Two of the defining characteristics of western-hemisphere 21st century life, for many of us, are:
- An ongoing sense of being “busy” all the time, and
- A much greater range of choices in many areas of our lives.
Is this your experience?
Are you constantly busy, running from here to there, from place to place, meeting to meeting, appointment to appointment?
Do you find yourself living in a mood of “overwhelm” occasionally, or even often?
Many of us have lost what we may call a healthy sense of balance in our lives. Of course we need to be productive and accomplish our personal and professional goals… and at the same time, without a purposeful practice of slowing down, reflecting and taking a look at what we’re doing (actually, what we’re choosing), we may find that we aren’t really making our choices. They’re making us.
The invitation is to increase the degree to which you are living a purposeful life, a life of conscious choices.
We all live in language. Our little voice is rarely silent. And as we’re running around, many of us are not very powerful observers of the stories we’re creating and the choices that we’re making… day in, day out… year in, year out.
An ancient practice that has proven to have multiple benefits for those of us in the modern world is meditation.
There are many ways to meditate, of course, and many different approaches and schools. But they all include some versions of:
- Purposefully relaxing the body and stilling the little voice.
- Becoming a more detached observer of your internal conversations, and as they arise, simply noticing them and releasing them.
- Becoming a more detached observer of your moods and emotions.
- Breathing deeply and slowly, down in the stomach, not high in the chest.
- Quieting yourself and centering yourself in the present moment.
- Observing, not judging. Let's repeat: Observing, noticing...not judging.
Millions of people, for thousands of years, have benefited from the improved clarity and awareness that are predictable results of meditation. Resources are available for beginners – many, many choices are available. You can start realizing benefits almost immediately, and you can spend as little as 5-10 minutes a day.
What will you choose?