace and tranquility needed to hear the quiet voice within which guides us towards that which makes our hearts soar? It is a journey for us all but here are my top tips for slowing down the madness.
Top Tips to Do You
Practicing meditation takes tenacity and discipline. There will be days you don’t want to do it. There will be days when your mind feels too busy and a thousand thoughts swirl around. No matter. There is a beauty in rituals, and the daily ritual of taking time to sit with yourself and allow your thoughts to come and go without engaging in the thinking, is one of the better rituals we can partake in.
It need not be for long 10-15 minutes is fine. Just do it regularly, find your spot at home and eventually it will become habitual behaviour. The space between the thoughts will become more frequent. It will bring you clarity of thought and peace of mind.
It is what it is. We often can’t change our situations that much but we can change how we react to them. If you are sad, be sad. If you are frustrated, be frustrated and so on. No need to judge (I wish I wasn’t sad – I want to be happy like everyone else) just accept yourself, your feelings and what happens in your life rather than resist it. You don’t necessarily have to engange in all the drama, just notice that things are the way they are. If you can change some things, then do that. If you can’t, then accept what is. Wise saying is ‘That which you resist clings to you’ and ‘This too shall pass’ is another much undervalued motto. The one thing we can rely on is that life is always changing and so are we – so what feels unbearable today will have a different flavour tomorrow. Just sleep on it – which leads us nicely into the importance of sleep….
This should probably be at the top. That is how important sleep really is for our wellbeing. When we sleep badly we never quite recover our peace of mind that we need to start our days fresh. If we don’t empty our stress reserves during sleep we can’t make optimal decisions. Emotions often run riot, making us feel out of control and we operate from our primitive brain which only sees danger.
It’s not easy to get good sleep. We have stressful lives, young children that don’t sleep, relationship difficulties, houses to remodel and so on. But in all the malaise – try to make sleep a priority. Turn your bedroom into a peaceful sanctuary, a place you really can’t wait to go to. I swear by guided relaxations and soothing music which ease you into peaceful sleep. The internet is filled with resources for guided sleep meditations and relaxation. We live in plentiful times and with a set of head phones the world is your oyster…
Walk to school, run to work, cycle to the shop, do a class, find a local yoga centre, walk your dog, spin, body pump, dance, run for the train, take the stairs. Being active releases dopamine and seratonin, happy hormones that help us connect to that which brings us joy and see life in a lighter shade of fabulous. You know it works. It’s like meditation, you just do it.
Do think pink
You know that feeling when you wake up and feel great, peaceful. Only to remember that your life is full of problems and you feel rubbish again. But for that little moment, you didn’t have any problems and that is a space you can access by chosing where you want your thoughts to linger. We have the possibility to choose how much time we go over our problems versus our possibilities. If you didn’t have your problems, your small flat, your larger frame, your boring job, your fear of dating, your unsuitable partner, your difficult parents, your long distance relationship and so on…. what would life be like then? And then focus on that. Where would you go? What would you do? How would it feel? Who would you be with?
Find a little moment today of being authentically you…