"Quiet your mind and your heart will follow."
I woke up with that in my head on a recent morning. It was the last thing I remember from a dream I was having. I sat straight up, grabbed a pen and paper, and jotted it down. It was loud, too, as if someone in the room had said it right next to me. You don't ignore something like that!
At the time, I was struggling with some decisions I needed to make. Well, decisions we (my husband and I) were mulling over. It's a good problem to have when you have a lot of options for a situation, but for me, sometimes having too many options makes it difficult for me to see the path right in front of me.
I knew what I was being told: that I needed to quiet my mind and my heart would know and seek the true path.
I have a habit of letting things get to me, and they get all swirled up in my mind. It's like a cacophony of mental sound inside of me, every thought fighting to be heard.
Can you relate at all? If so, what do you do to quell it?
I've explored various techniques on how to deal with this over the years: pro/con lists, journaling, talking it out with people, but today I would like to share a meditation I've been doing that has been helping me with this problem.
I start by sitting quietly and comfortably, feet flat on the floor, hands in my lap. If you try this and you feel you need calming music, then play some music softly in the background. I prefer to sit in utter silence, and you'll see why, below.
Take a few deep breaths, letting them out slowly but fully. Let each breath go deeper than the one before. Let the tension of the day drop away with each breath. Stretch a little, settle into how your body feels and consciously relax each muscle, joint, and limb.
If thoughts crop up, acknowledge them, and then let them go. They will probably crop up a few times, and that's okay, just keep acknowledging them and letting them go.
Take more deep breaths, and SMILE. Did you know smiling can calm you down and raise good endorphins?
After several clearing breaths, I let my awareness extend outwards to connect with sounds around me: children playing, birds chirping, cars passing by on the road, a dog barking in the distance, that really insistent woodpecker in the backyard. It takes my mind out of myself and connects me with the outer world. (This is why I often don't use music.) The reason I do this is because by putting my awareness OUTWARDS, I stop focusing on what is INWARDS in my head.
After a few moments of being out of my own head, I am then able to bring my awareness back within, and picture myself in a place that is calm and happy. For me, it's often a quiet beach with calm waves lapping the shore, much like the beaches I grew up with in Connecticut.
Then, I let my higher 'self' connect with heaven, and I pray. I ask God to guide me down the right path.
|Photo by Jacek Dylag on Unsplash|
After praying, I sit silently again, just paying attention to my breathing, and continue to acknowledge and let go any confusing thoughts that crop up. I sit in a space of quiet gratitude and light, continuing to breathe. By this point, the confusing thoughts are generally gone, and I have only one or two thoughts happening. If I try to jettison them and they come back solidly, then I know those are the ones I should address.
I don't really know how I arrived at this method. It's just from a variety of things I've tried over the years and it's developed from there. One thing I know for sure is that this doesn't come from me. The letting go of my ego and connecting my awareness outward during the meditation is necessary for me to truly quiet my mind, connect above, and know the right path. That step came during another moment of intuition and message last year, and I took it to heart and started implementing it.
One more thing: I've found that there will be what Kim Chestney calls "Godwinks"—signs from above to do something—that are obvious to me if I bother to pay attention. I know for myself, whenever I ignore them, they will fight to be heard even louder, sometimes to unpleasant consequences. When I look back on my life now, I see them so clearly. I've just had another situation in which it was clear I was not in balance with who I am supposed to be and what I am supposed to do, and I'm listening up. BIG CHANGES coming in my life right now, but they're GOOD ONES. Being in balance with God and the universe has never been more important to me, and makes my decisions even easier when I listen instead of ignoring it.
Comment below or on social media and let me know: have you ever felt something similar? How do you quiet your mind so that your heart can follow? Do you have any favorite tricks for this?
Want to read Kim's book? You can find it here. And if you are local to the Pittsburgh region and get a chance to do a workshop with Kim, I highly recommend working with her. You can find out more about workshops and events she offers at her website. You may recall I attended an event she helped create back in January, and you can read what that was like here.
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