Joy & Peace
Although the path to accessing them is not always clear, we each possess an innate capacity to experience joy, peace and contentment. Like most things worth having, cultivating these qualities takes some practice. Giving ourselves the opportunity to slow down and pay attention to what is happening in our mind/body system is necessary to accessing the qualities that most people would say are important to have in life. Slowing down and becoming aware is mindfulness.
In the book The HeartMath Solution:The Institute of HeartMath’s Revolutionary Program for Engaging the Power of the Heart’s Intelligence we learn about the wisdom of the heart and what we can learn about our minds and our bodies by taking the time to slow down and tune in. It amazes me each time I’m reminded that the number of nerves that send information from the heart to the brain far outnumbers the number of nerves that send information from the brain to the heart. We’ve always considered the brain to be control-central to the mind/body system. It may just be that the heart is the predominant receptor organ of the system and that we have much to gain by slowing down and learning to tune in to what the heart is telling us.
Stop, Drop & Listen
Life can become a series of automatic reactions to the stimuli in our lives. It is too easy to separate the mind/body system into its components and lose touch with the self-care messages that are being continually broadcast.
Taking “Stop, Drop & Listen” breaks at several points throughout the day can help to reconnect us to our selves and assist us in cultivating a sense of peace – Stop what you are doing, Drop into your experience & Listen to what your mind/body is telling you.
Stop – put your phone down, close your eyes and take long, slow, deep breaths.
Drop – into your experience. What do you feel in your body? Notice any tension you might be holding. As we become so accustomed to how we hold our bodies, it may take some practice to notice what is happening. What is happening in your mind? What are your predominant thoughts? Do they serve you or take you to places that do not enhance your life? What are your beliefs about you, others and the world? Are they true? Are you aware of any emotion? Can you label it? Is there a physical sensation that you can pair with the emotion? Again, this is a practice that takes time to cultivate.
Listen – for any messages that may appear. Do you notice any recurring patterns over time? Are there unresolved issues or unanswered questions? Ask the question and pay attention to what comes up. What is your mind/body telling you?
Dedicate 8 Breaths A Day
Here is a simple exercise from Mindful.org that could, easily, become part of your daily wellness practice. It takes only 8 breaths (you have the option of more) and can be done anywhere. This is a helpful format for structuring your Stop, Drop & Listen breaks.
Taking the time to be with your self will help you to reconnect with your body/mind system. The benefits will, likely, show up as increased physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health. Being healthy in these areas requires mindful presence and intentional action.
Be in peace.