We will all have times when it feels like we are standing at the bottom of the mountain and all we have to look forward to is a long series of uphill steps to get where we want to go. I’ve been talking to a lot of people lately who are in the midst of just such a time—a move, a launch, a job hunt. Heck, maybe you feel that way about the holidays!
I know the tendency—to feel like you’ve got to just hunker down and power through. Keep going at all costs and put everything else that’s not essential or urgent out of your mind. One day in hopefully not too long you’ll be able to kick back a bit and breathe easier, maybe even have some fun. Later.
But here’s the thing. When you do that, you’re trying to live in the future. Which is basically an invitation for anxiety.
No matter how much you have going on, peace is too important to put off for even one day. Because it’s in those moments when you are aware of and immersed in this very instant when you have access to your inner wisdom. And that quiet voice is what’s going to guide you to where you want to go, so long as you stop to listen to it.
Finding moments of peace also takes care of your physical health—by reducing the physiological tolls of stress—your mental health—by giving your mind some time off from cranking out the worries and the doubts that only perpetuate your stress—and your emotional health—by giving you some space to actually feel your feelings and not act out of a desire to avoid those feelings.
Here is how you find those moments. First, you look for them. I don’t care how packed your schedule is, there are always pockets when you don’t have anywhere to be. But you will miss them if you don’t keep your eyes peeled for them! You will dive into your phone and poof! they will be gone. Maybe it’s in the waiting room of a doctor’s office. Or in the pick-up line at your kid’s school. Or Saturday morning before anyone else is awake. I promise you, they are there.
Then, you pay attention to them. It’s really that simple. That’s all mindfulness is, is paying attention to something other than your typical, constant chatter of thoughts. You soak up the feeling of the warm mug in your hands. You notice what you can see if you look up to take in the sky, or look into the eyes of the person you’re talking to. You get really cozy with whatever’s happening now and it gives you a mighty sense of being refreshed. Then, when you go back to taking care of whatever big thing it is you’re in the midst of, you’ll do it more efficiently and with more care.
You simply don’t have to wait for everything to be all taken care of to let yourself feel good—you deserve to feel that way all the time. In fact, anytime you notice your mood has tanked or your stress has spiked, it’s a sign that it’s time to go let yourself get absorbed in something so you can cuddle up with the present moment.
I’d like to add to the end of that quote “so long as you keep looking for them.” (Darn the 140-character restriction!) Because looking for those restorative moments is what helps ensure that another comes along soon. Because, say it with me!, what we focus on grows. J
I’m wishing you numerous times when you feel connected and at peace during these next few busy weeks.
And if you’d like to have a daily guide for creating more calm in your life—or you’d like to give one as a gift—I am so happy to report that I have two boxes of my so-new-it’s-still-unavailable-on-Amazon book “A Year of Daily Calm” here at my house. Whee!! Isn’t it pretty?!
You can purchase a signed copy using this link and I will ship it to you via Priority Mail on Monday, so you’ll get it in plenty of time for the holidays!
If you’d like more than one copy, or you live in another country, send me an email telling me how many copies you’d like or where you’d like to ship it, and we can work out the details and you can pay via PayPal.
I’m very proud of this book—it’s practical and inspirational, portable and beautiful. It includes gorgeous National Geographic photos and tons of my very favorite quotes. I think you will love it!