Learning to be still
Lately I have felt like I’m rushing through life from one project to the next, hurried and overwhelmed with no control over what I’m doing or how I’m doing it. My mind feels like it is on constant overdrive with ideas and even when I sleep, my heart is racing so fast, I find it hard to truly rest.
Does this sound like you?
After speaking to a few friends I realise I’m not the only one who feels like they are moving too fast through life. Society tells us that we are only as good as our last project, our last great blog feature or our last award winning idea. So we feel like we can’t stop, we don’t want to let our families down, or our customers so we keep going, keep producing and neglecting ourselves in the process. Its a lot of pressure and I’m ready to release myself from it.
I’ve started taking steps to live a little bit slower and in the process learn how to be still.
I want to experience life, moment by moment instead of always looking forward to the next idea or next item on my to-do list. I want to live more meaningfully, mindful of who I am with at that moment, drinking in my surroundings and experiencing simple pleasures again.
Here’s how I’m learning to do that:
Sitting still without doing anything can be so much harder than it sounds. I’ve started to spend 5-10 minutes early each morning before the kids wake up, just being still. Just me and the sound of birds chirping outside. I don’t think about the day ahead. I simply clear my mind of everything by imagining a white screen in front of me. It helps me start the day peacefully and then when I’m ready, I go and brew my coffee and start the rest of my day.
Take your time.
Allow yourself time to do whatever it is you are doing at that moment. Instead of rushing to eat breakfast, I’m eating more slowly, considering every bite. Before I used to eat rushing round after the kids or answering emails from my phone. Sound familiar? Take the time to sit and fully experience the moment you are in.
Savour your suroundings.
Wherever you live in the world there is beauty around you. I live in a busy city but even there I am able to find hidden or less apparent beauty if I look hard enough. Flowers starting to bloom up between the cracks in the pavement, squirrels in the park, children’s laughter drifting through the air, the sound of rain hitting the window. Breathe in this beauty and savour it.
Turn off distractions.
If you feel rushed, turn off distractions. Close your email inbox for most of the day, switch off social media, turn off your mobile phone and just concetrate on the task at hand. If you are with your kids, be with your kids, fully. It may not be possible everyday but the more you can close your mind of the distractions the calmer you will feel.
Have you ever felt this way? What did you do to try and solve it?