30 Days of Stillness

In a world filled with the consumption of busyness it is very unusual in our American culture to take time to be still. Since I have been back in the United States it seems as if we consistently glorify busyness, as if it is a badge of honor. The glorification of being busy has caused many diseases, stress, breakdowns and much more for the American culture. People identify with the words “hustle”, “grind” and “go-getter” as a way to celebrate their busy lives. Too often we confuse productivity with busyness and vice versa. Therefore, slowing down is never a thought because we do more to be more to get more. Instead of finding the beauty in simplicity we rush through life missing out on it.

I remember when I lived abroad I cherished the simplicity of life and enjoyed the moments of downtime. Simplicity was not so foreign to me until I came back to the US.  I began to yearn for the days where being present in the moment was a joy. Although, I’ve been  back in the US for 11 years now I still have not adjusted to the hustle and bustle of busyness. However, I made a vow to myself to get back to the life of simplicity!

Every summer I spend time strategizing where I want to go and who I plan to visit yet, this summer I wanted to do something different. I decided to spend 30 days being still; doing absolutely nothing. And to be honest, I found so much enjoyment in relaxing, slowing down and being present in the moment. Although, you may not be able to take 30 days off to be still but you can pick a day to do absolutely nothing.

Here are a couple of things I learned from my month of slowing down.

1. It can wait. Sometimes what you think is a priority is not a priority so rearrange your list and take some time to slow down.

2. Staycation.  Staycations are the best vacations because it allows you to rest and refresh your whole being.

3. Stop chasing people. I spent too many summers and holidays on the road visiting people who had no intentions of visiting me. Save your gas and money for a trip you want to take alone.

4. Become a priority in your own life. Stop waiting until other people put you as a priority on their list. It is time you become number 1 on your own list.

5. Stillness is mindfulness. When you are consumed with the present moment you see the present in everyday living.

So, take the time to disconnect yourself from the spirit of busy and embrace the joys of living in the moment. 

Which lesson will you implement this week? Let me know in the comments.

Go Ahead, Take A Day Off!

Sometimes the hustle and bustle of life can be overwhelming due to the demands of life, people and work. However, every now and then you have to be adamant about making quality time with yourself a priority. This week I can truly say I felt overwhelmed and needed some very well deserved me time. I pride myself in trying to live a balanced life but sometimes my life scale is unbalanced and I have to recalibrate it. Today I decided that this weekend would be time for myself only receiving calls from my family and no technology distracts. In a world full of distractions we have to be willing to find our own secret heaven or paradise. So today I decided to buy a magazine, read it and sit in Starbucks sipping my latte. It was such an invigorating moment to know I allowed time to stand still just to nurture my mental being. It felt good to put some things on hold just to take care of myself mentally and emotionally. So I decided once a month maybe every third Saturday would be my day to mentally, emotionally and spiritually rest. Here are some tips on pushing you to create your own personal day off!

Tips To A Day Off…..

TIP #1: Make yourself a priority and schedule your personal time off on your calendar. Pencil yourself in…

TIP #2: Communicate with your spouse, children, boyfriend and loved ones about your day off. So they will understand this is your time and you will not want it to be interrupted.

TIP #3: Do something simple. You may not have the finances to go to the Spa or take a weekend trip but look at the simple things you can do to change your scenery and get away mentally. (Ideas: walk in the park, walking on the beach, reading your favorite magazine or book)

TIP #4: Spend this day to reflect, meditate and not be bothered with any distractions.

TIP #5: Smile and Be Grateful. Having gratitude for another day to appreciate the beauty around is important. A day for you to cherish yourself is also important.

Until Next Time…..Live Bold. Live loud. Live Authentically.