As I was driving one day, I realized something about myself. I oftentimes will turn on the news on my car radio and NOT listen to it. How many of you do that? I am sure there are many. But one thing shocked me even more.
I turned on noise so I could think more clearly. Noise helped me to concentrate.
I never thought myself to belong in that camp of people but today’s reality is we live in a loud and busy world. And to create a realm of quiet and stillness is deafening. It is so uncomfortable, we can not think straight. What a paradox!
Yet, like many things in our world, just because this is our current state, doesn’t mean it has to be our permanent state. We can take baby steps toward a life unplugged. We can learn to turn off the media and stimulation that fuels our lives and gain clarity through a natural state of peace and quiet. Whether that is getting up 30 minutes earlier in the morning, going somewhere quiet on your lunch break, or turning the TV off a little earlier in the evening, we need to take time to sit in the stillness of the day and . . just. . .breathe.
Let it be uncomfortable. Let yourself feel antsy and distracted. And eventually your practice will yield a more restful state of mind that will help you sleep better at night, handle stressors during the day, and find better focus.
Challenge: Take 5 minutes a day to sit in an upright seated position on your yoga mat or in a chair and take slow long breaths. Follow the pattern of your breath. The way it fills and empties your stomach and chest. The temperature of the breath. The way it sounds. Letting your muscles soften and relax. And remember. This is practice. So be patient with yourself. Allowing distractions to float away as you see them and returning to your breath.