Cultivating Calm

How to Cultivate Calm

It may seem counterintuitive, but one of the best things you can do in times of high stress is not much at all.  I learned that when I start feeling stress rising in my chest, that I sit quietly, breathe, and focus on peace, calm, and quiet.  In fact, I mentally visualize PEACE while I breathe in and out.  It really does work.

God knows I’m not a morning person, but in the past few years I have become much less cranky when up early.  Don’t get me wrong, arising at 4 a.m. to catch an early flight is just not fun for me.  In fact, I hate it.  If I start each morning thinking that it’s a complete ‘do-over’, that any lapses or errors I made the day before are cleaned and I get to start again.

The morning is quiet and of course full of routine.  I wake up, putter out to the kitchen and feed the barking, demanding dogs.  Once they have eaten and I have swallowed my morning pills, I get a drink and putter back to the bathroom for a shower and the process of transformation.  When I allow myself fifteen extra minutes in the morning, I can transform, then sit quietly in the overstuffed chair in my bedroom and meditate.  I can feel the stillness.

I started feeling a bit of stress or anxiety building yesterday over my upcoming knee surgery.  I recognized the signs and settled myself.  I took my Art History class then came home and got into my comfy jammies and relaxed and reminded myself that once I heal my knee will feel good again.  I will be at surgery with someone who is calming and will care for me in my drug-induced stupor.  I think it’s the actual act of going under the anesthetic that makes me anxious….I don’t like to lose control.

I also listened to a new Neil Diamond CD that reminded me of being a girl and playing him endlessly.  I had all of his albums.  YES, Neil Diamond.  His new CD reminded me of the music that I played in my room as a girl, singing in front of the full-length mirror with a brush or curling iron for a microphone.  It made me smile.  It made me feel young and silly again for just a moment.

Among the Pueblo and Navajo people seeing turquoise first thing in the morning is considered a blessing.  (That explains all the jewelry).  Turquoise is considered a sky stone, reminding us of when the sky is at its brightest and sunniest. To see it upon first opening your eyes is a blessing for the hours that follow.  Honestly I would prefer to look at a big fat diamond, but whatever works for the Navajo must be right.

I also find that if I play a little with each dog in the morning (they are wide awake) that it lightens my mood.

Today, after resolving some stressful issues, I feel lighter and at peace.



2 thoughts on “Cultivating Calm

  1. Pingback: The power of peace | Elegant mind

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