Who doesn't need to calm down? We are all so wound up. We are becoming increasingly engulfed by and washed away in our stress. Because of this, there is also a deep cultural plea for learning to slow down and unwind from the incessant and punishing pace of our lives.
Still, most of the time, it feels incredibly hard to access any inkling of a state of calm, and this assumed difficulty means that most of us have given calm up for impossible. We simply don't know how to make the space for another way of being.
No matter how hectic your life is, there are accessible moments in every day to tap into a place of soft and imperturbable peace. The conflict is that we often think of this state of peacefulness as a treasure residing somewhere outside of ourselves, which requires archaic maps and circuitous routes to reach, or designated vacation time. But the most profound oases of stillness are within you.
First, we must open to the idea that we are all filled with an innate quiet, one that we can touch if and when we give ourselves a sliver of a window to experience it.
Try this: Very first thing in the morning, when you are still suspended between sleep and wakefulness, can you focus solely on breathing into your abdomen once or twice and feel yourself riding on that lull before letting your eyes softly open? Can you simply acknowledge the peace that is inherent to that experience? Before the crushing stresses, plans, burdens, duties, and your necessary coffee become fixations upon which the mind seizes?
It doesn't mean you will have less time to check emails, shower or exercise, make breakfast for your kids or make your morning meeting. It does, however, mean that you have given yourself a precious pocket of calm that can be conjured during the rest of the day. To have that single point of quiet to refer back to is in itself a huge step.
Though it may seem absurd, it is through this sort of minute and precise adjustment that life begins to change. You will also start to notice other tiny opportunities in your day to take mindful pause, and to re-experience your inner peace. When you begin to allow yourself to do this practice daily, and to honor your personal stillness, the quality of each day will grow.
You will be filled with a deeper sense of everything being OK. Because isn't that really what we are all so stressed about? The fear that if we don't act, don't rush, don't move, don't work harder, things won't be all right? Touching stillness merely reminds you that no matter what, you are always, truly OK.
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