How does relaxing into some calm right now sound to you?
The holiday season gives you lots of opportunities to practice. There’s work responsibilities, social commitments, picking up gifts, traveling, wrapping up things before the break. And, it’s easy to put on a familiar chaotic mindset but you don’t have to. You can practice calm and enjoy some peace of mind instead.
The word chaos reminds me of the countless hours of being driven around in Kolkata traffic. Cars drive so close together with maybe an inch between at times. Honking non-stop. And, there’s more than cars on the road – rickshaws, bikes, people walking, cows. While this scared a lot of visitors, I developed a sense of calm.
You may ask how.
Most importantly – because I felt like everything would be ok. After being in it a few times, I relaxed. I knew everything out there was out of my control so I didn’t try to control it. I focused my attention on other things not the outside conditions. I’d gained familiarity with this chaotic experience and chose to enjoy the ride.
So imagine the chaotic experience you’re most familiar with this time of year. What if you relaxed into this experience vs. tensing up? How would your experience be different?
Just suppose you’ve got the choice to be stressed out or calm.
3 Simple Steps to Being Calm
These steps guide your way from the initial source to the actual physical experience.
1. Plant Calm Seeds
For anything to grow, it’s got to be planted. And when you plant something, you’ve got to select the seeds you really want. It’s your wish. The same is true with being calm. It starts with wishing to be calm and starting to plant those seeds in your heart. The best way to get something into your heart is through repeated contemplation and meditation.
2. Layer it into Your Self Image
Imagine being able to see yourself expressing the value of being calm in your daily life. When you see it, you can believe it. This is a very literal process. Step back from yourself. If you were calm, what would you notice about yourself walking down the street? What would you be wearing? What’s the look in your face? How do you carry yourself?
3. Practice and Gain Momentum
Like riding a bike, you need to practice. When you start working on being more calm, you can’t rush into a super heated situation and think that calm is going to show up. Take your time. Make this easy on yourself.
Start to list out the different types of situations where you tense up. This self-awareness is key. Pick a less chaotic situation on the richter scale. Start practicing ahead of time how you’ll handle similar upcoming situations. Mentally vision how it will unfold. You can do this.
You’ll find plenty of opportunities to practice calm. Once you commit, you’ll see the normal chaotic situations become background noise. Your attention will shift to what gives you peace of mind. And, you’ll be even more aware of how uncomfortable it is to stress out. This will naturally fuel your desire to be calm.
I encourage you to pick one upcoming situation that you feel stressed about. You can already start rehearsing now how it’ll go when you’re carrying a calm mind. This is about a 30 second exercise. Repeating it 10 times is 5 minutes of your time. Imagine the impact that could have vs. the wasted hours of worrying and stressing out.
Please let yourself enjoy some peace of mind. You deserve it.