Reggae covers playing in the stereos, setting the perfectly relaxed atmosphere to this ocean view hilltop terrace. I’m on a holiday in Panama and the sun is shining. I’m lying on a comfy mattress, feeling completely relaxed, enjoying the warm breeze whilst watching the sea […]
In which time are you living right now?
Is it this moment, fully in the present, with nothing else going on in your mind? Total silence? Perfection? Peace? Or is your mind for example wondering off to the woods of today’s happenings, or maybe even to next week? There are all sorts of things to do and remember. You may feel excitement for something that’s coming up or maybe anxious about the future’s uncertainty. You may experience feelings of content and happiness, as you’re in a good place right now. Or you may feel sadness, depression and disappointment when your mind travels back in time to something that’s over now.
So how do we make the shift back to this moment?
This little teeny tiny act will open the doors for you to find out what you want in life right now.
Sit back, relax. You can take it easy now. You can try different ways of relaxing, whether it is lying on the floor listening to music or walking to the waterside or nature close by. Studies say that “green time”, so the time spent in nature, improves our focus and memory, as well as reduces stress and balances our body functions, such as blood pressure. You can also sit or lay down in the silence, focusing on your breathing, finding a way to return back to this moment. Any action works, if the main part of your focus is your breathing, as this is the way coming back to the awareness in the moment. You feel how the air fills your lungs and how you slowly empty them. It is a slow and gentle way of returning back to your inner self. This is yoga, re-uniting with yourself, using your breathing to bring you back, from wherever you’ve been. The best part here is that it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been away. The peace within you, is always reachable, at all times, at all places. You just ought to return to your breathing.
And this, my friends, help you to stop the wheel of hectic life spinning. It’s about making the chaos stop. Slowing down the current. Pausing the time. You make a decision, how long you will stay here, in this moment, is it only a minute or perhaps five, fifteen, or half an hour? At its simplest, you can for example just be looking outside the window, letting you eyes find what they want. Or closing your eyes, focusing on how your body feels like, and simply being aware of your breathing. I usually sit on the floor on a pillow, drink a cup of tea and just look at the trees outside the window. I feel the warmth of the tea, and it makes me feel calm and peaceful. So the first part of shifting back to yourself is physical, you stop. Then, what happens next:
Listening. Now that you feel calmer, you can really focus on how your body feels and how you feel. Do you feel positive or negative? Here, you can just be aware of the feeling, trying to listen to it.
Breathing. First balancing and then deepening your breathe. Focusing on how calm you feel within you, when you just breathe. (Especially if you’re drinking something warm.)
Being present. Calmly being in the silence, feeling the peace coming from within. Looking at the leaves, flying in the autumn air, or the branches waving in the wind. Following the nature, watching a flame of a candle is also very nice way to find your way back to the present moment. Seeing, how life is all around you. Birds are flying. Clouds are passing by. Stars are twinkling. If you’re outside, you can also feel the wind on your face or rain, for example. Whatever there is, it witnesses the presence of life. You feel calm and at ease, even if it’s stormy because you are now able to feel the peace within you – it’s not something outer, and therefore outer forces can’t take it away from you.
Focus. Finding the presence within you and using it to focus on one thing at a time. Whether it is a leaf falling or the warm feeling in your mouth when sipping tea. Be in it, be aware of one thing at a time. Feeling and connecting to the peace of the moment with a sense of awareness, instead of being overwhelmed by the hurry all around you. Knowing where and how to focus.
Continue, as you feel. Usually when you “find your way back”, so when you find the calmness and inner peace again, even just for a little while, it opens doors for example for creativity. You might want to draw or write or you suddenly get new ideas in your head. And this exact state of mind and awareness, is where the magic happens, when you’re calm, not asking yourself too much and when you’re in the silence. You might not get any ideas, and that’s fine! That’s all part of the process. You can just stay there, or go for a mindful walk, have a cup of tea, write your thoughts on a piece of paper, or whatever you feel like, or continue as you were. But you will notice the massive difference after stopping for a while and then going back to the same old hurrysome life. Luckily now you know how to return to the peaceful state of mind, and after practicing it regularly, it will change the way you live your everyday life, including handling challenges and for example stress. You can only imagine it; not having to lose yourself to the stress, when something is overwhelming. You will always have an easy way back to the peace.
These moments are Yours. Soon, when learning how to stop in between whatever is happening in your life, you start realising how you need these moments. I call it me-time. We all want it, we all need it. We can have it while walking in the park, while swimming, being in sauna, while eating, playing music, while lying on the bed in the morning or in the evening. This is the easiest way of returning back to yourself and finding out what you’d need in your life right now, what you want and how you feel. Most days we just run around aimlessly, wake up, go to work or school, feel stressed, maybe have some fun, run some more, come back home, feel tired, go to sleep. Wake up again. We live in an achievement-oriented society, and that burns us out. We get tired because we don’t take time for ourselves, which leads to neglecting ourselves, our hopes and needs, our health and our minds.
But it doesn’t have to go like that. We all face the chances to choose, every day, every moment. Life is full of opportunities and choises, and that’s something to remember. Day by day, moment by moment we go forward. And we carry that little place of calmness, the peace, with us, within us, wherever we go. It’ll always be there. Stop, Listen, Breathe, Be Present, Focus, and you are there. Meet yourself with open arms, like a best friend would. As Nisargadatta Maharaj once said,
All you need is already within you, only you must approach your self with reverence and love. Self-condemnation and self-distrust are grievous errors. Your constant flight from pain and search for pleasure is a sign of love you bear for your self, all I plead with you is this: make love of your self perfect. Deny yourself nothing — glue your self infinity and eternity and discover that you do not need them; you are beyond.
You are beyond.