The way we live today, there's just no time for being calm. We live in a tech driven, always on, fast lane society which perpetuates business, even rewards and reveres it. Multitasking may even become the new Olympic event in the near future. This pace has a cost, I'm just sayin, it's not free. It costs us in terms of our health, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Not to mention relationships. Yeah, that's a whole different blog for another month. But think about what maintaining this pace in life has cost you. Millions of people are suffering from chronic stress. About a third of people worldwide were stressed, worried and in pain last year. And more than half of Americans feel pressure and strain. These statistics are according to 2019 Global Emotions Report, Gallups' annual snapshot of the world's emotional state. And what a state it is! How can we improve these staggering statistics and move toward a healthier balance? We can intentionally create calm in our lives.
Creating calm has many components, such as breathing, meditation, movement (like yoga :)), keeping a healthy balance of diet, sleep and exercise. Let's not forget our complimentary healthcare including regular Massage Therapy (you saw that coming, right?). Perhaps, start with Mindfulness though. Bringing mindfulness to all that we do, our breath, our thoughts, our actions. Mindfulness is a practice of paying attention to the present moment. It's non-religious, non-dogmatic and rooted in Eastern principles. It's practiced all over the world and it's very simple to do. The work of this practice is to continually bring our attention to the present moment. The mind is a great time traveller, constantly remember events of the past and planning the future but the body is only ever right where it is. So when we practice coming home to the present moment, we use the body as an anchor to what is happening right here, right now. Can you feel the sensation of your breath moving in and out of your body? Notice the sensation of the soles of your feet on the earth. Bring your attention to the noises around you. It's in this sensory attunement that we consciously cultivate an awareness of life as we live it, from moment to moment. This is mindfulness.
Mindfulness can be practiced anywhere at anytime, formally or informally. It's about setting aside a moment...or ten...or 20, separating our selves from the busyness and rush of our day to simply pause and pay attention. Formal mindfulness practices include meditation, breathing exercises, mindful movement, walking or eating mindfully. The formal practices help us really buff up our muscle of focused attention. Taking small attainable steps in a formal practice is key and of course, consistency. This month of November will be dedicated to strengthening our calm muscles, building an oasis of AHHHH that we can visit over and over again whenever we feel life starting to pick up the pace. Start with taking a deep breath. Just Breathe and Keep the Calm in your life!!