Discovering Your Zen
Have you ever noticed that non-stop voice in your head? Yeah, the one you wish would stop yakking while you're trying to concentrate. Even when you sit back and kick your feet up to relax, there it is. All you want to do is yell, "Hello, just quiet down!" Well, in a world full of chaos and noise, it can sometimes be hard to quiet this voice even for the shortest amount of time.
Ego says: "Once everything falls into place, I will have peace."
Spirit says: "Find your peace, and then everything will fall into place."— Marianne Williamson
What is the voice, and how do we quiet it, you ask? That voice, my friend, is your Ego, and to soften it, we must focus on taking care of ourselves. Take care of our whole selves, mind, body, and soul. How will we ever do our part in the world if our mind is out of whack? So I ask you this, what is it that you do to take care of yourself? How do you find your Zen?
For me, finding my Zen can be very challenging, especially with anxiety. When a person suffers from anxiety, the voice in their head seems to talk a whole heck of a lot more than someone who doesn't have it.
However, just because it yaps more doesn't mean we can't find peace and a sense of balance. It means that we have to work harder to silence that voice because it has a harder push behind it and not as much give.
So what do I do about it? There are a few different activities that I love to do to bring myself to a center of peace. However, the most important thing at this stage is finding something that you enjoy doing. This way, it won't feel like another chore to check off during the day. You need to find tasks you want to do to take better care of yourself, and that brings you to your Zen.
I Take in My Surroundings
Taking a moment out of any situation you are in to realize where you are, and everything around you can be so powerful. It is a way to ground you and bring you back to the center. It immediately gets rid of that voice.
Wherever I am, or whatever the situation be, the first thing I do is stop everything. I take a deep breath in, and I engage all of my senses. What is it I feel at that moment? Is the wind blowing, or can I sense the hot sun on my skin? The next thing I immediately do is ground myself at the moment. I make myself feel the ground beneath me. If I am sitting, I sense the seat I am sitting in and notice how totally and 100 percent supported I am. If I am standing, I take a moment to feel the Earth beneath my feet. Then I ask my self, what is it that I hear? Maybe, the birds are chirping, or the bees are buzzing. Can I smell anything? Are there flowers around that are in bloom, or fresh-cut grass? Do I have any taste in my mouth?
I find it so important to do this exercise because it gives me a reality check. It brings me back to the here and now, and not whatever I am thinking about in my head. It's also important to do these checks often. I have noticed a big difference with just this little exercise as it clears the head and brings me back to my Zen.
I can't even begin to tell you how much yoga has truly changed my life. It not only helps me with my physical body, but it helps me mentally and spiritually as well. Yoga is the whole package deal because of this.
There will always be those days that you just don't feel like doing your yoga routine. I have these days! The days when I am lazy, but I get up and push myself to do my routine. Those days I am hard on myself are the days that I am the happiest I did it. After completing a yoga session, your body feels rejuvenated! It's one of the best feelings.
While I am in my yoga session, I try to focus on my breathing. Concentrating on my breath is how I locate my Zen. It is crucial to find something to focus on during this time. If you opt not to focus, this causes the mind to wander. When your mind wanders, all the thoughts of what you need to do when you finish your session will rush in. When you concentrate, your brain will calm, allowing you to complete your routine in peace. You will feel like a whole new person!
I have a love and hate relationship with meditation. It's the days where I am unable to focus I get so frustrated. I get frustrated because this usually is when I need meditation the most, I am unable to sit and do it.
So what do I suggest? I suggest finding a meditation practice that works for you. There are so many options available out there. Some of these practices you won't like, or they just won't fit your personality. It is okay to run into this along the way, just skip those and find another. With all the available options, I am positive you'll find one you love!
For me, I found that I love Mantra Meditation the best. I never in a million years would have thought that I would have liked Mantra Meditation! Mantra Meditation involves using your voice while you meditate, which is so far out of my comfort zone! I love it because of the peace and focus it provides me. Here is where I find my Zen.
Go for a Walk
There's nothing better than getting out into nature that quiets down the mind. I don't know why this is. Maybe it is the breathtaking views or just being with Mother Nature. Whatever it is, it works!
Taking in all the surroundings and being in that moment brings such clarity and peace. I suggest you do the grounding exercise that we talked about up above, and see how much more alert you become. Listen to the water flowing from the stream, the wind blowing, and the birds. Feel that water and wind. Just take it all in. Find your clarity and your Zen!
So how are you going to find your Zen? Maybe you already have things you do every day to take care of yourself, and that is wonderful! However, if you do not, I suggest you find activities that will work for you. After all, the most important thing to do is to take time for yourself as well as to take care of yourself. You will not be able to take care of anyone or anything else until you do!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Carissa Nason