Busy. We are all so busy. In our ironic world, we are busy even on the days when we are doing nothing. Nothing often consists of video streaming binges, video games, or social media until our eyes blur. Forget the days when our responsibilities rule. Work, significant others, kids, pets, school, even hobbies consume us in routine.
Be honest with yourself. How often do you spend time alone in your head without the distraction of technology? When you try, do you feel yourself spinning? Can you be alone in the stillness and like yourself? How do you stop the constant to-do list playing through your mind?
So often, our minds and souls simply become vehicles to accomplish our daily errands. Sometimes, we even feel guilty about taking time to nurture our souls; but it can be just a few minutes where you are fully present and content. There are as many ways to nurture the soul as there are people. Eventually, you will find something unique to you; but in the meantime there are some universal techniques that can help.
Many philosophies embrace meditation, and it has been proven in a clinical setting to do wonderful things in the human brain; but attempting to empty one’s mind is like trying to avoid a salesman on a used car lot. The adept can do this with ease, but how do you start?
The first step is learning to focus on a single thing to the exclusion of all else. Guided meditation can be very useful for this purpose; however before attempting a session it’s a good idea to start simple. A great launching point is visualization. Sit quietly in a dark room and close your eyes. It may sound like a cliché; but it really does help your focus.
Think of an object you know really well. It shouldn’t be something you have to imagine; it should be something you touch every day. For an example, think of your car. Sit in the seat. Feel the fabric texture against your clothing. Is it rough, pebbled leather? Smooth? Does the nap of the fabric catch at your shirt?
Run your hand over the wheel. How does it feel? Does it have a cover? Explore each part in your mind. As you focus, and think about it in the terms of all five senses, you are developing mental discipline. The more detail you can maintain, the better. When you become comfortable with this exercise, you are ready for guided meditation. Many of these meditations are very detailed, and for the beginner, the detail can be distracting if you don’t have any experience with visualization.
It can seem like a waste of time, but it is essential to make yourself a priority. Many adults tend to be absorbed by their roles to the point where they lose their identity. Value yourself. The things that make you unique are the things that others value in their relationships with you. Don’t cheat yourself; and don’t cheat them, out of the amazing person you are. Turn off the cell phone; and call a meeting – with yourself.