In going through some files, I found a blog post I once wrote for the Heartwood website. Oh, my, how relevant it is this very day. I want to share it with you, since some of these suggestions might help you find a moment or two of quiet:
Are your days really noisy? The answer is ‘yes’ for most of us. We don’t necessarily initiate the noise. It finds us wherever we are. The images and chatter on social media, television, radio and words in blogs and editorials come across like continual static. The TV screen doesn’t have just one image to focus on. There’s often a split screen so we can multi-task, watch two events happening at once. And then there’s the constant scroll of words streaming towards the left at the bottom of the screen. Also, in these days of political campaigning, we are assaulted by candidates with arms high in the air telling us how everything is wrong, how horrible the opponent is. In today’s world, we don’t have this only in our home, because we can watch video clips, news anywhere on our phones.
It’s disconcerting, these attitudes and platitudes that permeate our days, with 24 hour news, sometimes repeating and repeating the same thing. Are you, like me, tired of seeing the words “Breaking News” for just about everything?
Our non-stop news coverage and the internet bring the world instantaneously to us. And it can be addicting. What is happening right now? What did I miss while I was at my doctor’s appointment? We don’t wait. As soon as we can, we look at our phone to see what’s going on, who might have tweeted something that’s worth re-tweeting.
We yearn for some moments of relief, moments when we can have a little stillness, free from all the chatter coming at us and from all the chatter within us, in our own heads.
What do we do? How can we get a breather, a ‘time out’ to lessen the noise?
A few suggestions:
- Recognize your need to take some time to be still, be in the moment.
- Let go of something tangible – Turn off the television. Don’t watch the evening news today. Wait a half hour after you get up in the morning before you look at your phone.
- Go for a leisurely walk or bike ride, without any electronic devices.
- Stare out the window for five minutes. Pay attention to what’s outside.
- Savor your dinner tonight. Focus on the colors, the enticing aromas, the fragrant spices hitting your tongue.
- Visualize yourself in a class that reinforces stillness — Tai Chi, QiGong, Yoga, Guided Meditation. Make the time and sign up for a class.
Stop right now. Take time to do this simple exercise:
“Bring your attention to the room you are in, to your body. Stand with your feet parallel, about hip-width apart, knees soft (not locked). Look straight ahead. Be aware that you are breathing.
Slowly start to move from side to side or in small circles, keeping feet flat on the floor. Visualize your legs and feet like a tree, with roots deep into the earth. You are rooted, tall, stable.”
That’s usually how I start my Tai Chi classes, starting to focus on our bodies, on the moment, slowly starting to move. Starting to relax our body helps us to relax our mind; starting to relax our mind helps us to relax our body. The noise of the day starts to disappear. We create stillness within. And we feel so much better.
Do one thing today to create stillness in your mind and body. Turn off the noise. You deserve it and will feel so good that you did.