Have you observed people, who are always on the go? These are the people whose walks look like a run. Their strides are brisk and long, it seems like they are always late for their rides or appointments. They talk fast too when they open their mouths, they can't keep them shut and if you're the listener, you have to hang on to their every word, so as not to miss a thing. These are the people who are always in a hurry, even their thoughts get traffic inside their head, so many things are going on inside their mind and they just can't be still. Are you one of these people? Raise your hand. One hand is raising and that's my hand.
That's me alright. Most of the time, I just can't be still. I am doing my work and in the middle of it, it seems like it's a dead end. I would research about it, spent countless hours or even days, reading and studying all available materials about it. I'd be in front of the computer, almost mindless of the time and before I knew it, it's time for a break or time to go home and call it a day. While commuting homebound, my mind is still back to my work, at home, while watching my fave show, I'd like to grab my work and finish what I was doing. On my bed, exhausted and tired, but still my mind is churning. Wait...please...I have to be still, I need to breathe!
|Creative Common license, open-uri20130606-2071-rcsg66 by Guia de Niteroi, taken on June 6, 2013, All rights reserved, https://www.flickr.com/search/?user_id=54741531%40N04&view_all=1&text=open-uri20130606-2071-rcsg66|
I know, there are also women out there, who are like me. Maybe because of the myriads of responsibilities we own up, either at home or at work, our minds just continue to grind. These bring a lot of stress to us and as a consequence, we get sick, we get easily irritated, we feel anxious and on the verge of exhaustion.
I was in that boat and I want to get out of it. I want to help myself and I don't want to be in a state of chaos, what I want are peace and tranquillity.
How did I free myself from this ordeal which has been hounding me all my adult life?
1. I practiced being still and assessed myself. Am I tired, exhausted, anxious, sad, in grief, happy or excited? I have to admit what I am feeling or thinking and not be in the state of denial.
2. I had to take control of my feelings, emotions and my thoughts by stopping whatever I was doing. I closed my eyes and do breathe in, breathe out exercises. These simple exercise calmed my thoughts and my mind.
3. If I felt anxious, I don't brush this aside, instead, I think back and recalled what had happened or who I spoke with before anxiety had settled in me. In this way, I have a logical reason for feeling anxious and not being unsure, why I felt that way. If you are fully aware of the root cause of your anxiety then this calls for a valid action on your part to remedy it.
4. I practiced relaxing by literally slowing my strides, thinking more of good and happy thoughts, and taking time to enjoy my day by engaging in a hobby like reading a book, watching movies or take a short vacation. I find joy in engaging in simple things like cloud watching, tending on plants and flowers, these bring me simple joys and it cost nothing.
5. I get away from the crowd, from the noise. Being still leads to silence and it quiets us down because we get to pause from our work and from distractions. It brings us tranquillity because we are resting our tired, racing minds.
When there is silence one finds the anchor of the universe within oneself - Lao Tzu
Simple ways to propagate stillness in our life:
1. Be still and enjoy the quietness of your surroundings. Keep your mind silent, by willing your self to think of even just one happy thought.
2. Disconnect yourself from your gadgets and sit in your garden or front porch or take a leisure sip of coffee or tea in the solitude of your kitchen.
3. Do breathing exercises - since breathing is something we can control & regulate, we can achieve a relaxed and clear state of mind.
4. Set a day in your busy calendar as your free time. Take this day doing nothing or just whiling the day pampering yourself or enjoying a good read.
In these fast times, being still, being silent seems alien to us. We are busy earning a living, we want the last say in everything, we don't want to be overpowered by anybody. When problems crawl into our life, we want to take charge and solve it by ourselves. It comes to a point that we forgot that we are not in control of our life but God is. We get stressed because we are thinking of ways to solve our problems but if we had exhausted all humanly possible ways to remedy our problems then it means we have to rely on God to provide divine intervention. Surrender it to the Lord and humble yourself that although it is our duty & responsibility to manage our life with prudence & wisdom, it is God who is in control of our life.
The Lord will fight for you, You just have to be still. - Exodus 14:14
Have you experienced feeling chaos within you? How have you practiced stillness in your life? Share your stories below and let others draw comfort and inspiration in your story.
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Middle life is beautiful.
Till next time. God bless.