Leo Babauta writes a blog called Zen Habits that is one of my favorite sources of inspiration. This week’s timing of a post called “Living the Quiet Life” was pretty perfect. His advice rang oh so true, especially after my frenzied Time Management post. The past week has been a bit stressful – ha! – more like a three ring circus, having multiple performances going on simultaneously. Suddenly Seven cracked me up today when she said, “What on earth are you working on now?!?”
Below are some of his suggestions for living the quiet life. These ideas really struck a chord with me and I hope that they do the same for you.
- Create a little quiet space in the morning.
- Meditate for 2 minutes a day (to start with). Just sit and put your attention on your breath, returning when your thoughts distract you.
- When you feel the urge to socialize online, pause. Give yourself a little quiet instead.
- When you feel the automatic urge to say Yes to an invitation, consider saying No instead, unless it’s something that will truly enrich your life.
- Don’t take music on a run or walk. Instead, give yourself space with your thoughts.
- When someone talks to you, instead of jumping in with something about yourself, just listen. Absorb. Reflect their thoughts back to them. Appreciate their beauty.
- Make time for the people closest to you. One-on-one time is best. Really pay attention to them.
- Make time for creating, with no distractions.
- Spend some time decluttering, and creating peaceful space.
- Create space between your automatic reaction, and your actions (or words). Even one second is enough. In that space, consider whether your reaction is appropriate.
- Instead of rushing, take a breath, and slow down.
- Pay attention to sensations of whatever you’re eating, drinking, doing.
- Have a daily time for reflection.
Leo acknowledges that we don’t have to do all of these, and certainly not all at once. Rather, a slow, happy progression is best. Ok. Now, I feel so inspired to take a nice – long – deep – breath!
I am grateful to him for creating a new world of reflection, peacefulness, and beauty. How’s that for a Silver Lining?
* Photograph by my dear friend Elizabeth Messina.