Friday, March 22, 2013

Remembering Calm

Sit still. Think of your body in this moment. What does it feel like? Does it ache? Is it tense? Do you feel the chair resting against your back? Or the bed against your belly?

That is now. That is this moment. That is the present and nothing else.

There is a certain power in living in just this moment, without envisioning a dream future (or a nightmare one, if you're a pessimist) or reliving the mistakes or triumphs of the past. It gives you focus, a skill you may have noticed that I enthusiastically endorse learning.

More than that, meditation gives you a touch stone in your day-to-day life. With just a change in your breathing, or a slight touch of your fingers, you're reminded of a moment of peace in times of great stress.

What do I mean when I say this? Well, think about it. How many times in your life have you faced a scary prospect, or become so angry you're about to blow a gasket, and someone has told you to just take a deep breath and calm down? Like it's that easy. As simple as taking a deep breath and making yourself calm down when you're feeling such tempestuous emotions!

It isn't that easy. Emotions rule our day-to-day life more than we even realize. And creating calm and relaxing your muscles in the face of strong emotion is almost impossible, just as facing a large crowd to give a speech can be almost impossible (public speaking is the number one fear of humans worldwide, according to most studies; death comes second in most people's estimations).

But what if you prepare beforehand? Practice your speech by yourself over and over until you know it by heart. And then take it to your family and friends to practice it in front of them. Is it as impossible then?

Not really. It's still pretty hard, but each preparation makes the fear lessen a little more. And instead of creating your speech on the spur of the moment, with the crowd staring you down and your heart speeding too fast to be measured, you have a pre-written speech ready to be recited from memory. It's always easier to remember something you already know than to craft it from nothing in the face of heavy emotion.

The same is true about relaxation and calm. It's hard to pull those feelings up on command, like a rabbit from a magician's hat. But what if you practiced every single day? What if you took the time to feel that feeling every morning before you went to work or faced your family? Would remembering that feeling, preparing for the stressful moments of life when you'd need that calm most of all, make a difference when facing that moment of truth?

Yes. It's still pretty hard, but the practice makes it a little easier to do. Instead of creating calm and relaxation from nothing, you merely remember what it felt like when you meditated. Remember your muscles relaxing. Remember your emotions falling to the back of your mind and your body becoming your focus. Remember how it felt to be calm.

And then you won't have to remember. Because you're feeling it right now.

If you wish to explore your own calm, why not try a simple site like It never mentions meditation, you can choose whatever nature background noise you wish to hear, and it's a great beginner's source for learning to be calm. Hope it helps you as much as it has me!

Daily Stats:

  1. Exercised, stretched, meditated, and worked on my writing twice today.
  2. Wrote in my journal, stayed on budget, and wrote a poem today.
  3. Posted on my blog.
  4. Picked up a little in my room.

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