Today is International Day of Peace. Peace on earth. It's the one thing we all want, right? But how can we possibly achieve a such a monumental thing without first making peace with ourselves? Whom amongst us can say they are truly in touch with their inner peace? What even is inner peace?
Thousands of years ago, life was much simpler. As a species, humans have evolved to think. And think. And think. Why did I say that at dinner last night?.. I shouldn't have snapped at my child just then... I've got so much work to do... I should have phoned my Mum. The train of thought is endless, often useless and very distracting.
How often are we paying attention to what we are doing right now?
All too easily our thoughts stray to the past or the future, neither of which are real. The only thing that's real is now; this moment, right now. Often reflection on the past brings us sadness and future projections breed anxiety. Yet it's impossible to feel these things if we are really present.
But how do we get anything done?
Of course thinking has its place or else we'd all be fired and there would be no food in the house! But it's important to allocate time for our thoughts rather than allowing a relentless stream of unnecessary mental noise to penetrate our every moment.
So how do we do it?
Firstly we need to consciously choose to take our attention away from thought and place it firmly in the present moment. Easier said than done you may think. Well you can banish that thought for a start!
Close your eyes and feel the sensation in your fingertips. Do they feel tingly? Do they feel warm? Ask yourself if you are still breathing and notice how your attention immediately turns to your breath.
Being with nature is an ideal place to start when trying focus our attention on the now. Take a flower. Look at it. Notice the way the petals overlap one another at the edges; the various hues from the centre to the tips. How does it smell? What does it feel like?
How about listening to a guided meditation? These are freely accessible on YouTube.
I've recently started to exercise this practice of being aware of the present moment a whole lot more. I can honestly say it has changed not only my mood but my very being, bringing a genuine feeling of deep joy.
Plus, I'm being very productive! I find myself picking things up off the floor and quickly delivering them to their rightful places rather than walking over them because now I actually notice the debris of the day. I find myself walking upstairs and actually remembering why I'm there rather than frowning, spinning on my heels and limbering downstairs, disgruntled, only then to remember why I ventured upstairs in the first place! Purely because my mind isn't pontificating on whether it's more economical to buy a pack of two medium avocados or one large one. Best of all, I find myself really engaging with my kids because they are here with me right now and frankly, one day in the not too distant future (which, incidentally, I am not thinking about) they, as sure as the earth is round, won't want to be! From now on I am claiming these precious moments for myself.
With practice and repetition, remaining truly conscious, maintaining calm and just 'being' becomes easier. Eventually we will be able to stay peaceful all of the time, nurturing a purer sense of happiness even in the most difficult of circumstances.
Stepping out of our everyday lives and into one of our therapy rooms creates the perfect environment to practice stillness and being your true self. To find out how our Holistic Massage delivers much more than physical indulgence book today. After all, there’s no time like the present! 😉