Stop and Smell the Stillness
We all have felt overwhelmed. Sometimes it’s low-grade, other times it’s intensive. Regardless, we need self-care when it hits. Lucky for us, there is a remedy that works in response to stress and overwhelm. And bonus: it also works as a proactive measure for the same!
Meditation. And it’s not necessarily what you think it is.
- Hey, is that the thing with all the chanting?
- I thought it was prayer.
- Can’t I just go for a walk?
Yes. Or not. To all of that. And so much more.
The dictionary defines “mediate” as, “think deeply or focus one’s mind for a period of time, in silence or with the aid of chanting, for religious or spiritual purposes or as a method of relaxation.”
The point here is focus and purpose. In other words, tuning into ourselves. Get quiet in your head (or at least try). This is the antidote to our symptoms of stress and overwhelm. As well as to regular, wonderful, interactive Life.
Stop. Breathe. Quiet (your mind).
You get to decide what that looks like, for you, on any given day. Here are some examples:
- Closing your eyes
- Breathing deeply
- Walking the dog
- Petting your cat
- Listening to a selection from a meditation app
- Following a meditation YouTube video
- Doing the dishes
- Feeding the birds
- Sitting in the sun
- Sitting in the shade
- Picking berries
- Shoveling snow
- Watching a candle flame
- Gazing at traffic as it goes by
- Feeling the breeze on your face
It’s not what we do, it’s how we do it. Stillness. Breath. Mindfulness.
It’s not how long we do it, it’s that we do it. Stop. Attend. Intend.
Spend a little quality time with You. Regularly.
For me, this looks lately like 15 minutes in the quiet of the mornings, once I become the only person home. Intention, breathing, stretching, gratitude. My dog unfailingly joins me on the floor for this, and we celebrate the sunrise together.
Enlightenment is an accident, but meditation makes you accident-prone.
–Jack Kornfield, via kn literary arts
The difference in my days is dramatic. This has become my sacred practice.
…Well, for my weekday routine, anyway! I am still finding a weekend practice that works for me…
What is your current meditation practice? Do you call it that, do you call it something else, or it simply Is? What approach to meditation would you like to try, to explore? Share in the comments, below. Or, just sit and notice your breath. As well as the spaces between the breaths.
Ah, there you are.
Every breath. Every moment. Every day.