Taking a Time Out
Man, there’s all sorts of chaos going on out there in the world. Seems like with the elections, the bailouts, the hurricanes, the anniversary of 9/11 — all that, and then the holidays are coming — more chaos (no matter what you think of the holidays, they are absolute chaos).
This is the perfect time to really check in with ourselves and get some inner work done. As the world swarms around out there, having a solid inner foundation is critical in maintaining our equilibrium. This is the case in good times and bad, however it is mainly in bad times that we rely our foundations in a significant way.
When’s the last time you spent a little time alone? Remove all disturbances — television, computers, your iPhone or Blackberry and cut off the outside for just a little while. I’m not suggesting you have to full out meditate (though there’s so much phenomenal benefit to meditation that’s an entirely different article), I’m simply suggesting you listen to your inner voice for an hour or two.
There’s a beautiful quote by Lord Byron: “In solitude, we are least alone.” I think this is just amazing. It’s said that we are our own worst enemies, but I’ve decided that’s bad programming and have reprogrammed it as, we are our own best friends.
Maybe use this time to write out your universes or write in a journal. If cleaning soothes you (and I know a few people for whom this is true), then go crazy. Wash that kitchen floor or re-alphabetize your CD or book collection. Hell, why not pick up one of those books and read something inspiring.
If you’re so inclined, how about a little yoga? I understand there’s a yoga practice where you’re moving very slowly in a very hot room. (Not my cup of tea, but I can see how it might be good for the aches and pains.)
What else can you do for yourself? Practice forgiveness and gratitude. I’ve written about both of these before at length and can attest from personal experience and the experience of many of my students that these are two of the most clearing practices you can perform and will garner for you untold benefits.
And how about this: say no when you don’t want to do something. This is a tough one but really vital to caring for yourself. I personally don’t have an issue saying ‘no’, but I’ve met a number of people who feel that it is rude or they become uncomfortable and worried that they will make someone else uncomfortable.
All of these things not only have the benefit of shoring you up and building and maintaining a strong, unflappable foundation, they will also improve your energy, your mental health, your physical health, your spiritual health, how effective you are in all aspects of your life, how happy you are overall, and it will give you a great outlook when the world outside seems to be instable.
Until Next Time,
Kenrick E. Cleveland