To find peace, stillness and quiet for yourself in this busy and noisy world, carve out a little space of “me time”. BUT, my take on this notion of “me time”, is very different to most. It does not actually require you to have stillness and quiet around you.
Most commonly people think that there can be no rejuvenation or “me time” if we are surrounded by other people, demands, and the busy activity and noise of daily life. “Me time” has been traditionally thought of as literal solitude without interruption.
But really, taking a fresh perspective on this, “me time” is available all the time, even if in very small ways. Because it is the ability to GO WITHIN, and to find the stillness and quiet inside of ourselves, not outside of ourselves. This process of going within is genuine “me time”, because no one else is inside there with you, are they?! Inside yourself is your sacred space. Inside your body, inside your mind, inside your spiritual self… that is just you and you alone, always.
Let's get practical about what this really means. Finding stillness and quiet inside yourself is about (a) momentarily going beyond the constant conveyor belt of thoughts in your mind, and instead (b) having awareness and (c) focusing that awareness on your “inner landscape”.
This can be done in 2 simple ways…
- breathing (e.g. observe the breath coming in and out of your nose/lungs), and
- feeling the subtle energy tingling inside your body (e.g. close your eyes and focus your attention on your hands or feet… you will feel a subtle sensation of aliveness in them)
Both of these simple approaches take only seconds to create a slice of “me time”. It takes you away from your thoughts momentarily and connects you into a deeper aspect of life – life beyond the external world and life beyond the noise of your mind. This is really refreshing and grounding when life around you feels like a washing machine spin cycle sometimes.
Going within to observe your breathing or the energy in your body can be done ANYWHERE and ANY TIME, such as in a public space with people around you, e.g. waiting at the bus stop or train station. It can be done when walking to work. It can be done while showering. It can be done while doing errands or cleaning the house. It can be done while cooking. It can be done while eating lunch. It can be done while sitting in your living room surrounded by your family or house-mates. It can be done when others are being quiet and respectful, and it can also be done when people around you are being intense, noisy and demanding.
It's a practise. Until we practise, we are unskilled at it. That is because our entire focus has been trained from a young age to be like a sponge absorbing the outer world, and we don't know how to hone our awareness within. When we don't know how to carve out a moment of “me time” in any place, space or time, we are essentially slaves to the outer world dominating our senses.
But with practise, you can physically be located amid noise and busy-ness, and simultaneously turn your awareness to your breathing and the energy in your body, and in that split second you find a slice of “me time”.
When you do this regularly, you build your capability and it becomes easier and more natural. It also has a compounding effect… the more you do it, the more your sense of peace, inner stillness and awareness lifts. And, the more personal power you feel as a result.
I always find that going within in this way, even for a moment, gives me a sense of true gratitude – marvelling at the fact my heart is beating and that there is life force in my body. While life going on around me might be interesting, fun, exciting, challenging or confusing, there is such power and simplicity in just pondering the miracle of life within my body. Not everyone on this planet woke up today. Not everyone will be here tomorrow. This is not sad, it is an empowering and revitalising reminder not to get lost in the day to day hum drum, and to really celebrate being alive and the life force energy inside of you.
I hope you will practise going within and see what a difference it can make to your life. Stillness, quiet, and ultimately inner peace, are available to you, always.
If you're up for the challenge of finding peace in this way, put a repeating reminder on your phone or calendar right now for the coming 7 days and “go within” each day, then report back and let me know what you experienced!