How would it feel if your if your assertiveness skills improved and your ability to set boundaries with difficult people increased? How about if you weren’t up at 2 AM wondering what you should do next? Is restorative sleep interesting to you?
As a recovering doormat, I found myself needing outside approval and guidance more than I would like to admit; which affected my ability to be decisive and take charge of my results. Sleep and decisions did not come easily. Feeling anxious and insecure, looking for those outside sources to pat me on the head and say “it’s okay, you’re doing fine” was not a good strategy.
The problems happened when there was no one around or the other person I was expecting would pat me on the head were busy with their own worries. Suddenly, my habit of looking to outside sources for feelings of love and approval didn’t work.
Which led me to wonder if successful people only had wonderful, loving and supportive people around them? Gosh, aren’t they lucky? Well, it turns out that is not the case. In fact they are targets for a lot of bad stuff.
However, successful people have figured out what their true inner purpose is and they know how to focus on it. They don’t depend solely on outside approval because they vibrate to a larger instinct they trust. They can actually block out the bad stuff and bad people without ruminating on those.
The way they operate reminds me of when I was a little girl visiting grandma’s house. My uncle had taken the wheelbarrow so many times from a location on the farm to the barn that there was a deep rut in the ground. Even someone who had never traveled that path before could follow it in the dark by simply putting the wheel into that rut and moving forward.
Now if there are 2 paths, one leading to the barn where the manure is and the other to a goldmine on the property, it would be important to stop going to the barn for a minute. Successful people find that second path through introspection and meditation.
Knowing its value, I have toyed with how to calm my own monkey brain so that I can meditate. Besides having a tendency of second guessing everything, I also suffer from attention deficit disorder. Getting quiet without a wandering mind does not come easily to me.
So I thought I would share how I learned to overcome the distractions and resistance so I could become emotionally and intellectually quiet. This helps me let everything else go and gives my brain an opportunity to find that better path that I am meant to follow.
Strategy #1 Guided meditation.
- This is the easiest for distractible people, and because I am easily bored, I do different ones. Going on YouTube on my smartphone, and simply typing in 15 minute meditation will give me a choice. My favorite ones are by Abraham Hicks and Louise Hay.
- Experiment with a different one every day until you find a few you like. If you fall asleep, it’s ok. Just do it again tomorrow and try to do it first thing in the morning, when you are less tired.
Strategy #2 Traditional meditation
- Put some spa music on and set a timer for 20 minutes. Find a soothing word or short phrase, preferably one that has meaning for you. I like to use “peace”, “I am loved” or “it is all good”. It depends on how I am feeling. Breathe in and out slowly and on the exhalation softly say your word or phrase.
- Sometimes I will bounce around a little in the same 20 minute session. Even if your mind wanders, that’s okay. There will be a period of time; it may only be a few minutes, where your brain will get that break from all the negative self-talk it gives you in a day.
Strategy #3 Getting close to nature
- I noticed years ago that I always slept better while camping. Sleeping so close to the ground, surrounded by the sounds of nature without electronic devices has a very calming effect on me. My curiosity to my surroundings increase and I simply breathe better. The natural light, the colors all have soothing effects on the nervous system.
- Sitting outside or taking a stroll and simply breathing in and out for 10 minutes, being mindful or your surroundings revitalizes the brain in so many ways.
When I started doing these habits more regularly, I noticed that my anxiety, feelings of insecurity and irrational guilt reduced dramatically. These quiet snippets of time help me get in alignment with who I truly am.
Now I rarely feel lonely and find myself being able to let go of the negative influences that used to trip me up so easily.
My ability to brainstorm and tap into powerful insights that I could take action on have increased. I found myself recognizing the things that I was looking for and needed. Suddenly, the right books appeared, the most helpful people materialized and the actions that I needed to take became clearer.
These strategies, for me, are nothing short of a miracle. In fact, I challenge you to find someone who has a practice of meditation who cannot find value.
I hope this was helpful and that you will try to get quiet within yourself, in whatever way you want or can. It’s time to stop getting tripped up by negative self-talk or negative people and get in touch with your true path.