As we rush through our day with work, kids, jobs, school and relationships trying to fulfill everbody’s needs to the best of our ability, the days seem to stretch into weeks or months before we can catch a breath for ourselves. Inevitably, there will come a moment when we find ourselves wishing for some peace and calm. But sometimes going to the gym, or yoga class though a good idea seems like one more place to get to. So it’s best to seek just not any space but one of calm quietude. Quietude: meaning a state of gentle, calm, tranquil and undisturbed peace. Thinking it doesn’t exist? Wanting to be there now but a vacation is not practical or out of reach? Well, it is closer than you think! Being alone with one’s self and quieting the mind relaxes the body, nervous system and releases tension from the muscles. Indeed, there is a trick to this but it’s an easy one. Have you ever seen the sun at dusk as it is setting off the horizon while on the beach. The sun is a big ball of fire that emits an array of colors that streaks across the sky. Take a moment to remember one time in the early evening, think of being on the beach, get a picture of it in your mind’s eye…the reds, oranges, blues and purples of the sun as it sets. Now pay attention to what happens within your body as you visualize that event within your creative subconscious! Notice how your breath begins to slow down and you breathe a little deeper than you normally would breathe, slower and deeper… and that your shoulders drop a little and relax, that’s it …. Now take a deliberately deeper breath.
Perhaps it isn’t the beach but a mountain or particular meadow that you recall easier. Sitting under a tree, feeling the bark against your back, noticing the verdant green of the blades of grass that surround you…the majesty of the mountains as they seem to stretch upward; higher, ever higher into the sky. The rustling sound of the breeze as it flows through the branches and caresses the leaves above your head, the coolness of the earth under you… Take a moment to just think of being in one of these two places, what else do you notice …just take a moment to be in that space a little longer. Notice with me now how your body feels. Is it a little calmer and more relaxed? If so, good job! You just asked your mind to actively do something and it responded! The problem has been you haven’t been asking because your mind is focused elsewhere. But a minute ago, you actively asked your mind to create a visualization then paired it with a meditative exercise. This method is called being mindful. Mindful awareness redirects the mind. Having sensory specific detail helps the inner mind to focus and pay attention.
Utilizing mindfulness techniques to quiet and refocus mind from the days tasks relaxes the mind and body. One of the best times to achieve this is at night before you fall asleep, though any time is ok. Night time is generally more quiet, less disturbance with noise, tv, radio, activity with others in the household. Rule of thumb is what the mind creates, feeling follows both emotionally and physically! Making time to go to the beach, walking a trail in the mountain or sitting amongst the trees in the park physically is great but not necessary to achieve a sense of peace or create a space of calm quietude.