As I write this post the sun is shinning although the temperature outside is in the teens, Fahrenheit, with no relief in sight of warmer temperatures any time soon. The cold coupled with many inches of snow on the ground tell me that yes, it is Winter. The presence of the sun is deceiving in allowing me to believe Spring is here, or that it is warm outside. Neither are true. Yet that is perfectly fine with me since this time of the year does not depress me, quite the opposite! The time from when Fall enters the scene through the bitter cold Winter months I am quite excited and content! These are my seasons; times I relish in quite the same way others are fond of the warmer Summer months.
I am aware of my uniqueness in excitement during this time of the year, just as I am aware that many find it a depressing time. Our journey has now taken us away from the holidays, relegated to our rear view mirrors. The cold and increased darkness coupled with the passing of the holidays, lead many along a journey they wish were different. A journey, for some, lacking in warmth and light.
Yet for me, along the perspective of my journey, I find this time of the year as one full of warmth and light. The warmth of family and friends, warmth of a fire, a blanket, flannel sheets, etc. In the darkness of the season we light candles and we turn on more house lights than we do during the warmer seasons. But this is the experience for me along my journey. You may be reading this and thinking “how nice for him, but I am depressed and stressed. It’s dark and cold, the holidays are over, taxes are due and Spring is nowhere in sight!” If that is your journey, please read on. And if you are on a journey similar to mine, read on as well, for I, too, feel stress and anxiety even during my favorite time of the year.
In an earlier blog post I introduced you to this picture of “zen dog”. I am a fan of dogs, and
in a later post I plan to reflect on what I have learned from my experience with dogs which has helped me along my life’s journey. But for now, I ask that you reflect upon this picture. Those who have read a few of my posts will know that I often write about the importance of centering ourselves and taking time each day to find our inner peace. Recognizing how we are all so busy, I have often written about needing only 10 minutes (or less) a day to center ourselves. I rarely can find the time to reflect or meditate for any length of time, so for me, the 10 minute rule of thumb has worked well.
I mention this not just because it is Winter, but because of a video I use in the college class I teach which I wanted to share with you. The video is a TED presentation by Andy Puddicombe entitled “All it takes is 10 mindful minutes”. Really?! Someone
else believes in the 10 minutes too? I was thrilled! In the video Mr. Puddicombe challenges us to take 10 minutes a day to clear our minds. Not, as he shares, to make our minds silent, rather, embracing the thoughts by stepping back from them. I often talk about our need to shift our perspective, and this is essentially what he recommends; to spend quiet time stepping back and reflecting on our thoughts. Changing our perspective and perception to one of an observer and analyzer.
I try to do this on a daily basis, but of course am not always successful. But I will testify that when I do stop and attempt to reflect, I find myself more at peace. We are inundated all day long by information and stimuli; when do we process it all? How about during your 10 minute “zen” moment?
Please, take a moment along your journey to watch this short video and try to meditate daily. You will feel the difference!
I am interested to hear your thoughts about this “technique” and what you do to rest and reflect along your life’s journey.