Breathing deeply I view my thoughts as children running amok in the schoolyard and 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, are at rest.

Today I happen to be sitting in front of my mediation cabinet that holds behind it’s doors a candle, my favorite sandalwood incense, poems, Bible verses and such. Not all my attempts to quiet my mind occur here in front of what some would call an alter of sorts and since I sit here not to worship, but to become still and listen, I call it my point of focus. But don’t be intimidated or put off in giving meditation a try just because you don’t have a special place to sit. 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 heart can’t hear. Again much like a child, 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 everyday—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, 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, breath deeply, quiet your mind and make a vow to live in connection with your soul beginning now. Do those same three simple steps everyday and it will be a transformative year, of that I’m certain.

3 Simple Steps for Creating Calm & Listening to the Messages of Your Soul

  1.      set a timer for 5 minutes
  2.      take a few deep breaths
  3.     quiet your mind, let go of thought, rest

How do you do it? Share a comment below about your ways of creating inner peace daily.