This year I’ve felt inspired to slow down, to be more present, to experience the beautiful flow of life. Above all, I’ve felt called to create space for stillness.
Maybe you can relate to feeling overwhelmed, busy, and mentally obsessed with planning and doing.
This was my norm for many years- rushing from one thing to the next and still feeling like I wasn’t accomplishing enough.
And then I would go on vacation, and feel complete freedom, ease, and a peaceful stillness.
Returning to “normal life”, the frantic busy-ness would engulf me and my sense of calm presence would disappear. I would get swallowed up by thinking and doing, knowing that if I could just make it to my next vacation I would taste that blissful peace once again.
This winter, Tom and I spent three weeks of non-stop nature time and limited connectivity in rural Mexico. Upon our return to work, I decided that it would be wonderful to have more of that ease and stillness in my every day life. I didn’t want to wait for vacation. I wanted to live that way now!
When I tapped into my inner truth, I knew it was possible, so I took aligned action to make it so.
Decreasing Digital Clutter
The books “How to Break Up with Your Phone: The 30-Day Plan to Take Back Your Life” by Catherine Price and “Bored and Brilliant” by Manoush Zomorodi had convinced me of something I was intuitively feeling. I wanted to spend less time on my phone; digital clutter was disconnecting me from real life.
Scrolling through Instagram snatched me out of the now and spat me out much later. I took a break from social media and instantly felt more freedom.
During this time I also realized that I had a habit of picking up my phone when I felt “bored”. By training myself to be an observer of my behavior, I could put the phone down and instead tune into the present. I learned that the present moment is NEVER boring. There is always something fascinating going on in the now.
If you are curious about your relationship with your phone, I recommend these books!
Tom and I also agreed to decrease our digital clutter by streaming shows and movies only on the weekends. This has made our weekday evenings feel so much more expansive!
Decreasing Mental Clutter
I talk about the monkey mind a lot, which is the name I use for the non-stop chatter of the ego. It is like background static that you don’t notice until you practice observing it. That monkey mind can leave you feeling harried and depleted.
When you become an observer it is possible to detach from the incessant stream of thought and feel the expansive space of being. For most of us, this is an ongoing process.
I think the best way to begin to understand the peace of releasing thought is through meditation. I suggest starting with a program like “Calm” or “Headspace”, in which you will be guided to become an observer of thoughts.
When we learn to witness our thoughts we can see how they contribute to stress and busyness- especially the thoughts that involve worry about the future.
Decreasing Physical Clutter
I am a huge proponent of creating physical space in my home. I love clear surfaces and organized drawers. For me, an abundance of physical things feels overwhelming.
Eckhart Tolle talks about how easy it is to become obsessed with things in our modern consumer society. We attach our sense of self to the things we have. We buy compulsively and when the new things don’t give us pleasure we buy more. I’m guessing you intuitively know that true happiness and peace do not come from material things.
But, perhaps you really like your things and now you feel a little nervous because you think I’m going to tell you to start purging. Nope, that is your choice.
What I will suggest is that you become an observer of your things.
Look around your physical space right now. Are you surrounded by piles? Is your closet full of clothing that doesn’t fit? Are your drawers filled with duplicate items, or things you have never even used? How do all those things make you feel?
Just take note, and if action to decrease physical clutter feels aligned, go for it!
Now, pause and reflect for a bit. Has any of this resonated with you? Do you feel called to bring more peace and stillness into your life? What aligned action could you take to manifest that intention?
I would love to hear your thoughts!
As always, email me: firstname.lastname@example.org