Finding calm is not as elusive as it seems. Sure it might take some practices, but the first critical ingredient is intention.
Often there are a million and one excuses for being unable to slow down, take a 5 minute rest, and switch off from our daily hustle.
I should know, 5 minutes of spacious, quiet, nothingness was a B I G challenge for me in the beginning - and even occasionally now when there are too many pots on the boil (things to do).
The biggest shift in the ability for me to glimpse and sometimes even deeply rest into a state of calm, has been my commitment to being available for the opportunity.
How about an avocado analogy for fun - because everyone loves one of those?!?
Sometimes finding a moment of calm is like waiting for our favourite green fruit to ripen: day 1 it’s not happening, day 2 it’s not happening, day 3 it’s not happening, and suddenly on day 4 it’s happened, and then we enjoy the delicious fruit of our labour. But find ourselves starting the patience game again the next day with a new fruit.
Look, may be avocados aren’t the best fit for this - but you get my point.
Showing up is everything when it comes to cultivating a new habit and rewiring our brains. Practice is the only way to develop something too. We all know that. I guess then it’s just the motivation that is in question.
Q: What to do about that?
A: Get clear and focussed on the ‘why’ you want calm, so then you are compelled to practice and show up for 5 minutes of calm time!
#SimpleAsFuck - well may be not quite….
The truth here is that you might actually have to unpack a belief or self-proclaimed truism about yourself: ‘I’m just too busy’; ‘It doesn’t work for me’; ‘I can’t possible sit still for a moment’ are likely culprits, and honey - I hear you, I love you, but I’m gonna call them what they are: Avoidance Techniques.
I know because I used them too. Whilst also inconsistently giving my best, persevering and oftentimes ‘failing’.
So here are my five best tips for getting on the track to more calm, more often.
1. Get strict on your online/smartphone use.
I block out between 10pm-9am. I have a do not disturb function active, with the exception of emergency numbers. I support this by keeping my phone charging overnight in another - far away - room. I do not allow notifications on my apps, so that I am not constantly getting a barrage of pings and flashing lights for communications or comments or similar.
2. Commit to a weekly class.
Everything is easier in community. Take that yoga/ meditation/ art/craft/ baking class. The thing that allows you to be *in* your body. I don’t recommend a high exertion activity where you are blinded by pain, fatigue or adrenaline - because these are ways of bypassing genuine intimacy with yourself and that is a requisite for calm.
3. Eliminate the noise.
Figuratively or literally. You decided. But ambient sounds, harsh lighting, excessive talking, and busy-ness are all places for you to hide away from your calm. Don’t make your calm struggle to find you! Be available, make space and room. Be the host with the most and make a welcoming invitation for calm to come and visit.
4. Say ‘no’ when you mean it.
I wrote a blog previous on this here. But the crux of the point is two fold: saying ‘Yes’ when we mean ‘No’ fills your day - and more painfully, your life - with things that you don’t want; secondly, when you are going against your core desires you are creating resistance in the body - literally. Depending on the nature and intensity of the resistance and what you are obligingly doing, this can lead to resentment, stress and anxiety and over the long term this going to wreak havoc in your mindbody system, producing cortisol (stress hormone) and exhausting your adrenal glands - hello adrenal fatigue!
5. Don’t set yourself up for failure.
And this isn’t because failure is a problem - it’s not. This is not a game of perfection either - there are no right or wrong ways to do this, just ways that I’ve found supportive and others that are unsupportive. Don’t forget that if you try and introduce many/new things into your life when other things/ people/ circumstances are in direct opposition or competition with the new ‘thing’ - you’ve as good as screwed yourself, and that’s otherwise called self-sabotage and it’s a sneaky meany. Don’t give the self-sabotaging meany a chance, OR yourself an excuse for ‘why’ it didn’t work out. We need to get other shit out of the way and off our ‘plate’ to create the conditions for change and new habit making.
So commit to commitment and simply try your best! That’s all we can ever do.
I hope that helps Beauty.