Today I would like to share with you some of the resources that I use to gain clarity when the mind seems "clouded", the body restless and the path unclear. You can also apply those resources if you have bad sleep patterns, feel anxious and worry a lot, are grieving or just feel the need to gain some clarity in life, business, relationships etc and most of all want to relax.
Before I list all the resources, you can also scroll down to them, that I use and share with my clients I would like to note some observations.
There is something fascinating about our behaviours. The majority of us are avoiding stillness. Have you ever noticed that? Why do we keep ourselves busy and distracted instead of sitting in stillness or merely observing our thoughts? How many of us allow ourselves to also physically move our emotions and let ourselves be moved by what comes from deep inside?
Sometimes when I observe people I notice that they are permanently "running" - usually away from something. There is also a very meaningful expression that might assist you: if you can name it you can tame it. So you don't need to keep running away from it. Of course depending on what you are running away from, you might need assistance to "tame it".
Why are we choosing to stay in the same sometimes exhausting loop of thoughts, fears, worries etc. when we can actually do something about it?
I have even observed people doing guided meditations daily, sometimes a few mediations a day, and yet very little changes in their lives. Why? Maybe because they are using even meditations for distraction instead of relaxation, healing, insights, consciousness etc.
I would also like to share a visual that I got from a friend today and I really liked it: "I just observe the thoughts like a movie passing on a screen."
Do you ever observe your thoughts? Do you ever have those moments of "emptiness" and no thoughts at all? There was a time when I felt this was impossible especially with my busy buddy mind.
In the 80ies we had a French teacher who tried to teach us how to meditate - after school. It was completely wasted on me as I had no idea what he was talking about and clearly not approaching it in a way that I could connect with. It seemed impossible for me to not have thoughts. Fast forward to the 90ies and beyond and for a long time I was struggling to meditate simply because my mind was just yapping away.
It was through chanting in 2008/2009 that I finally had found a way to stay more focused. Yet I managed to achieve the impossible. My mind was still full of thoughts and yet I would go into very deep mediations. Maybe it was a sort of fragmentation that happened in those moments and one part went into the depth and the other part chatted away.
If you ask me today "how did you get to the point of emptiness and slowing down, observing your thoughts" I would have to be honest and say: I don't know. I just kept doing what I was doing with my work with clients and myself. I never focused with full purpose on it and at some point I realised that something had changed.
We could say I "let go" of trying to achieve something that I did not know how to achieve and felt at times was impossible. At the same time I just kept doing what I loved doing. I feel for me it was really a matter of "allowing it" to happen in its own time and space.
There is no doubt that people achieve it by regular practice as well - you train it like a muscle.
I learned a lot about somatics as well and listening to and sensing into my body. I started connecting the feelings in my body with my thoughts and how they had an impact on how I felt. Or we could say: the body mirrored my thoughts.
Today I have various resources not to just recognise when that happens but to shift myself out of that. If my body feels like it is hitting resistance, it is feeling antsy and in need of movement and my mind is trying to find answers then I have several options.
Journaling is always helpful. As I am pouring my thoughts on to paper insights start filtering through. Some also call it "automatic writing".
Movement is another way to centre again. I can do conscious movement where I express what I am feeling but also ask myself where the movement wants to go and follow those impulses. Again journaling or drawing afterwards helps with gaining clarity and insights.
A friend of mine is a fitness trainer and he gains clarity through running.
Sometimes it is enough to merely ask the question: What is my next step and allow the answer to appear.
Certain types of music, high frequency, would put me into a different state altogether.
I have experienced the most insightful moments and clarity as well as creative ideas during my morning routine of making freshly squeezed juices or when cooking.
Often clarity arises in stillness. We allow the stillness to sink in and we are present in that moment. Something deep might surface. We don't ever judge what surfaces - whether it is in journaling, movement, or stillness. We welcome all the insights, impulses and answers.
Working with a coach, therapist or healer or talking to a friend who knows how to hold space for our enquiry also leads to moments of clarity.
These are some of the resources that I like to use. For some people painting or knitting is meditative. Others might be writing songs and playing an instrument or sailing on the lake, driving a boat on the sea or bird watching.
Have you observed what works for you? Maybe you are not even consciously aware that it is happening.
The biggest advice that I can give you though for better sleep and a more restful mind is: turn off the news! Stop reading the newspaper! Trust me, you will still know enough about what is going on in the world!
Start taking time for yourself, for your loved ones and find what assists you with relaxing and healing if you want to go a bit deeper.
People sometimes feel overwhelmed with situations or angry and depressed. The best way to change that is to focus on your own well-being. You will be surprised to realise how it slowly stars to change the world, situations and relationships around you.
I hope some of the resources might assist you to take a step towards your well-being!
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