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One word. That’s what it took to feel less stressed.

I have no doubt that many of us have found ourselves overwhelmed with the situation around us – chaos, many of us having to work harder than we ever have before, and the feeling that there is so much going on in our minds, that it feels like we are in the depths of a […]

I have no doubt that many of us have found ourselves overwhelmed with the situation around us – chaos, many of us having to work harder than we ever have before, and the feeling that there is so much going on in our minds, that it feels like we are in the depths of a murky lake. I work with an international non-profit and during this time, we are all working harder than we ever have – that is our mission, to serve those most in need.

The first few months were really hard – calls starting by 8am and sometimes being at my desk at home till 1am! On top of this, I volunteer for my community as the head of communications and part of that has meant also working really long hours. While many people are taking this time to try new things, to meditate more or exercise more, I felt like I was severely fatigued and overworked (and much of it was my own doing!)

It took a walk in the garden last week to realize that I needed to find a way to be more focused and more clear in my day. And that’s when the first word came to me – stillness. A moment of no movement, just being still. And through the day I went back to that word. I was very pleasantly surprised at how calm it made me to think of that word especially when I was feeling anxious or felt like I had too much on my plate.

So the next day I took 5 minutes to see if I could find another ‘word of the day’. Gratitude – and again every time I felt anxious, unnerved, irritated, I just said that word out loud. I have been writing a gratitude journal for 8 years now and that always helps me get in a better space (and also opens up my life to more gratitude!) – but in this time I had found myself too tired or busy to even do that. But taking that moment to remember that single word, and think about one thing I was grateful for, changed my day.

It has been a few days since I started this practice. Today, it’s breathe because I realize I havent been taking good, long breaths! So I need this reminder to breathe harder.

To help me, I write my word of the day on top of my page in the diary – but I suppose a sticky note (virtual or not!) works the same.

Each word feels like another hot air balloon lifting me from the depths of that lake to the clear sky! Hot air balloons in this instance remind me of that one word a day to help guide my clarity and wellbeing. This particular photo at the top was taken in Kapadokya, Turkey – such a magical and spiritually uplifting space! Read more here – https://reshmastravelogue.blog/2019/05/02/the-fairychimneyland-of-cappadocia-and-the-homes-of-real-cave-people/

What is your way of finding clarity, focus and peace during this time?

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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