Letting Go and Finding Peace
It’s hot as Hell in Texas and no matter what your situation – personally or professionally – it probably feels like a good time to take a break from it all. Some may not have the time and/or money to get away properly but there are some ways to do so, regardless of your circumstances.
Many of us truly don’t have much time and when we do, the pressure to be productive, useful, helpful and busy can force us to fill up the rest. This cycle can be so ingrained that we may not even notice opportunities to rest and let go. Perhaps we even say that they don’t exist.
But they do. They always do. Like most things it is a question of priorities. Yet many of us may not see the true benefits of taking time and resting beyond the need to “refuel our batteries” so we can do more work.
Creativity, innovation, inspiration, peace, clarity, understanding, acceptance, motivation, fun, and lightness are just some of the many wonderful things that can come naturally from taking time. And here are some ways to do so:
- Take at least an hour to yourself and do something that you enjoy and that has no usefulness whatsoever…better yet, take a day, a week…
- Sleep early/in…nothing can replace good quality rest and its benefits are 100% healthy and immediate.
- Don’t rush…to work, to school, to meet your partner or pick up the kids…give yourself an extra 10 minutes that usual so you can walk slowly, notice your surroundings…you may save yourself a day’s worth of anxiety. If you can’t avoid being late, then ask yourself, will you really get there faster by rushing and winding up your nerves?
- Be present, be still… many folks tell me they are too busy to sit still. Some folks are intimidated or unsettled by quiet and stillness. The challenge becomes sitting until calm. Find a place you feel naturally comfortable and just be there, without distractions for 15 minutes or more, and see what you notice…
What manageable little detail would make you happy right now? For me, it’s weekly fresh cut flowers throughout the house and a bag of Haribo Gold gummie bears. Sometimes it can be what you don’t do. Let the dishes sit overnight. Decline an invite that feels more like a burdensome than exciting.
Try something new
Boredom can happen to the best of us, and with the best of things. And it has nothing to do with being busy or not. When we do the same things the same way – be it a job, a relationship, a meal, a walk – we eventually desensitize to it and can lose the ability to appreciate it. Simply put: the brain stops recognizing ut.
So do something new or change the way you do the usual; it doesn’t need not be a big or expensive change (or it can be). Even small changes get the brain going again, wondering, and whether or not it goes “well” is not important. Going somewhere new is a particularly effective way to do this. It’s just the experience of it that wakes us up and sometimes, may be the best rest of all.
Disconnect…or go to the Moon
Cell phones, computers, TV, iPods, news, emails, video games, Facebook, Twitter…
…for a little while try going on an “information technology detox”. Go outside and see what’s around you, explore your neighborhood, your city, your vacation destination. Enjoy the food in front of you. See your people face to face. Play with your kids, plants, pets, or paints. Meet someone new. Do it without stealing looks at all your media. The world doesn’t end if you leave the house without your smart phone.
Here are some additional thoughts, sayings, mind-games, that may help you let go and give yourself a hearty, much-deserved break:
- Work is always there. All your responsibilities, projects, inspirations, will be there in some form or fashion for the rest of your life. And they will be there waiting for you when you come back from a break so you might as well go for it.
- Listen to your body. If you are tired, burnt out, unmotivated, distracted, it may be your body trying to tell you that it needs rest. You can try to fight it but it will likely persist if you don’t give it what it needs. And if you want to be at your best, you need to take good care of yourself.
- Deathbed check-up. This may sound morbid but it can work like a charm. When you see yourself in your old-age looking back on your life, what are you really going to remember? The extra hours of work? The pile of ironing? Probably not. But the moments you take to get away from it all can bring you wonderful memories that will be worth remembering.
- Life takes time. In a world where so much is happening so fast and the pressure to keep up is a daily dynamic, we may feel that we can never quite do enough, fast enough, to get to where we want to go. But it’s not true. Many things in life, no matter how much we push and rush, need their space and time to evolve, to blossom. And the plans we make are only that at best: plans. There is time. Might as well enjoy it.