This is a guest post from Dr. Shawn Haywood
Most people today are obsessed with, even addicted to, DOING. Work, fitness, cleaning, partying, talking, errands, thinking, projects, sex, pornography, drugs and on and on it goes…
Do, do, do…We seem to be always on the go or constantly doing something to numb out!
Yet, this is not the way to be or feel happy, joy filled and peaceful. It results in the opposite, in fact. Living in a constant state of doing is destructive, anxiety producing, depressing, stressful and devastating to our body, mind and spirit.
BEING is the stuff of peace and joy.
When was the last time you sat still, in silence, and quieted your mind?
Perhaps for a minute or two, a month or so ago?
Perhaps never, or you can’t even remember?!
Our bodies are yearning for more peace, more stillness, more being. You don’t necessarily have to be sitting still and meditating to BE still. But doing so is a great practice and jumping off point.
Being can be injected anywhere, anytime. Let’s look at three ways to begin BEING (instead of doing) so you can slow down, merging into greater peace and peace of mind.
1. Meditate- Meditation is simple and can be done for literally one minute or all darn day. Meditation is now extremely well documented as having profound effects on body, mind, sleep, relationships, play, work, sports, injury prevention, rapid healing and just about any other benefit you’d like to experience.
I encourage people to begin very simply. Sit still in silence for three to five minutes every day for 30 days. That is all. No fancy techniques. No over-trying. Just sit and marvel at how busy your mind is! You will be amazed.
Often, when clients try this out, they say, “Shawn, my mind was even BUSIER when I sat still, in silence, for five minutes,” to which I answer, “Your mind is ALWAYS that frantic and out of control; you’re just too distracted or busy to notice.”
It is practical, useful, connecting and inspiring to learn to BE and grow inner stillness through the mechanism of meditation. I encourage you to try it…and reach out if you need support.
2. Conscious Breathing– Simple enough right? After all, if we stopped breathing, we would be moving on to the next realm!
What we do not do is breathe deeply, consciously, presently, appreciatively or slowly. Breathing consciously can bring us into BEING (like being present and feeling alive!) at any moment.
Most people breathe in a way that actually leads to additional anxiety. Conscious, slow belly breathing reminds us to slow down, take our time and let go of things that don’t really need our time, attention, drama or complaints! Conscious breathing allows us to step back and proceed with intention, focus and clarity.
The practice of conscious breathing from sunup until sundown can and will transform your life. But you can begin small. Set an hourly timer on your phone, and take five slow, deep, conscious breaths each time it dings; then move on with your day.
3. Journal– Journaling is an action which requires discipline but is so well worth the effort.
Journaling can be in the place of your urge to check out, escape or numb yourself to pain or stress.
Journal when you feel like shopping but don’t actually need anything; eating when you’re not hungry; drinking when you’d really rather not; or any other way you tend to numb out due to pain, suffering, stress or boredom.
Journaling aids in solving problems, calming down and getting your frantic thoughts out of your head. It can calm you and bring you into BEING, instead of the frantic and consistent drama-filled doing that is likely a current habit!
Journaling for just five minutes a day for 30 days is a terrific start! So don’t feel like you have to write a novel each day to reap the benefits and rewards!
Our body-mind-spirit connection truly does long for BEING. For stillness. For quiet and peace. For rest and recovery. And for a significant break from the almost constant drama and chaos of doing, going, rushing, stressing, fretting, worrying, thinking…and, well, you get the idea.
Try just one of these exercises daily for 30 days, and see what happens. I’d love to hear about your results, so don’t hesitate to share! Have fun with these ideas, make them your own, be curious and see what happens!