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Finding Quiet

Do you have those days when you just don’t want to do ANYTHING? I do. They creep in, often when least expected. For many years, I fought to pull myself out of the ‘funk.’ I told myself something was wrong with me for feeling blasé, melancholy, depressed. And then I started learning how to find the space to lean into what I’m feeling, rather than pushing through and blowing it off.

It’s important to first remember that feelings are telling us something. They are the body or mind or soul’s way of nudging us to take action. By leaning into the message that is there, we are taking a pose of curiosity and leaving room for exploration to better understand ourselves. Once acknowledging this, it’s about finding the space to explore. A great way to access that space is with QUIET - quiet in your mind, in your body, in your heart, in your physical space.

With quiet, there’s time for the mind to slow down, and time for the mind, body and soul to sync back into rhythm. This is an essential time to recharge. And that’s what our mind/body/soul is calling for when we have those feelings of ‘blah.’ We live in a world of ‘always being on.’ It takes courage to recognize when we need a moment to ‘turn off.’ Think of this meme (to the right): You wouldn’t let your phone battery die out and not recharge it; so why do we forget to recharge ourselves?

Re-synchronizing and recharging the mind/body/soul connection has been part of human life since the beginning of our existence. The most readily available way to recharge is rather simple, but often overlooked: SLEEP! Most everyone knows this, and ahhhhh, if it were just that easy… And yet, it is not, for many people. For many cultures, finding time to recharge invites sabbatical (or vacation), with the goal to disconnect from life. Somewhere in the middle, though, is a way to find quiet and recharge between balancing busy life and escapism.

Throughout the day, and definitely in the moments when there’s a need to be curious and listen, these are some simple ways find quiet:

  • Take 5 minutes before getting out of bed, before checking your phone, before starting your day – to just BE. In this time, I encourage you to just sit, without agenda for the day ahead, and take in everything around you. Listen to the sounds. Breathe in the smells. Observe the light in the room. Feel the weight of your body in bed. This is a time to just BE and be present, no thoughts, no judgement, just BEING in the moment. After finding this quiet, take a deep breath, clear your lungs and your mind, and greet the day ahead, feeling re-energized.

  • Listen to gentle music such as peaceful piano, spa music, Peruvian pipes, downtempo chill, ocean atmospheric sounds – whatever music brings you a sense of CALM. Having this in the background while making breakfast or cooking dinner, or while driving around town or to work, relaxes the mind, calms your nervous system, and allows you to focus only on the immediate task ahead. Your mind will quiet and your body and heart rate will slow down, bringing recharge.

  • Go out in nature (regardless of the weather). Being in nature offers enriching fresh air for the lungs and new activators for the senses. There is peace and beauty in nature and taking time to get out and observe the trees, leaves, animals, birds, landscape, water flowing, clouds moving, freshly cut grass, earthy smell from rain, crispness of the air, sun or cool breeze on the skin - resets the mind to a simpler state of being. For me, this is a reminder that I am ALIVE and part of something larger than myself and I feel re-synchronized with life around me.

  • Sit and close your eyes for 1 minute (or longer if able) and turn your focus inward. It’s important to close the eyes, as it reduces over-stimulation and then creates space to drown out the noise, smells, sights, sensations of the outside world, if even just for a moment. Maybe you even plug your ears too! This quick reset to find quiet from everything around you is incredibly renewing for the body: consciously drawing in oxygen through breath, fostering space to let the mind slow down and realign the mind-body connection.

With all of these ways of finding quiet, there is a common theme: reducing input from the outside world and bringing attention to one’s Self. Recharging doesn’t require a mid-day nap or sleeping extra hours (though, incredibly beneficial if you can), nor jetting off to a retreat. By re-setting how our senses interact with input from life, we are recharging our own battery – our Being.

Through quiet, we often find clarity. We find the ability to listen to what our mind/body/soul is telling us through those feelings of melancholy. There is wisdom within us, we just need to remember to listen to what it is saying. However you can find moments of quiet for yourself when you need it, the more connected you will be with yourself, with a truer understanding of other underlying needs you have. These are opportunities to recharge and gain greater ability to be curious to take action. Today, right now, take a moment to find quiet. What will you discover?

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