Quiet time is a rare commodity these days. It’s almost impossible to carve out even 15 mins of peace from the constant chatter, rings and dings from all the mobile devices surrounding us……or is it ?
I agree it’s hard…something we have to consciously do…..but I do think it’s possible and very much a necessity. We’re so constantly in ‘do’ mode everyday that we rarely allow ourselves the opportunity to pause and reflect. A book I read recently “The Portfolio Life” calls it hitting the inner pause button. I think that’s a very apt description.
I was intrigued reading an interview with Deepak Chopra recently that his greatest teacher is his own inner silence….even once spending a whole week in silence in the canyons of Utah. Ok, I know for sure that would drive me nuts ! But the idea of finding ways to tap into your inner silence is not a crazy one. You just need to find ways that work for you.
A number of my personal ‘lightbulb’ moments have come when I’ve hit my inner pause button … and it wasn’t as a result of hours on end thinking about life. In fact, most of them have hit me out of the blue when I just allowed myself that opportunity to decompress – to take a deep breath and kind of like…. switching off your brain so that you can truly hear what your heart is saying.
Here are some ways that work for me –
- Turn off the radio or iPod when driving; especially the long drives . First, a confession. I’m one of those strange folk who truly loves driving ! In my previous job, I had to commute one hour each way to and from work, which I thoroughly enjoyed as it was mainly highway driving. And I would do it in total silence – no radio, music, nothing. The silence coupled with concentration just on the road ahead provided a great opportunity to allow my true feelings about life, work, family, whatever… float to the surface. I highly recommend it !
- Resist the temptation to check emails or social media when waiting for someone. Or while traveling, resist the temptation to bury yourself in a book, magazine or work (!) during the journey. The same principle applies….give yourself the breathing room to do nothing and free your mind to open up to new thoughts and ideas.
- Take a long walk …again, leave the iPod behind ! The quiet and getting back in touch with nature can help provide perspective.
- Finally, while it’s not for me, find a retreat that can offer quiet solitude for a few days. If you can handle it, it can be very helpful to center and re-ground yourself.