This week is one of those everything-happening-at-once kind of weeks. Lots of work deadlines, personal demands, and physical stress so I’m taking extra care to stay aware and grounded. I don’t want those critical inner voices to run away with me, nor do I want to create drama, or add stress to my circumstances, so, once again, I’m drawing on the practices below. Culled from the so-called greatest hits file and published for the first time in 2011, these three practices keep me sane (er) and help me remember what’s important.
They support my inner landscape no matter the outer circumstances and help me stay conscious and connected during uneven times. Try them, and perhaps they’ll provide a little peace during your busy times.
I’m always test driving new approaches and ideas to raise the level of my own life. But, there are few practices I’ve used regularly over the years that have become mainstays.
They foster awareness, help ease my stress, help me focus, make me feel better. They can be done on the spot, require no supplies and often just take a few minutes. And they work every time. They are game changers that shift my day to a better place.
Here’s what they are.
1. Gratitude – Write a list on paper, give thanks quietly to yourself, or yell it out loud while in the car en route to pick up your kid. However you do this, make a conscious practice of gratitude. This requires you to become present and aware in your life – a nice side effect. You’ve got to notice what’s going on to be grateful for it. But, when you give thanks, you also feel better, more hopeful. And you act accordingly. You see what’s working in your life and uplift your energy.
2. Intention – Get clear about what you want to create every day. I focus on the feeling I want to have. I set my intention before I get out of bed in the morning. Often it’s something along the lines of “I intend to be patient, kind and creative today.” Or, “to do work that is fulfilling and professional for the greatest good of all.” My intentions are like little spiritual road maps and they help me direct the spirit of the day.
3. Solitude. This is a biggie for me. Each day, at some point I need alone, quiet time. Not with an Ipod blaring. No t.v., no work, no books or text messages, just me and the quiet.
With a five-year-old running around it isn’t always (read: EVER) easy. Sometimes my solitude comes in the shower, or a short walk around the neighborhood, or while waiting in the car parked outside of her school. But, I seek it. I need it and I relish it. Solitude for me is a time to rebalance my body, mind, and spirit. To pause and take a breath and observe my thoughts and my feelings and let them go. It’s a reboot. The more quiet time I have the better I feel, but even a couple minutes is enough to make a profound difference in my day. To help me reconnect with who I am. There is peace in that.
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