Body-Mind-Spirit - Inspiration for Writers, Dreamers, and Seekers of Health & Happiness
Today’s writer wears many hats. We are scribes, entrepreneurs, workshop and thought leaders, public speakers, social media experts, publicists, publishers, teachers, coaches, editors, partners, caregivers, and more. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. But here’s the good news: It’s impossible to become overwhelmed when you reside in the present moment. Overwhelm is a result of projecting into the future and imagining you won’t get everything you want (or think you need to do) done. In order to reside in the present moment you must slow down. Ironically, slowing your pace, doing less, enables you to do more. It’s counterintuitive, but try it and you’ll see what I mean. Here are a few suggestions for slowing down and becoming more present in your life. These activities will calm you, and a peaceful person is ultimately a more productive one.
Retreat To Your Sanctuary
If you don’t have a place in your home designed for relaxation, create one. You don’t need a lot of space; surrounding yourself with things that comfort you and make you feel cared for is enough. I recently renovated my bedroom, transforming it from the most neglected room in my house to a blissful relaxation sanctuary, where I now read in my cozy corner, or stare at the altar I created on my dresser, or “bathe” in flickering candlelight. I wear earplugs to savor silence, and I have a lavender-scented eye pillow for when I want to shut out light and relieve the pressure between my eyes. I sometimes listen to music, or guided meditations, and have declared this space a work-free zone. Now my response to my space is Pavlovian—relaxation kicks in the moment I enter that room. I also sleep better since I declared my bedroom a place of rest and rejuvenation.
A lot of folks are confused about meditation; there are as many ways to meditate as there are people in this world. The important thing is to remain open, receptive, and present. Sometimes I do seated meditations with my legs crossed underneath me, one hand on my belly and the other on my heart. Sometimes I plant my feet on the floor and imagine I’m connected to the earth and sky by a thick cord running through the base of my spine and up through the top of my head. Sometimes I follow my breath or my pulse. Other times I imagine my body filled with golden light. Sometimes I chant, or sing, or hum, or speak gibberish, all the while listening and trying to connect with the “me” that is other than my body. Sometimes I do a dancing meditation, or I walk. What’s important is my intention to connect and take myself as deep as possible into my center. It helps when I think of my life as a lake. My breath is the wind rippling its surface. Meditation helps me access calm, still waters. This is a profoundly nourishing place. Wisdom resides here. And guidance. It’s a reservoir of ideas and inspiration. Taking time to visit this place is well worth the effort.
Keep a Journal
Writing slows us down; after all, we can only write one word at a time. Writing in your journal can be like lifting the lid off a pressure-cooker to release steam. It’s also a great way to connect with yourself, and with Source energy. I have conversations with myself in my journal, using different colored ink for different voices. I give voice to my fears, my guilt, my shame, my confusion, and my joy—whatever emotions arise. Often, I’m not clear what’s present inside until I start scribbling. Taking the time to check in with yourself through journal writing will save time in the long run. You will have a clearer sense of what you’re doing and why. You will also feel connected, and a connected person is a happier one. It’s easier to forge connections with others when you feel connected within.
You may not think you’re the yoga type, but more and more people are turning to yoga to heal and nourish their bodies and to press the pause button in their daily lives. Not all yoga is intense, like Bikram Yoga, which is done in a heated room. Not all yoga involves strenuous postures designed for lean, flexible bodies. Many yoga studios now offer classes designed for rest and relaxation. These classes have various names: Yin Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Therapeutic Yoga, Slow Yoga. I recently took a “Breathe & Stretch” yoga class. The pace was borderline geriatric and it took me a while to acclimate, but by the end of the session, which I’d started in a frazzled state, I felt calm and centered. By focusing your attention on your body, yoga relaxes your mind, which is helpful for those of us who live in our heads. I don’t know about you, but my mind needs quieting on a daily basis.
Ask “How” Questions
Consider creating and releasing into the Universe a How Question. Here are three personal examples:
I’d love to hear what practices slow you down and help you to be more present in your writing and in your life.