In the words of Ferris Bueller, “life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
I grew up watching Ferris Bueller and still love the film today. I’ve been called idealistic, unrealistic, been laughed at and belittled most of my life. “You’re too sensitive”, “you need to get with the real world”, “you’re gonna have to sacrifice your principles to make money” and the lame advice continued. Did I listen? No. Eventually, I just stopped talking about my dreams to most people and inwardly focused on being me. I ventured deep. I learned, studied, trained, healed, grew and then started creating and living my dreams, fearlessly.
You see, often what holds us back is too much talk and not enough action (and by action I do mean the practice of meditation, a sort of active, non-action). We can keep repeating the inspirational quotes all we like, but at some point we have to actually do it. STOP. Look around. Take a breath. Slow down. Calm down. Get clear and then, just be who you want to be. Simples. Hehe. I know, we are all good at talking, but truth is, we resist doing “the work” and that resistance (in the form of lame advice, excuses, complaining, worrying, etc.) is really what keeps us stuck in miserable, mediocre, stressful patterns.
Thing is, we are so much more powerful than we were taught to believe, and the majority of us were not equipped with the proper tools to make good use of that power. Fortunately, we are learning, slowly but surely, we are waking up and making the necessary changes, so that we can be happier, healthier humans.
Here’s some top tips, from both personal experience and working with clients. Doing these four things regularly will help you get and stay clear, calm and true to you. Boo-yah!
Step 1. Sit Yo Ass Down and BE Quiet (a.k.a. Meditation)
It’s that simple really. We make a million excuses to NOT do it, but it really is the most effective way to get calm and clear. If it helps, buy stuff, like meditation cushions, incense, crystals, etc. Pretty things that make your little “me time” space special - it’ll help. Like the saying goes, “build it, and they shall come”. Well, in the case of your meditation station, if you build it, you are more likely to sit in it.
Once you start sitting down, commit. Sit down everyday, if possible. It takes a little practice, maybe even years to master your meditation practice, but anyone can do it. And here again, same recommendation, shop around. There are infinite guided meditations on the internet that are free. You can go on retreats, attend classes or workshops and there’s plenty of books on the subject. Ultimately, this whole game is about you getting to know yourself and a consistent meditation practice will lead you there, you just gotta do it and stick at it.
How to meditate? A very basic guide: Sit down. Get comfy, with a relatively straight spine and relaxed body. Close your eyes and begin to focus on your breath. Just pay attention. Notice the thoughts, sensations, feelings and be a silent witness to it all.
Most people notice a difference in their lives when they stick to a meditation practice. Greater calm, mental clarity and peace. Definitely onto a winner here! So, give it a try and whether you are new to it, or a long time meditator, my sincerest offering, is to just keep at it. Drop in. Tune into you. You’ll thank yourself.
Step 2. Stop Watching TV
This is a biggie. The media we consume…everywhere, television, newspapers, radio, magazines, social media, billboards, internet, etc. It is having an impact on us. There are wildly awesome, progressive advantages to it all, however, during this critical time of global, socio-economic and environmental change, we need to become clear and FAST. It is not enough to just sit and meditate for twenty minutes because someone told you it was good for you. The purpose of meditation or any of the self-help, spiritual information out there, is that we want to feel better, more alive and more connected…um, so that we don’t destroy the planet. The best way to get there is to address the prime “zappers” of life-force, one being the amount of media we consume, and of course, the quality of content. What are we really engaging with when we interface with any media stream? Information. Everything we are is in a perpetual, ecstatic energetic exchange and dance. There is a lot of amazing, inspirational, diverse entertainment, which is wonderful and we can appreciate it immensely. However, we mustn’t fall prey to blindly or unconsciously consuming information that stresses us out, makes us fearful, worried, feel bad about ourselves and hate one another. When you really start to pay attention, you’ll start to become more aware of how media makes you feel and if it makes you feel bad in any way, you can UNPLUG.
Benefits of unplugging: More free time to do other fun stuff, like being creative, hanging with loved ones and practicing meditation. Increased mental clarity. More positive encounters. Increased sense of positivity and abundance. Greater feeling of calm and connectedness, which also applies to feeling more connected to nature, because people who tend to engage less with media, spend more time outside.
You deserve to feel comfortable and at ease in your own skin. Everyone does. Unplugging from all mainstream media is a great way to get there. Today, we are blessed with fantastic alternatives, like Netflix, for example, that doesn’t use advertising and showcases informative documentaries and brilliant programmes.
In short: It’s not about burying your head in the sand or banning all media. It is about being more selective with what you are watching and how it makes you feel. Curious, intrigued, joyful, hopeful, inspired, empowered = good feelings. Keep watching! Fear, worry, stress, hopelessness, loneliness, anxiety = not so good feelings. Stop watching!
Step 3. Play (Creativity and Unique Expression)
Practicing step 1. and 2. will assist with this step. PLAY! Once you create more calm with meditation and gain greater clarity by unplugging, you’ll want to go further and access a deeper sense of joy with play and/or creative expression.
A big part of this is about lightening up vs. staying stuck in heavy, stressful patterns. Getting to this lighter place, is a continual choosing on your part to consciously create more good-hearted, belly-laughs, timeless fun in your life. Take time off for adventures, make time for snuggling by the fire, playing games, painting, dancing, whatever it is, you must enjoy it and enjoy enjoying it!
Just play. Like kids do. Forget about all your problems for moments at a time and watch how your problems transform into a life filled with more fun, creativity and expansion.
If you’re feeling bold, it is really great to share your creativity with others. Who knows? You might just inspire others to play more too!
Step 4. Chillin’: The Art of Doing Nothing (a.k.a. relaaaax)
I know. Life is weird, intense, mysterious and at times, seemingly relentless. If life seems out of control and the world seems to be getting faster and more chaotic, then the most impactful, non-violent direct action is to…wait for it…chill. In a very real, luxurious, down-to-earth way. Stay in bed all day. Go outside and get your feet dirty. Heck, get your whole body dirty. Do stuff just for you, that is quiet and reflective. There’s the more obvious options, like going to a restorative yoga class, taking a leisurely walk in nature, soaking in an aromatherapy bath or having a massage. But there are an increasing amount of different therapies like, floatation and gong bath meditation that are designed to help the body and mind relax deeply. Another easy option is to lie down and listen to relaxing music, or one of my personal favourites. “healing frequencies” on YouTube, of which there are many wonderful sounds to enjoy.
Our bodies are healthiest when we are relaxed. That’s why doctors “prescribe” rest to any patient going through a healing process. Relaxing allows us to get more in tune with nature, which is healthier for us (imagine that) because our nature is in alignment with Earth’s nature. Cyclical. Peaceful. Exquisite. Magnificent. Wild. Divine.
You are free to relax and enjoy the ride.
There you have it. Four things, that if you do daily, will help you get and stay clear, calm and true to you.
Link to Badassery Unleashed Magazine: