I shot this video after a speaking engagement in Montego Bay, Jamaica. I always pause to take in nature and then write an affirmation. Join me for this one-minute Power Living Mini-Escape. To capture its power, say it out loud.
Ever since I was a little kid, nothing made me feel better than lying on my back and looking up at the clouds. Wherever I am, as long as I can look up (or down) and see clouds, I feel kind of exhilarated.
When I sit down to meditate a crazy cacophony of ideas vie for attention, each one more urgent than the last. These ideas are like demons that need to be released into the air or they will undermine my ability to function.
I don't let stress taunt me. In fact, I fight back whenever it rears its head. And I do this by relying on what I call my "Freesome Threesome" -- a liberating trio of surefire rituals that relieves the pressure, brings me a sense of equilibrium and recharges me for the next onslaught.
I am exactly where I need to be at all times. My soul is on a learning line, and who am I to try to figure out why it is where it is right now? My job is not to attempt to answer that question but to remain present in the place I am.
My current circumstances have challenged me to be very intentional about how I focus my attention. Below are six specific attention practices that create a peacefulness through my days, regardless of my circumstances.
The most stress-relieving and rewarding parts of my week occur when I volunteer at local hospitals. These times allow me to get out of my own head, to put my own problems aside, and to be mindful of the present moment.
We often hear calls and initiatives for self-growth, but what I have come to realize is that we cannot truly understand what self-growth means until we understand separately what self means and what growth means.
As an animation director, my job requires a lot of sitting alone in my studio, often in my pajamas, drawing the same thing for hours on end. If you do this every day for three months, you can start to go a bit mad -- especially if the workload doesn't allow for much down time.
Five days a week I skip rope, run, box, something, anything for an hour. Rarely more, never less. During the workout I attempt to put away all angst and worries about deadlines and book sales and book talks and family bills and family problems.
You don't have to sit for 20 minutes or half an hour to benefit from a meditation practice. You only need a few minutes here and there to reduce your stress, minimize the noise from the world around you, and gain control of your life.
I used to think there'd come a moment when my to do list would get done and then I could take a break. Of course, in time, I came to see that this open space seldom arrives on its own -- that life has a way of continually filling up unless I do something to make it otherwise.
I am fortunate in the beauty of the place that is my home. But arcadia is found not just in places such as mine, but wherever it is that the soul comes to rest. We each can have our own private arcadia.