You set big goals for yourself. Yet, you’re equally committed to a peaceful inner world. Is it possible to have BOTH? And, if it is…what allows you to keep inspiration and productivity high along the way?
There are several keys…however,
Simply put…INNER PEACE TIMEOUTS.
An Inner Peace Timeout is a fancy way of saying — refueling your soul. It’s more than a mindless coffee break, zoning out in front of the boob tube or reading a trashy novel (though these activities have their place). It’s not about disconnecting from your busy world, but rather about CONNECTING to your inner being…that inner peace reservoir you have access to any time you choose.
There are lots of ways to take an inner peace timeout. Some inner peace timeouts refuel your soul in minutes. Depending on how “burned-out” you’ve let yourself become, you may need a much longer inner peace timeout…like an entire day or week.
But, more important than taking TIME away from work is the consciousness and presence you bring to this precious time.
For some examples of some of my favorite inner peace timeouts,
1) Calm the mind (not figuring out your next 10 action items when your inner peace timeout is over).
2) Step into present moment awareness. I invite you to engage your senses — seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching and feeling. Deepen into each faculty exploring the edges of this moment.
3) Reconnect with your body and breath (if your breathing is NOT deep, smooth and relaxed, you need a longer timeout.)
4) Recognize the truth of life…that right here, right now “all is well”…knowing you can access inner peace any moment you choose to give it your attention.
5) Completely UNPLUG during your inner peace timeout. No checking email, tweeting on Twitter, updating Facebook, watching TV or chatting on the phone.
Here are some ways I take inner peace timeouts, depending on how much time I have and how much replenishing is needed. As long as you’re incorporating the tips above, use your own creativity.
5-20 Minutes. When I allow my coaching schedule to get a little too full, it helps to give myself an inner peace timeout during the day — between appointments. There typically isn’t much time, so 5-20 minutes has to do the trick. I simply lay on the floor, bed or couch and close my eyes, immediately letting go of all mental thoughts as I dwell in inner peace. Essentially, this is a form of meditation. When I open my eyes, I’m a new person.
30 minutes. Sitting in silent meditation is an even more powerful inner peace timeout. I also recently discovered Steven Halpern’s Inner Peace CD. Lovely. Reading something inspiring is another great way to help you reconnect. Transference is a term used to describe the affect of the author’s consciousness on your being. The more conscious the author, the greater impact on you.
1-2 Hour Breaks. Going to the gym and getting physical is a great way to reconnect with your body, shift your breathing and release stress. During the day, I like to consciously take an hour for lunch…really tasting my food, reconnecting with my breath and savoring the quiet.
1/2 Day. One of my favorite ways to take an inner peace timeout is visiting Salt Creek Beach. Sometimes I use the time to empty my mind by writing down all my to-do’s. Once my mind is free, taking in the fresh air, feeling my toes in the grass and gazing at the waves crashing — all fuels my being. It’s also fun to borrow our friend’s Golden Retriever Oliver and take him for a walk. Animals are great models for living in the present moment.
Multiple Days. To build up your reservoir of inner peace so it CAN be accessed on those shorter inner peace timeouts, it’s useful (if not essential) to have a strong connection to your own reservoir of inner peace. That comes by spending extended periods of time with this connection fully engaged to effectively build your “inner peace muscles.” Several times a year, I carve out time away from my business, email and appointments for 3-7 days at a time. John and I loved Adyashanti’s 5-day silent meditation retreat together. Next weekend, I’m off for 5 days with Arjuna Ardagh. Then later in March, I’m going for another 5 days. This is the perfect balance to offset all the 12+ hour days lately.
If you have a difficult time calming the mind and refueling your inner peace quotient in 10 minutes or even an hour, I highly recommend you find a retreat where you can build your foundation.
I remember a day shortly after our 5-Day silent meditation retreat with Adyashanti. I had a FULL day of coaching… with 9+ appointments (I try to avoid that many in a day!). Needless to say, my energy was a bit depleted. I told John, “I need an inner peace timeout. Give me 10-minutes.”
Almost as soon as my bootie relaxed onto my meditation cushion, my inner peace reservoir filled back up. In just 10 minutes, I was ready to enjoy a “date night” out with my husband. Alive. Peaceful. Rejuvenated!
Build your inner peace reservoir, take plenty of inner peace timeouts and you’ll soon be enjoying sustainable inspiration.
Feel free to share your experience of “inner peace timeouts” on my blog.