In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer. Albert Camus
If happiness was simple to achieve, we’d all be reveling in it.
So for a moment, imagine pausing from the rush of busy and focus. Because it’s in ‘de-focusing’ that magic can happen.
Uncouple your mind from being a marketer’s plaything of ‘want’ — (often of things you never knew existed — or previously wanted) and lean into the pillow of pause.
And in this space, feel your breath.
Skin, muscles and bones supporting you.
Senses showing what your mind can create.
This past season has been cold. Bone cold.
Now the sun offers deep heat.
I want to remember this feeling. Like a warm hand resting on my shoulders. Easing muscles from the tension of cool.
A simple joy.
“Happiness is the meaning and purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” — Aristotle
In a moment of pause, take count of what happiness means for you:
>> What is your idea of a perfect day?
>> What moments could you replay over and over and never tire of?
>> What emotions drench your heart and body that you want more of?
>> What sounds ease pressure or stimulate your mind?
>> What sights quicken your heart?
>> What experiences draw you to them?
“Exactly!” said Deep Thought. “So once you do know what the question actually is, you’ll know what the answer means.”
― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
It’s in ploughing this space that blocks are moved.
And idea-seeds can slip in.
Embedding themselves in cracks begging for nurture.
Opening an invitation …
To listen. To hear. To sense what your body already knows.
“Start watching your own mental videos.” Yale University emeritus psychology professor Jerome L. Singer, the father of daydreaming.
In a recent webinar, I shared a simple tool.
It’s a way of opening the space where mind body attune. Seeing connections rarely noticed outside ‘moments of pause’.
“All that is important comes in quietness and waiting.” Patrick Lindsay, author
Do this in a quiet space — your place of personal retreat. If you don’t have one, find it today.
As you’re settling in …
Notice your breathe. Without changing it — simply feel it, hear it, sense it.
Whether light or deep, fast or slow — bring your curiosity to this miracle.
Feel the air entering your nostrils, passing down your throat, descending into your chest.
“Your calm mind is the ultimate weapon against your challenges. So relax.” — Bryant McGill, author
… Imagine directing your breath, sending it towards your shoulders, in slow … slow … motion.
With each breath, let your shoulders drop. And again. Until they drop no more.
Give your head permission to tilt forward, gently, as chin drops towards chest.
Feel the day easing.
“And the night shall be filled with music, And the cares, that infest the day, Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs, And as silently steal away.” — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Your mind may be bustling. That’s o.k.
Imagine turning the speed down — as if with a dial.
Slowly at first. Slowing further. One notch down … on the dial at a time.
Thoughts will slow and recede as they’re ready, as you ask them to gently drift … away.
Coming to a place of quiet.
Let them drift as your attention moves to …
“There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.” — Alan Cohen
Perhaps something happened today, or yesterday. Maybe it jarred in a way that you’re unsure of, or you don’t know how to make sense of.
(Don’t apply this to a traumatic moment — use this only with something that at the time felt insignificant and you dismissed it — yet for some reason, it stayed with you.)
Let it rise.
Let images arrive. There may be sounds. Or feelings.
Let them be just what they need to be.
And as you’re breathing, sensing your interior world ask …
You may have answers arising, as if coming from nowhere.
Or not. That’s ok.
Wait for them.
Answer them by simply allowing your voice.
“All that is important comes in quietness and waiting.” — Patrick Lindsay, author
Ask more questions:
Be curious, as a child.
The questions can be endless.
The problem for many is, that questions are the hardest to create with your conscious, logical mind. Barbara Grace, Creative Mindfulness Mastery
You may even find your logical mind trying to direct your answers — much as a controlling parent may.
The first time you do this, logic could take over — telling you to stop wasting time.
The greatest self is a peaceful smile, that always sees the world smiling back. Bryant H. McGill, author
For me, all these questions culminate in one place: the creative mind.
Where imagination takes over, all that’s logical — all that keeps the mind bound in ‘problem’ — dissolves.
I revel in those moments of softened light as a dream world merges with wakefulness.
Those rare spaces where insight dawns and I follow a bread-trail until ‘idea’ — that elusive muse — plops gently onto my journal.
And I write. Draw. Sketch. Plan. Create. Envisioning moments gifted through the power of the pause.
Filigree fragments fading as conscious thought emerges.
Not enough time. To be rushed. Not enough time. To race through days.
Because time is all we have in the end.
All else fades, wears thin, ages until long shadows dip into blueberry nights.
And I wait, for a marmalade dawn to help make sense of yesterday’s ‘busy’.
Need to re-focus your life goals? Then get hold of my daily living checklist so you can find your inner ‘sweet spot’ and enjoy more success-filled days.
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Originally published at medium.com