In this day and age where we are continually bombarded by noise and constant stimulation, it is sometimes difficult to find a time to just be and create that peaceful center. Without that, your energy can be negative, unfocused and draining. It is important to faithfully have time for yourself to just be. As a former competitive athlete and a person who always going, I have to be intentional in making time to recharge, renew and revitalize.
Many of us have a difficult time sitting and doing nothing. I admit that I am one of these people. It seems like I am always thinking of things to do to improve myself, my business or my life. My mind is constantly in overdrive. Does this happen to you as well? I encourage you to make time for yourself to just be. One of the best ways that I have found to improve myself is to connect to my peaceful center. The following five points are suggestions that can help you center yourself in order to become more peaceful and productive in your daily life.
- Meditation is a great way to let go of everything. I have met individuals who can meditate for hours; this is great for them but it doesn’t have to be your practice. I find that 10-20 minutes of meditation a day can give me a much calmer and more focused life. Meditation is a very personal practice and it has to be tailored to you! Start simply. Find some music that helps you relax – usually this will be something soothing and peaceful. If silence is relaxing, use it. Start with breathing for 10 minutes. Pay attention to each breath in and out. You may find thoughts and ideas racing through your head; acknowledge them and release them. Return to your concentration on breathing. You can even envision breathing in light-filled energy and breathing out negative, toxic energy.
- Take a walk in nature. For me who is always active as an athlete, nature is one great way for me to disconnect from my head and commitments. Some like to listen to music but I like to listen to the sounds of nature. The beach or a forest is a great place to relax and just be. Even a morning walk on the street in your neighborhood can lead to peaceful rejuvenation. Make the time.
- Shut off all electronics. In this day and age, this is not easy. I have practiced this in the past where I have shut off my BlackBerry for a day. This is my connection to the world – email, telephone, social media. Without this, I almost feel naked. This is one of the most freeing ways to release you from the constant noise and stimulation surrounding you. This summer, I have had two weekends where I have visited a friend where I got no cell phone signal and had no Wi-Fi access. The first time I was unprepared and felt on edge but when I relaxed into just being, my body completely let go. The second time, I was excited to have that 36 hours of peace and renewal. Try to shut off all electronics for a day. If this is too long then take a mandatory break for a few hours per week.
- Meditate on pictures of nature. If you live in a really industrial place or just don’t have the extra time to drive to a peaceful place, you can meditate on photography of nature. When doing this, place yourself in the picture. For example, when viewing a photo of the sun coming up over the ocean, you want to feel the sand between your toes, listen to the seagulls squawking, hear the lap of the ocean waves as they hit the shore, smell the salt air. Use all your senses to make this a real experience. Can you envision yourself in that place? Take a few deep breaths and really relax into that place.
- Write in a journal. Most of us are always thinking – our mind is racing about what we have to do today. Take a few moments each day to write in a journal. Choose either morning or evening. What you write is really up to you but this is not about a list of what you did that day. You could write about a special interaction you had with someone else that day or a great quote you heard or read. Other examples of what to write might be a paragraph about what you are grateful for that day or being thankful for your successes in the day. If you like to write, write a poem or a story. The main objective is for you to take yourself away from the overstimulation of electronics, the constant mind racing, and allowing yourself to just be in the moment and relax.
Each of us is different and has different needs. I encourage you to invite some peace and stillness into your life. If you can create a daily or weekly ritual, this will ground you and give you that sense of connection with the greater whole (God, Divine, Universe, etc.). Finding and connecting to that peace within allows our moments and days to be calm, focused and relaxed instead of frenzied, fuzzy and tense. While we don’t eliminate the stressful moments or busy schedule, we allow ourselves to react from a place of peace instead of a place of distress and agitation. Today, I invite you to be intentional and find a daily or weekly practice that gives you that peaceful center and make your outward life more relaxed, focused and productive.
Allison E. Turner is the founder of Pathway to Mind and Spirit that offers the tools and resources to drive you towards your passionate purpose. Through a long career of playing and then coaching tennis, Allison found that her true passion was encouraging and coaching individuals to feel that anything was possible on a tennis court and in their lives. It became less about tennis and more about the mindset of each person. Today, she offers coaching services, workshops and writes a weekly blog. Go to http://www.PathwaytoMindandSpirit.com
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