Thursday, May 16, 2013
So yesterday was my birthday. But for some inexplicable reason, I didn't take the day off of work. Why? I guess it's because I got so wrapped up in my day-to-day routine that I didn't stop to think that I should sit back, relax and enjoy a bit of peace and quiet.
I think this happens far too often, not just to me, but to most people, especially the ones that have a full plate of responsibilities. Sometimes, I get so tangled in all of the things I 'have' to do, that I forget to schedule time for the things I 'want' to do, let alone actually doing them.
Don't let that happen. The work will always be there. It's okay to relax and enjoy yourself. What do you do to relax? Are you going to relax today? Make a list of three things that you find relaxing and try to do at least two of them before you go to bed tonight. I'm betting you'll sleep better. Try it.
Thanks for reading. Questions and Comments are welcome.
Thursday, January 10, 2013
When you remove the noise and chatter of life, when you remove the distractions and supposed responsibilities, when you quiet the hustling cacophony and mind numbing drivel, what do you have? Turn off the TV, turn off the cell phone, shut the windows, click off the radio and close the door. When you pause from your day-to-day routine and allow the silence to embrace you, let the agitation of everything fall away, let yourself relax and listen to your mind as it unwinds from the unnerving tension you constantly battle. What do you hear?
Can you relax enough to allow your deep inner voice to express itself? So often our ‘responsibilities’ get in the way of our selves. We are more than or jobs, our bills, our possessions. We are our hopes, our dreams, and our passions. Or at least we should be. Some people swear by meditation, others call it prayer; others encapsulate their mental decompression in yoga, or Tai chi. Some people just sleep. It's the release from mental oppression that those people seek, and sometimes find. That release is worth pursuing. But, too often the world demands more than we can give, and like petulant youngsters, we insist on trying to rise to that demand, not realizing that we cast away our true passions for the rat race that is today’s society.
If you were to just listen to your inner voice in that silent void you created, would it speak to you? Would you listen if it did? What if you heard that inner voice tell you a truth you didn’t want to accept or confront, would it then be something you could heed? Distractions have a way of blinding us. They take away the mind’s eye’s ability to see what is truly important. I find myself constantly reminding myself that I am in this journey of life racing only against myself. Yes, I can use others as a guide, role model, inspiration, but I desperately try not to compare myself to others. When I do, invariably I start to feel less successful, less capable, and less able. Although, sometimes I can see just how much better I’ve done than others, and it makes me feel undeservedly superior. Listening to my silent void I constantly hear one very specific thing: You can do better.
I’m not a perfectionist; I’m not a workaholic; I’m not a crazed fanatic. I see others that are so driven by one obsessive goal they forsake almost everything else for their prize. I can’t do that, but I do have goals. I’m on a mission, however. I have dreams; getting published, finding true love, financial independence, freedom to travel, gaining knowledge and enlightenment, but none of them are obsessively dominant. Some might say I’m well rounded. Am I better than those obsessively driven alpha types or are they better than me? When I sit and listen to the silence I don’t hear their voices, I don’t see their dreams, and I don’t feel their passions. I feel mine.
In the end, the silence tells me that I alone exist in my mind. Cognito ergo sum as Rene Descartes would say. That’s the beginning. Fortunately, if you listen to the silence, you might learn what direction to take next. Are you listening?
Picture credit goes to: Blue energy tornado by Juri Hahhalev, www.crestock.com
Thanks for reading. Comments and questions are welcome?
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Sometimes it’s okay to have nothing to say. Sometimes it’s okay to just be quiet, sit back and enjoy the peace and quiet that can come with inactivity. Relaxing and letting your mind decompress from the day, or week depending on how stressed you are, can be a great thing. Not every minute of every day of your life has to be chasing your dream, carrying out your mission, or on your feet. You are allowed to relax every once and a while. In fact, it should be part of your schedule. You know that old saying, ‘All work and no play makes jack a dull boy?’ Well, it’s true. You have to know when to slow down, take a moment and pause. Reflecting on what you’ve accomplished for the day, the week, or just at the task at hand is a good way to gauge how your success is going, or not going as the case may be.
Sometimes I have felt myself pushing too hard and not getting a good return on my time investment. If that ever happens to you, slow down, stop even. After I finished my master’s thesis, I wanted to just jump right into my next project. I thought being busy was the best way to maintain my productivity. But you know what I found out? My brain was way over taxed and I needed time to decompress. I realized and had to accept that I needed time to be silence, relax, and find a new perspective. It took three months before I felt like I could realistically take on a new challenge. But you know what? I’m glad I took that time because now I have so much more mental energy to devote to my new endeavors, it feels invigorating!
So, you should take a look at what has worked, what isn’t working, and what might work. Sleep on it. It will be there in the morning. And if you come to your task with a fresh perspective, you might just be more successful at achieving your goal. And all of it was because you weren’t afraid to take a minute and relax.
If you have questions or comments, please reply. Thanks for reading.
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