Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Taking Time to Clear Your Mind

Finding "Me time" is something struggled with for many years and took almost as many years of practice to be able to do and over the last few years I have fallen out of the habit. Let me tell you.. I can most definitely notice the difference!

This year I really need to dig out the discipline and start setting aside quiet time for myself to just relax and regroup. Meditation is one of my ways of doing this... the other is just spending some quality quiet time with nature, which is in its own way, a form of meditation.

We have several ponds where we live and one of them has a nice grassy hill on one side of it that is perfect for sitting and taking in the splendor of creation. I love to bring a blanket (sitting on the grass can get itchy after a while), find a nice smooth section of ground and sit facing the sun. Sometimes this also means facing the water - which is extra nice - but even if I'm with my back to the water I can still hear the fountain and reap the soothing benefits of the sound.

 There is nothing quite like the warm feel of the sun on your face, the cool touch of a light breeze on your skin and the tranquil sound of water rippling to bring you back to center and balance.

 Below is a great article from My Daily Om that also talks about ways to - and why you should - clear your mind...
Allowing Spirit In
Clearing Your Mind
by Madisyn Taylor

The more we practice settling our minds, the easier it will become over time.

After a full day out in the world, stories, words, images, and songs from any number of sources continue to play in our heads hours after we encounter them. Even as we lie in bed, in the quiet dark, our minds continue noisily processing all the input from our day. This can leave us feeling unsettled and harassed. It also makes it difficult to take in any new information or inspiration. Like a cluttered house that needs to be cleared if it is to have room for movement and new life, our minds need clearing if they are to be open to new information, ideas, and inspiration.

Too often, the activities we choose to help us relax only add to the clutter. Watching television, seeing a movie, reading a book, or talking to a friend all involve taking in more information. In order to really clear our minds, we need a break from mental stimulation. Activities like yoga, dancing, or taking a long walk help to draw our attention to our bodies, slowing our mental activity enough that our minds begin to settle. Deep breathing is an even simpler way to draw attention away from our mental activities. Once we are mentally relaxed, we can begin the process of clearing our minds. Most of us instinctively know what allows our minds to relax and release any unnecessary clutter. It may be meditation or time spent staring at the stars. Whatever it is, these exercises feel like a cool, cleansing bath for the brain and leave our minds feeling clear and open.

Setting aside time to clear our minds once a day creates a ritual that becomes second nature over time. Our minds will begin to settle with less effort the more we practice. Ultimately, the practice of clearing our minds allows us to be increasingly more open so that we can perceive the world as the fresh offering it is, free of yesterday’s mental clutter.

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