The Value Of Reflection And Introspection:
At such a chaotic and busy time in our world now, and it feels weird to ask you to slow down your life to a walking pace. Stay with me for just a second, because, whether you like it or not, sh*t will always be piling up.
One thing is certain. A life of meaning and fulfillment cannot coexist with stress, chaos and break-neck busyness.
When we slow down, we have a chance to grab onto small pockets of joy as life passes by. Only in stillness, we can understand our intrinsic motivation to do things that we love.
Only in the quietness of our mind, we can listen to our inner voice. Only when we slow down, we can evaluate our progress and recalibrate where we’re headed.
Silence and the Brain on Default mode:
Our world is getting increasingly loud and cluttered. Our brain, the most important resource of our modern times, is not being given enough time for reflection. We’re constantly consuming and shoving more things down its neural networks.
Our brain is said to be in the default mode network during the process of self reflection – the psychological task of reflecting on one’s traits and characteristics.
This self reflection aids in what is called “Autobiographical planning” which takes a note of how we tell ourselves stories of our past and our future – in a way to connect different experiences to translate them into ideas for our most persistent problems. What’s more, seeking refuge in silence allows us to give grace to ourselves and to others around us.
The other thing is, pausing literally changes the brain’s structure. Silent moments of mindfulness actually enables the formation of more folds in the prefontal cortex (PFC). The process is called gyrification. This is really important because the PFC is the executive branch of the brain – it aids in processing feelings, regulating emotions, cognitive flexibility and decision making.
How to build pockets of silence around you:
- Read, write and reflect.
- Bring in a common-sense perspective into your reflections.
- Ideate and set an intention: Because it makes implementation worthwhile.
Truly Present In Our Presence:
Every day, we live our lives within the boundaries of what our 5 sense organs can perceive as reality. Somedays, that’s just not enough. We question ourselves if there’s something much more to our mundane existence.
We begin to look for meaning in our experiences of the past and long for a different future while missing out on what the present moment offers. Our thoughts about our challenges and responsibilities can weigh us down. But there’s a way we can hold onto the feeling of bliss that lies within us.
Behold the wonder in the present moment to understand long lasting happiness can only be experienced from inside out. Grab those pockets of silence to restore and rejuvenate your inner spirit.
The “M” Word:
OK, let’s see if we can adopt a daily practice of silence without using the word “Meditation” to describe it. I say this because this task of “not doing anything, just being” has gotten such a bad rap, it’s just as scary as the word “Mindfulness”.
Seriously though, being task free, and not consuming anything actively is so important for our mental health. It calms us down, makes us balanced, focused and reflective. What better way to de-stress and prune our brain of negative emotions?
There are so many ways to begin. With no particular end “goal” in mind, simply sit and stare. Observe your thoughts, and develop the muscle of letting go. It can feel like the most natural thing to do if you can sit outdoors and become a part of nature’s timeline.
Because, only when you shut down the external stimuli, you can listen to your inner wisdom. And, there is a peace and calm this moment is offering. You must slow down to find it.
Pause a Little To Read This:
We’ve all seen those drawings and paintings of Sisyphus, the Greek king. The one who, for being deceitful, received a punishment of rolling up a huge boulder up a hill. This act of his happens in perpetuity, because the boulder keeps rolling down a little whenever he pauses to catch his breath.
The point is, in the long haul of life, pauses are needed to recalibrate. Our brain is said to be in the default mode network during the process of self reflection.
Read more HERE.
Taking Cues From Nature:
Meditation in its noun form means true nature. Contemplation is the art of remembering who we truly are. Reflection leads to contemplation which guides us to meditation.
There are two primary reasons to adopt pockets of silence every day. At best, to feel a deep sense of gratitude for everything we have. And at a minimum, to reflect on the meaning and purpose of our life.
For the love of our smartphones and our digital lives, please unplug often and live out in the open, literally! In the nothingness of daily silence, you will discover your infinite potential.
Let us spend one day as deliberately as Nature, and not be thrown off the track by every nutshell and mosquito’s wing that falls on the rails… If the engine whistles, let is whistle till it is hoarse for its pains. If the bell rings, why should we run? I have always been regretting that I was not as wise as the day I was born. – Henry David Thoreau
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