Monday, July 18, 2016

Let yourself be still

It's really tough to be still these days, isn't it? Both still on the outside—and also on the inside. Even if you get yourself to actually sit and do nothing (and how often does that even happen?), your mind is probably still racing in several directions. I know my mind does that. It's often called "monkey mind" because it jumps from one thing to another just as monkeys leap from one tree to another.

However, in this crazy-busy world that can often cause our stress levels to go off the charts, it's important to occasionally (and I would even say, regularly) do nothing—to observe sabbath or quiet time. It's healthy and transformative to put down our phones, devices and, yes, even our books. Just sit and try to quiet your mind. When thoughts come, just notice them running across your mind as though an airplane with a banner message were flying by. Let it come. Let it go. If you practice this for enough days and don't give up, soon you'll be able to go still at least for a time. And you'll be able to extend that time gradually.

Don't start with high expectations. Even if you sit for 3-5 minutes at first, that will probably seem like 20 or 30! Just be forgiving with yourself and don't give up. See if stillness and sabbath-time don't make you feel better—healthier, more creative, more compassionate, loving and forgiving. We all need to create some space in our lives where all the world's and our own cares don't crowd in and threaten to drown us. This helps us to stay centered and grounded.

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