Think about some of the things that you might deal with day in and day out...making decisions, brainstorming, negotiating, helping a friend through a hard time, being there for your family as a mom, daughter, sister, wife, the list goes on and on. Now think about how you want to show up for those situations. I'm guessing you'd choose happy, centered, and calm over miserable, disconnected, and frantic, right? Right.
One of the major things I've learned is that focusing on cultivating the peace in your inner life is what will create that sense of peace and balance in your entire life.
So, if that's something you're looking for you've come to the right place! In this week's podcast I share the three steps I take to tap into and expand my sense of inner peace, and how you can do it too.
I know these things work because they have worked for me and the good news is you can do them in as little as 15 minutes a day, so you have nothing lose by giving it a try. I can pretty much guarantee that you'll notice a major difference in how you feel, act, and BE.
Click below to listen to the podcast and keep reading for a quick look at the steps. I'd also add, if you find yourself feeling super resistant and basically hating the idea of doing any of this stuff, I'm speaking from experience when I tell you that is a sure sign it's exactly what you need to do. Let me know how it goes!!
1. QUIET YOUR MIND
I was super resistant to even trying meditation for a long time. I mean, it sounded nice I guess, but sitting quietly while my thoughts swirled around in my head was pretty much the exact opposite of what I wanted to do. But it became clear to me it was exactly what I needed once I finally gave it a chance and, eventually, committed to doing it as a daily practice.
If you're just starting out and pure silence feels like too much to handle, a great way to ease in to it is to pick a super relaxing song you love, put it on, and sit with your eyes closed while you listen to it (Sarah McLachlan does it for me). And then just breathe and let whatever thoughts you have come up, and try not to judge them.
You don't have to clear your mind of thoughts, just think of it like you're practicing getting more comfortable being with your thoughts.
2. GET YOUR THOUGHTS OUT OF YOUR HEAD
Have you ever heard of Morning Pages? It is a simple practice, but really powerful and not just for people who like writing or journaling. I think of it as burning off a layer of the morning fog in my brain. Meditation starts the fog burning process, and morning pages brings it home.
I was introduced to the concept of Morning Pages in Julia Cameron's genius book, The Artist's Way, and was surprised at how much doing this practice helped me process my thoughts. The official description from her site is:
"Morning Pages are three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. *There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages*–they are not high art. They are not even “writing.” They are about anything and everything that crosses your mind– and they are for your eyes only. Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize and synchronize the day at hand. Do not over-think Morning Pages: just put three pages of anything on the page…and then do three more pages tomorrow."
I know you might be thinking, "There is NO way I could fill three pages with deep thoughts every morning!" And you might be right, but it doesn't matter. That is the simplistic beauty of Morning Pages. Sometimes what I write is revelatory, but often it's just a stream of consciousness list of the stuff that's taking up space in my head.
This is not supposed to be a masterpiece, and no one is going to see it but you. It's just a space where you can let your worries, hopes, fears, gratitude, etc. flow on to the page without giving a thought to how any of it sounds, if you spelled that word right, or what other people will think. It's totally freeing.
3. LET YOURSELF OFF THE HOOK
When we're stressed and overwhelmed we tend to be harder on ourselves for not doing everything perfectly, but in my experience all that does is make the situation worse.
Sometimes, you just need to stop judging and let yourself off the hook. So, your job in that moment is to do the best you can and forgive yourself when everything doesn't go according to plan.
Just think, what would it be like if you gave yourself permission to be free from that kind of judgment?
This can be challenging at first, but each time you essentially surrender it all and trust that somehow all the important things will get done, they do. Remember, done is better than perfect!
And each time you have a little victory and things work out because you let yourself be imperfect, you're planting another seed in your mind that you don't need to stress yourself out in order to get things done.