It has been my experience that there are often two camps when it comes to meditation. On one side we have the busy beavers, those who keep going no matter what, and when things get too slow or quiet, they become antsy, restless and claim they would love to be able to meditate, but it just doesn’t work for them. They are attached to doing.

On the other side, we have the three-toed sloths, those that could hang out in the stillness indefinitely. They become so comfortable in the quiet that the mere thought of re-engaging with other people, or going back to work or chores, is simply asking too much for they have become attached to not doing.

Buddhist tradition suggests we find the middle ground which might look similar to having one foot in both the doing and not doing camps … imagine taking the stillness of the sloth and merging it with the activity of the beaver and consider how that might play out!

In order to embrace conscious living, it is necessary to find stillness. That stillness resides inside our body and mind as an inner calm and can exist in the midst of the busyness of living.

Thich Nhat Hanh writes,

“Just allow yourself to sit quietly. Don’t do anything. Just allow the sitting and the breathing to take place. Don’t strive; relaxation will come. When you are completely relaxed, healing will take place on its own.”

We start by embracing the stillness in order to rest our body, mind, and spirit. Our lives have been conditioned to be busy. Time is money. Don’t just sit there, do something. We our defined by the number of hats we wear, the various roles we take on, and the amount of activity we can cram into any given day. We are encouraged to time-block, to get up earlier, to do more, have more, be more, get more … and, admittedly, some thrive with that type of regime, but many people crash and burn. I wonder if that is because they feel there is never enough time, energy, or money; or maybe there is too much to do, too many expectations, too many demands placed on them.

Whatever the reason, the pressure placed on us can be overwhelming … and my experience is that the time has come to step out of the chaos and find a way to heal body, mind, and spirit. The first step is saying “Yes” to giving stillness a try; or as the Beatles crooned so beautifully, “give peace a chance” … which in this case means give peace of mind a chance! Begin with a few minutes a day and, “Just allow yourself to sit quietly. Don’t do anything. Just allow the sitting and the breathing to take place.”

Commit to 10-15 minutes everyday and, if you can, try to practice around the same time so that it becomes a habit. Have no expectations. Do not demand anything of yourself. Simply sit still and breathe in, then breathe out. Nothing more, nothing less. 10 to 15 minutes. You CAN do this! With a regular, consistent practice, I promise that you will begin to feel the difference.

And know, when it just doesn’t seem to be working, I’ve got your back!

Pause often and smile – Wendy xo

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