Self-care for Sensitive Souls
Reconnect with your inner resources
Do you ever feel that your life consists of getting through the day?
Many of us spend our energy and focus on an endless to-do list.
We have family, bosses, bills, the relentless inbox and other assorted demands to manage.
We’re constantly responding to these demands. Prepare for tomorrow's meeting, pick up some milk, fill up with petrol, read the meter, go compare (again), make a massive chilli to freeze, answer the important email I should have answered yesterday, clear out the spare room.
And if all that gets done (good job with the spare room), we’ve made it through another day. Till tomorrow.
We know we’re in a hole, but we can’t seem to dig ourselves out of it.
So we tell ourselves we’re busy and productive. The more ticks we have on our list, the more productive we feel. (Anyone else write down completed jobs just for the satisfaction of ticking them off?)
The same routine follows day after day, week after week.
The big snag is that eventually, months and even years can go by like this.
And almost imperceptibly, the opportunity for a deeper life slips away.
But a beautiful remedy is already right here with you.
Turn up the silence
What’s happening is that we’re always doing, and we don’t allow ourselves to be silent and to attune to the quiet within that's longing for our attention.
So we feel ungrounded, constantly pulled about by what's calling on our attention. We’re always trying to catch up. In the process we lose touch with ourselves. It can feel very hard to find our way back.
Actually it isn’t all that hard to find our way back, but it does take a bit of commitment.
The most effective way is to make a conscious practice of silence.
With conscious silence we stop giving in to the urge to respond to everything around us and we let our mind settle. We can’t always quiet the world around us, but we can connect to a place inside us that is quiet and and beautiful and still.
Silence allows us to get grounded, when too many things are swirling about.
It’s a simple and profound practice that helps us step out of our need to react to things, gives us a deeper perspective on what’s important, and helps us make wiser decisions.
How to find silent time
Make an agreement with yourself to set aside a time when life isn’t pulling at you. Turn off all the technology, put your phone on silent.
You might then just sit quietly and rest. If that’s too hard, try focusing on something from nature - a plant, flowers, clouds, or a tree. Or you could potter, do something that doesn’t require you to think - some gentle tidying or gardening, or go for a walk in the park, or woods if you’re lucky enough to have those nearby.
The important thing is to listen to the silence until you can feel it. In fact, that’s all there is to it.
Of course as ever, it’s simple but not that easy. If you’re getting distracted, try using your mindful breath. As you breathe in, imagine you’re bringing in silence; and you breathe out, imagine your breath is softly dimming all the mental chatter of thinking, reviewing, planning and whatever else you're up to in there.
At first it can seem that letting go of everything around you, and sitting or moving around quietly is ‘unproductive’. Stick with it, though. Gradually you’ll find that you can tune in more easily. You’ll start to enjoy the quiet bliss of feeling calm and reconnected with yourself.
The best way to get a deep-dive experience of practising silence is to go on a retreat.
For ongoing support and guidance, you are always welcome at a regular meditation class, where you’ll also enjoy the company of like-minded people.