Breathing deeply I view my thoughts as children running amok in the schoolyard.
Once I allow this to be okay, I gently call them to quiet and I watch in my mind’s eye as they slow down in their frenzy, then stop and sit, as I am, cross-legged on the earth and rest. These “children,” my thoughts, have become still.
Today I happen to be sitting in front of my mediation cabinet that holds behind its doors a candle, my favorite sandalwood incense, poems, Bible verses, and such. Having a specific place to sit each time you attempt to quiet your mind makes it easier to focus. It doesn’t have to be fancy or particularly tricked out, it can be a simple chair in the corner of a room where you go each day for the purpose of watching your mind. It’s the repetition that matters. This repetition trains your mind to know that when you’re in that spot, you’re there to be quiet, connect within, and watch your brain think.
The beauty of cultivating quiet is that eventually, you can experience it ANYWHERE—when the kids are melting down at the grocery store, you & your spouse are “discussing” finances, or when your boss moves up the deadline by a week.
Yes, mental calm and clarity can be experienced anywhere at anytime, but I have to say when I open those cabinet doors, smell the lingering fragrance of incense within, and sit on my pillow, it is like stepping into a sanctuary, bringing my heart to a reverent state for the activity that I am about to begin. That moment of centering, quieting my mind and opening my heart to the Divine, to what God wants to share with me is an activity that has become a vital part of my day.
Messages are always being spoken, but usually, our thoughts are shouting so loudly that our hearts can’t hear. Again much like a child who is poking her mom and talking over a conversation insistent that she be heard and now, our thoughts are like insistent children who have not yet learned to wait their turn. For both, there is a time to softly say, “Shhh, quiet yourself for a moment while I listen”—listen to God, listen to myself, listen to the voice within that is always, always providing the guidance we need to lead our best, most fulfilling lives.
How about you? Are you making time to listen to your wisest self? I invite you to shhh and to accept a most precious gift that you are being offered every day—the gift of connection with your own soul. Every moment that passes without you taking the time to listen for that still small voice within, to develop a solid relationship with yourself, is a day that you squander your best guidance for living the life you were meant to live.
Stop today if only for a second, breathe deeply, quiet your mind, and make a vow to live in connection with your soul beginning now. Do this daily and you will marvel at the guidance you begin to receive.
3 Simple Steps for Creating a Better Relationship with Yourself
- set a timer for 5 minutes (or more if you have it)
- take a few deep breaths to quiet your mind
- watch your thoughts, listen, receive