Hello again! Here we are in mid-August and I’ve been taking some time to re-charge and get back in touch with me. I hope you’ve been able to find some time to do the same. If you’re anything like me, you don’t slow down often. Even while I’ve been re-charging I’ve been canning and pickling and cleaning and purging and taking spontaneous day trips and playing and spending time with friends… I’ve also been being as quiet as possible in the middle of all this activity and listening to my soul.
This week, your ingredient is: Peace of Mind.
Mmmmm… take a minute to just find that space. Funny, I actually find it easier when I’m doing something that doesn’t require a lot of thought or when my body is very tired. Regardless, see if you can find it and be there, even for just a moment.
How does that feel? Yummy, right? It can be tricky to be there when there are so many demands on our time, but try it again and see if you can’t find it in just a few seconds… It’s really not hard, it’s just a matter of focusing on that feeling that everything is fine and there’s nothing to worry about. If you need something to focus on, try a shady spot near a babbling brook where the only sounds you hear are the birds and the brook and a gentle breeze as it moves through the leaves of a huge willow tree that seems to have the perfect spot for you to rest your back against and close your eyes for just a moment.
Ahhh, there it is.
Now, come on back and allow yourself to consider what takes you out of that space. Is it your work, your family, your… ? Maybe it isn’t any of the specific people or factors that make up your life as much as it’s about the way you perceive them. Interesting. What happens if you go back into that lovely visualization again and bring your spouse with you. Let he or she share that space for a moment and maybe you’re lounging together at the base of the willow cuddled up on a blanket and just relaxing together… Now what if you add your kids and make it a picnic scene… Imagine everyone behaving nicely and getting along. Picture laughter and play and everyone occupying that same space of Peace of Mind. (If you don’t have a spouse or kids, substitute your friends, pets, parents/siblings/nieces/nephews – whoever is important in your world.) How did that feel?
Our lives have gotten so busy it’s easy to get caught up in the hurry of things and in that pace of “Right Now!“, isn’t it? There are a lot of things and a lot of people who want to tell us what we “should” and what we “have to” in order to be considered “Good Enough”. And only the people who are “Good Enough” get to be successful and have joyful, happy lives, don’t they? Isn’t that the world we live in? Or is it…
Stop, take a breath, close your eyes, and be back under that willow tree with the people you love the most. How many “shoulds” and “have tos” does it take in that space to be “Good Enough“? Ahhhh, there it is.
To have true Peace of Mind requires that we be aware of the outside demands, but that they don’t become our central focus. People talk about this idea all the time. Having your priorities straight, mindfulness, knowing what’s important. But whatever words we attach to this idea, it can be incredibly difficult to perceive what is required and even more difficult to put it into practice.
So here’s an idea: What could change in your world if for just the next 3 days, 3 times a day, you could take just a moment to breathe and close your eyes and be under that willow tree again with the people you love the most? Lounging, relaxing, playing, and enjoying them thoroughly. Maybe put something on your desk to remind you. A picture, a post-it note, write a note on the bathroom mirror, whatever works for you. And whenever you see that, stop, take a breath, close your eyes, and be back under that willow tree with the people you love the most.
What would it take for you to just give it a try and see what might shift? And once you get the hang of it, what if you made it a strategy you can use whenever you like to help you when the “shoulds” and “have tos” come calling and things start to feel like they’re going too fast? It happens to everyone and you can get caught up in it if you want. Myself, I’m not really a big fan of the heart pounding queasiness that happens when I start to feel like things are spinning too fast, but maybe you are. As always, it’s just a choice.
What do you choose?