Day 56/366 days Towards Self-Mastery. Mood: mellow
The most difficult aspect of finding that place of inner silence is dealing with the "monkey mind".
A mind full of chatter doesn't give you much space to rest into considering your own personal needs and how you might satisfy them as well as meeting all your other priorities.
For me at least, finding that silent place was about understanding that my monkey mind was a mind that was trying to figure things out. Unfinished business from the passed that left me with lots of unanswered questions.
When our lives are busy and filled with the needs of children and family, study and careers and more, it's easy to lose sight of our personal priorities. This too can contribute to the ongoing noise in your mind that remains ceaseless.
Make time for your personal priorities
To work out our personal priorities we need to take some time quietly to ourselves each day, to sit in silence, and allow our priorities to order themselves.
The inspiration for today is to get in touch with that inner silent place as your first priority.
If you google "how to work with the monkey mind", you'll find a range of solutions. Meditation is a popular solution especially recommended by buddhist teachers.
Of course this was an important step for me to try to overcome my busy and frantic mind that was going non-stop each and every day.
From trying to teach myself through "how to" meditation books, to attending meditation bootcamps, I learned to minimise my expectations of meditation for the Western mind, or at least for my mind.
Instead I settled into 10 or 15 minutes of quiet time each day to rest my mind and bring my priorities into focus. This was enormously beneficial. It was something that could be done anywhere, even at lunch time during a busy day.
In addition, I worked on finishing that unfinished business. The stories in my mind that were looking for solutions. The questions that were seeking answers.
And to make sense of earlier circumstances that left me with many, many unresolved thoughts and fears. Therapy has been invaluable in this endeavour.
It was this unfinished business that promised to send me crazy, that generated all sorts of self-blame, self-denigration and feelings of not measuring up in order to find a solution that satisfied an unanswered situation.
Learning to seek clarity, especially when things went wrong, helped to settle that busy mind. And finding a place of peace within myself has been the prized reward.
My mind remains curious, and sometimes very busy. My inner silent place is more easily accessible, and I value my solitude above all else.
366 days Towards Self-Mastery
When I considered my New Year's intentions for 2020 I had just one: To allow my heart to love what it loved...and let it lead me. (If not now, then when?)
I've spent months working on integrating my life. To live life more fully with my home life, my interests, my work, my responsibilities, all coming together, all connected. I want to give each the attention that they desire and need, and still have time and energy for the others. That means living and working from the heart.
As I was clearing out my bookshelf over the Christmas break I discovered Simple Abundance. I set it aside to explore it on New Year's Day as I lazed through another delicious day of nothingness. Sarah, the author, says this book is about living in grace. Living in grace I realised, is about Self-Mastery.
My thirst for understanding the human condition has driven me all my life, and hand-in-hand with self-mastery it has been a life-long goal. And seeing as I love to write, that living in grace is about self-mastery, and I love a bit of a challenge, then if I am truly going to let my heart lead, I really don't have any other choice. So scary as it feels, I'm starting out on a daily mission of leaning into the suggestions of this daybook and making a daily post to keep me accountable. If not now, then when?
I'm Josie. You can find out a little more about me here.
Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy: by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
This book is written for the Australian and NZ market because it refers to seasonal changes. It's available on Amazon here if you'd like to follow along.