Today we are pulled, between phone calls, emails, text messages and social media, between sport, groceries and house work. It’s endless; it’s exhausting; daily life is humming like a million bees busily serving their queen. Its constant, repetitive, sometimes seemingly mundane hum makes it hard to find peace.
We are in relationships with people; friends, family and partners. We know everything that is going on in their lives as we see it posted on social media or we have just had a quick text chat. We feel connected, yet we are so disconnected and wonder why so many of our friendships or relationships are superficial.
I am sure you can name a few sistas or mistas with whom you feel close to, but when you actually think about it, it may have been 12 months or more since you have actually seen them in the flesh – like for real, in person, face to face. We are far too busy right? Most of us are so horribly busy we don’t have time to check in with ourselves, let alone with friends and family (despite the fact we love them dearly).
Does this habitual conversation starter sound familiar? “So how was your day?”… “Yeah busy, really busy”, “Oh good, keeps you out of trouble”… not to mention out of touch! Really? Why do we all find it so hard to let go of the glorification of being busy? I personally think it’s because its been drilled into us. It’s good to be busy, apparently achieving great things, trying everything and catching up with everyone including that lady you brought a vacuum cleaner off 5 years ago just because you should.
Children are whisked straight from school to an array of extra curriculum activities every other afternoon… we are routinely teaching our children how to be busy and how not to just be and be completely satisfied with that.
Think about a few things for a moment:
- How busy are you really?
- How much of what you actually spend your day doing, do you 100% need to be doing? On another note, if you need to be doing it, do you actually want to do it, or enjoy doing it?
- Are the people you are spending your precious time with the right people?
- Are you spending your time running around doing things for others, yet you have not done anything for yourself?
People are yearning for some stillness and peace in their daily routine. Though, most of the men and women I speak with claim that they are far too busy with children, work or chores to make time for stillness/meditation.
How on earth can you get even 10 minutes to meditate when you have little humans climbing off you from 5 in the morning? Yes it’s real, it’s very real and I have this happen to me frequently. The answer though: you need to want it, and consciously decide to dedicate at least 10 minutes of your day to stillness or meditation. Until you do this you will only ever sway in and out of your practice and certainly never deepen it.
For years (I am talking 15 at least!) I have been passionately attending retreats, group meditation classes, spiritual teachings and yoga classes, all with a good intention to be still. It was not however, until 12 months ago when I truly decided to make my practice a regular part of my life that I am now, noticeably starting to feel open, to feel my physical & emotional connection and to authentically understand what meditation, spirituality and growth is all about.
Anyone can find time to meditate and anyone can become a spirit junkie. Put down your phone, turn off the television and just be for a few quiet minutes. Think about your priorities… is it more essential to like 10 posts on Facebook or to listen to your soul for 10 minutes? You decide.
Here are a few little ideas which may help you find just 10 minutes a day to spend some quality time with yourself:
- Make and commit to the decision to dedicate 10 minutes a day to stillness.
- Wake up 15 minutes before the rest of the family (Cleanse, expel and then sit).
- Take 5 minutes to focus on your breathing during your lunch break or when your baby is sleeping.
- After work, take off your shoes and walk silently in the park or on the front lawn before you jump in the car or enter the house.
- Instead of trolling Facebook or checking your emails, turn off your phone and breathe consciously for 5 minutes.
- Resist the urge to let any thoughts or jobs that pop to mind distract you from your breathing. Acknowledge whatever it was and know that you can tend to it later.
- Resist the urge to grab your iPad before bed. Have a stretch and meditate with some relaxing scents or a candle instead. This need only be a 10 minute ritual to help slow your mind for slumber.
- Be flexible, if you miss your usual morning practice, do two 5 minute sessions when you can during the day – or as my yoga teacher suggests move through your day with mindfulness and don’t become attached to the practice itself.
- Don’t judge yourself and your attempts to meditate – just keep sitting. Don’t be fooled into thinking if your mind is chatting that you are not meditating or progressing. Simply noticing this is mindfulness.
Re-learning how to be still and content in your own company will enable you to blissfully move through your day-to-day activities knowing that anytime you need peace or a break, you can step away and it is there, within.
Get preoccupied with loving, connecting and respecting yourself. Settle your hum and just “bee”. When you do, love and kindness will naturally beam from your face and light up the hearts of those you touch, especially yours!
“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace within ourselves”
~ Dalai Lama