“We live, in fact, in a world starved for solitude, silence, and private: and therefore starved for meditation and true friendship.” – C.S. Lewis
How are you feeling about life right now? What are you distracted by? What are you concerned about? What is the state of your mind right now?
Today we are shifting the conversation away from doing and doing more to taking time out to do less. We are talking about freeing the mind and the body of the constant noise we hear from all aspects of our life. Right now turn off the TV, the radio, the phone and any source of external stimulation. Just turn it off for a few minutes.
I want you to observe your mental state and the thoughts you have having. What are they? What thoughts and what feelings do you have right now? Are you at a place of peace and calmness? I didn’t think so. You’re thinking about what to do next. Your mind is cluttered with ideas and thoughts as a constant buzzing and it doesn’t bring about any sense of peace at all.
In the book “The Emotional Life of your Brain” the author Richard Davidson talks about meditation as a way to create new ways to respond and experience thought. In other words meditation or mindfulness helps the brain create new pathways which reduce the negative impacts of stressful situations. Meditation then help one respond rather than react to situations that generate negative emotions.
In a world where there is more and more negative stimulation, taking the time to focus on nothingness helps retrain the brain to shift from negativity to something that is more positive. Quieting the brain creates a greater sense of well-being and peacefulness which is what many people long for.
To help strengthen a more positive outlook without learning meditation you can do the following:
1. Focus on your positive characteristics – write down one of your strengths and one of a person you know well.
2. Be grateful. Be intentionally thankful and keep track of how many genuine thank-you’s you share with others.
3. Complement others genuinely. Look at the Smile & Move campaign for some ideas.
Now take a few minutes sit back and listen to the following clip. Take the time to slow down, and recharge.