Tag: peace of mind

“I can’t focus, my mind’s all over the place!” If I had a nickel for every time I heard someone say this to me, I’d be rich. I hear friends say they take on a million tasks at once and they’re onto the next task before finishing the first one—which really means nothing ever gets done.

Our minds move a thousand miles per minute, and with the speed of technology, we’re not slowing down any time soon. The TV’s on, the radio’s blaring, the cell phone’s pinging with every new text, and Facebook’s open 24/7. Information is so readily accessible, it’s easy to get wrapped up in having to know it all. And after knowing it all, we try to do it all. An endless cycle that can go on forever as if we’re running on a hamster wheel.

This state of overthinking, overload and overwhelm is all too common.

We’re split and scattered between past, present and future, juggling roles and responsibilities. We’re caught up in regrets about yesterday and worries about tomorrow. It’s no wonder we struggle to fall asleep at night.

These are the effects of mental clutter. The head fog, the confusion, the chaos, the stress. And this “stuff” affects our environment. It leads to our messy desks, our overstocked cupboards, our overflowing closets and drawers.

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It’s easy to wake up and just start running around the house like a crazy person making breakfast, checking email, putting dishes away, doing push-ups, rummaging through closet hangers for an outfit and getting the kids out of the house. Ambitiously, in the spirit of “getting it all done.”

Most of us can relate to a morning like that. And how it starts is typically how it ends.

Our days begin to look colorless and feel monotonous, and we can’t see the horizon because we’ve cluttered our view with tasks, obligations, chores and responsibilities. The weight of it all is debilitating.

We have only 24 hours in a day and sometimes that doesn’t feel like enough because we’re cramming too much in.

So much so that it’s confused us, clouded our focus and crippled our peace. Our effort to get it all done is actually counterproductive.

But what if we started a little slower and a little more thoughtfully? How would a peaceful start change our day, its course and momentum? How would our morning affect our focus throughout the day? How would it improve the way we speak to others, what we put in our bodies, and how we feel by the time we return home at night?

How can we use our morning to put us on the good foot? To open us up to receive what comes and to welcome it with open arms, whatever it is? I have an idea how…

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Meditation is for everyone. Even you. How do I know this? Because, as humans made of spirit and flesh, we seek balance. We seek both action and inaction. Both challenge and ease. Both excitement and calm.

Coming into balance, given the daily exchange of stimuli, requires that we pause the incoming and outgoing, and allow for the settling. Like a shaken snow globe returning to still after it is set down.

After encountering stimulation after stimulation in our waking life, we need to calm the mind and center our attention inward. We need to reconnect with and replenish ourselves. Imagine us as little batteries walking around; at some point, we need to get recharged.

The recharging that meditation offers, however, is different than sleep. It’s much more than just relaxing our muscles, closing our eyes and dreaming. Meditation is decluttering.

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Even after listing all the benefits, the few who still cringe at the thought of meditation don’t realize the gift it is. They’re too caught up in thinking they can’t do it. Believing the myths and getting discouraged.

“Is it sitting around thinking about nothing? My mind never shuts up! Besides, I have too much to do to set aside 15 minutes to do nothing. That’s time wasted.”

But it isn’t time wasted. It’s so powerfully recharging and rejuvenating that once you experience the gift of meditation, you’ll happily make the time to do it because it will prove to be the best way to start the day.

Reconnecting with yourself in meditation, checking in and getting centered is how we stay cool, calm and collected. This work leads to clarity, insight and peace.

It leads to connected relationships. The time spent in meditation will equal how joyful and present you become with those you encounter at home, work and everywhere.

Once you decide that meditation is worth it, it will be. And you’ll see the gift of meditation manifest in your life immediately.

If you’re still wrestling with the idea, unconvinced of its benefits, let me offer you a crash course in meditation.

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Running around nonstop all over the place. Speed racing through traffic to get to your next appointment on time. Losing your cool because yet another person asks you for a favor. Cutting people off mid-sentence because you have other things to do. Multi-tasking as many things as there are minutes in the day.

This is no way to live. And if this is how you’re living, you need to declutter your busy.

In other words, declutter how you spend your time by limiting what’s on your plate—doing less—with the aim of having more downtime to connect with the you underneath the busyness. The you underneath all the To Do lists.

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“Keep it simple,” my mom would say whenever I was on the edge of a panic attack in college. Now her voice rings in my ears when I start to get stressed, anxious or burned out. It’s my trigger to let me know I’m doing too much. The stress I feel lets me know I’m putting way too much pressure on myself to get it all done.

Maybe you too have felt the crushing weight of stress and didn’t know how to handle it. I get it. Nowadays, we have more tools for getting stressed than we have for ridding stress.

Stress is self-inflicted; it is us torturing ourselves. We place expectations on the outcome of our pursuits, demanding that the orchestra of life perform a certain way. But what if it doesn’t? What if the chords are off, or an instrument is missing? We berate the conductor and the musicians. We challenge the sheet music and try to perfect the tempo, rather than just enjoy the beautiful rhythm.

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There’s power in I don’t know. It is one of the most powerful phrases we can utter. It’s courageous, yet vulnerable. It’s competent, yet inquisitive.

Just say it to yourself, “I don’t know.”

How does that feel?

Those three words assume no authority, require no action, no justification, declare no right or wrong-doing. They are free of all burden and mistake. They are clear of all nonsense and clutter.

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