So many of us, no matter how hard we have tried, have failed miserably at sitting still to meditate. The usual complaints are – my thoughts are all over the place, I can’t concentrate, I just can’t sit still, etcetera, etcetera.
We still want to try, and probably give it a shot annually when anyone ‘recommends meditation’, but we begin to resign from spirituality assuming that meditation is the only way to approach it.
Also, at times, even when we know how to meditate, we may not have the time or the emotional availability to sit down for it.
The good news is, spirituality is unlimited and there are countless ways to experience a more soul-enriching life!
So here are 10 things you can do in your daily life to experience peace, even if you can’t sit still or don’t have enough time to.
#1 – Music (Chanting)
You don’t need to close your eyes to experience peace.
And, even if you can’t understand the chant due to a language barrier, there are some incredibly therapeutic creations to listen to while driving, before bed or at any time of the day when you need to cool down your mind quickly. I often used to listen to these while at work – it helped me stay calm and focused.
Here are my top 5 recommendations for chants :
1) Buddhist Monks – https://youtu.be/cDCS19EOsrA
2) Om Namah Shivay Chanting – https://youtu.be/htoKhJySUFo
3) Lotus Sutra (Namyoho Renge Kyo) – https://youtu.be/OBgN849_nOs
4) Om Chanting – https://youtu.be/8sYK7lm3UKg
5) Morning Prayer – https://youtu.be/Hx8c50vUi4I
#2 – Mindfulness (Not Meditation)
While meditation is associated with sitting still, mindfulness asks you to focus on your reality, whilst engaged in other activities. It isn’t as challenging as it sounds! Start small, as small as 1 minute everyday, and let your mindfulness expand in duration, as well as the activities you do.
How to be mindful?
To summarise the practice, when you’re involved in any mundane task in which you are so good, you are not paying attention and your mind is wandering, such as brushing, eating or walking, become fully aware of doing this activity. Feel yourself being involved in the task at hand. Appreciate the effortlessness you have developed in doing something – enjoy it!
#3 – Minimalism
Minimalism has been quite the ‘trend’ lately. It not only appears tidy and overcomes the psychological problem of hoarding, minimalism is another way of saying “I am a MINDFUL consumer”.
And as Jack puts it, “minimalism is the basis for freedom”.
While there are multiple philosophies on how to practice minimalism, I think we should all start with the basics :
- All future purchases should be what you immediately need.
When you purchase less, you can still upgrade your wardrobe and appear stylish, by spending more on the quality of what you’re buying. This allows you to maximise the use of what you have, and thus a NO-WASTE policy.
- Scan your existing purchases and remove items you haven’t used in 6 months or more.
If you keep stocking up, or refuse to let go of old possessions, you’re basically a hoarder. That word is not to be taken lightly, simply because it is a psychological problem, a fear of ‘lack and insufficiency’ that as a conscious being, you MUST overcome.
- For every new item you buy, try to remove an old pair.
The effective consumption stays constant, and you are able to recycle your wardrobe. Preferably giving away your used items to charity.
When we evaluate how many gallons of water is wasted in making a simple piece of cloth, or that our natural resources are outrageously being depleted, minimalism is the LEAST we can do to start curbing the explosive consumption and lack of appreciation.
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#4 – Grounding
It’s simply reconnecting with nature and allowing your excess energy to balance into the Earth.
Dance in the rain.
Walk barefoot in the grass.
Take a hike in the nature.
Play with your pets outdoors (keyword is outdoors).
Hug a tree.
Walk in the sand and let the ocean waves crash against your feet.
These are all just some examples, and just 5 minutes a day can make all the difference!
#5 – Absorb Wisdom from Around
Surround yourself with spirituality. But, how? Keep reading.
- Since we spend an awful lot of time on social media, the quickest trick is to follow pages and channels that keep reminding you of soulful messages. Slowly and steadily, these thoughts will penetrate into your way of living.
Speaking by personal experience – on the days when you don’t have enough inner light, it is these messages that will lift you, NOT the images of people getting married or going on a Euro-trip.
- Second, listen to spiritual teachers. Here are some of my personal favourites :
- Caroline Myss
- Eckhart Tolle
- Oprah Winfrey’s Soulful Sunday series
- Hay House podcasts
- Also, to nurture your Soul straight from the wise horse’s mouth, read more intriguing books. If you haven’t picked up book from this genre yet, you can check out my recommendations for 5 spiritual books everyone should read.
#6 – Morning Pages
A suggestion that has been around for a few decades, but I only got to, this year myself. Morning Pages is like a mindless rant, it’s venting everything that’s on your mind, onto a piece of paper (or typing it in Word, if you’d like).
This is the brainchild of Julia Cameron found in her book, The Artist’s Way. I will come forward and say, that what meditation sometimes does not do for me, morning pages does. How?
Because you are taking a few minutes to actually channelise your thoughts, you are able to finish the thought and move on. Sometimes in meditation, the mind will jump from one unfinished thought to another like a kid high on sugar, so writing slows down the process and really lets you vent.
And you may even experience some wisdom seeping through! This is what manifested the page, Messages from the Universe, on my blog.
#7 – Reliving and releasing your pain (Therapy)
Anything that brings you back to the present moment is a good thing. And what is more effective, than a bad memory which reminds you that you’re safe now, in this moment? Counter-intuitive, I know.
As someone said, “in the exact moment, we are all, always alright”.
When we actively pursue our pain, or ‘darkness’, we are able to realise the lessons behind our suffering, and appreciate our ‘now’.
On to the ‘how‘, three suggestions –
- Regularly talk to somebody you trust and feel safe opening your wounds around.
- Second, write about it for yourself or for a bigger audience (this is how my page on Instagram began). You’ll be surprised how liberating it is to speak your truth. The world is really a more receptive place today, and vulnerability is welcomed.
- Attend therapy sessions. Though this isn’t the path for everybody, but if you feel like you might benefit from it, trust me, YOU WILL!
#8 – Do What You’re Meant To : LIVE a Little (or a LOT) !
Not everyone is made for the same 9-6 job or other stereotypes like getting married and having kids, but there’s no doubt that every creative cell in your body deserves to be fuelled. No matter who you are!
Remember from the Trolls movie, how the characters withered away, when they weren’t allowed to dance or sing? That’s precisely how we humans are, too. Just not as cute.
Surprised this even makes it to the list? It’s true. The more spiritual you become, the more creative and in touch with your ‘inner child’ you will be. and vice versa.
Also, as the analogy goes – as food is to the body, creativity is to the soul. You need to feed yourself regularly, generously!
#9 – Healing
There are a number of wondrous healing techniques – using crystals, practising Reiki, Pranik healing, etc. Though not meditation, these can also ‘up’ your spiritual game and might even become a profession for some. Explore them, give the practices a chance, you might be surprised!
NOTE: For Indians interested in Reiki, the Reiki Healing Foundation offers free Reiki Level 1 classes every month, for the masses in Delhi, India. I have personally attended the session too, and learned a lot! Would definitely encourage that those that are in the area and can attend, should.
#10 – Spiritual Cleanse
This is an abundant and magnificent topic of its own. Given how exhaustive this list has already become, my post on my favourite cleansing practices will have to find its own space and time! Stay tuned.
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