Life is described as many things, but rarely is it referred to as peaceful, calm, or still. Our lives are a busy juggle of work, chores, responsibilities to ourselves and others and many unexpected things that creep up day to day. Sometimes meditation, quiet reflection and even time alone seem like a distant dream within our hectic lives.
So what can we do? Apart from feel helpless and put it in the "I'll worry about that quiet-time-for-myself-stuff later" basket? The good news is that stillness is within us. We do not need a quiet garden, secluded beach or a zen room with candles flickering before us in order to find it. The amazing thing about our personal power is that we can be still, wherever we are and whatever we are doing. It is a conscious and very empowering choice.
Here are five tips for creating stillness with ease within your everyday life:
1. Breathe. Whether you are on the subway, on a conference call, in the line at Starbucks, be aware of your breath. Take a few deep, slow breaths and notice how your body and mind feel as you tune into them and slow down for even 60 seconds.
2. Give yourself a minimum of 30 minutes of electronic downtime. It is surprising how many people go through all of their waking hours with a tablet, phone, TV or laptop constantly present, including as we fall asleep at night. I like what is referred to as the "electronic sundown" with no electronics active in the hour leading up to bed. Better sleep is much more likely this way, too!
3. Wake up 15 minutes earlier. This is a trick many successful people take advantage of. They wake sooner, before the world is awake and before the wheels start turning on all of life's demands. Take those minutes just for you and just be present in your body. It can center you and change your mindset for the whole day.
4. Be aware that you create your own energy. External conditions do not. Marianne Williamson said in her book A Return to Love, "Everything we do is infused with the energy in which we do it. If we're frantic, life will be frantic. If we are peaceful, life will be peaceful."
5. Learn from some of the greatest spiritual teachers. Apply their wisdom often by making stillness and calmness your daily mantra. Deepak Chopra recently said to Oprah on her Super Soul Sunday (when she commented how extremely busy he is and how tricky it was to get him on the show), "My body is busy, my mind is still."
Remember, your internal conditions create your external conditions. Peace begins with you.