Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Power of Stopping

Before we begin our journey into the Secrets of Life…We need to stop. Yes Stop. Anyone reading this blog under the age of 40 is probably doing several things right now. Multi-tasking… watching some type of video, texting, , tweeting, working, shopping… who knows what? We are overwhelmed by choices, options, stimuli and all of these activities add to our lives… we network, we learn, we grow.

But in order to start we need to stop. Stopping means being quiet enough to truly get in touch with ourselves. Have you ever just stared? Yes, just stared at a lake, mountains, the moon, the sunset? Of course you have. How does it make you feel? Relaxed? Rejuvenated? Thoughtful? Does staring help quiet some of the noise we have in our minds? You know, the loud conversations we carry on with ourselves, often about fears, about worries, about negative negotiations we are constantly having with ourselves. It can be very noisy and negative between our ears.

How do I gain control over my own thoughts, my own mindset? Stopping is a discipline, a gift to oneself for re-charging the personal batteries and tuning the internal channels. Stopping or quieting the mind so we can get in touch with our intuition, with our creative and visionary channels is truly a Secret of Life.

Some people practice meditation, sitting quietly focused on a mantra or internal light, emptying the mind of noise and distraction. Meditation increases one’s ability to focus and to live in the moment. Very powerful. Some of the most accomplished people I know do some form of meditation to quiet and strengthen the mind. It is like any practice of exercise you choose to embrace… The more you practice the better you get, the stronger you become. Now I am not suggesting you all sit down cross legged, light candles, and begin to fight with your mind over who has control. What I am saying is the power of stopping is directly related to getting in touch with your intuitive/creative mind.

Personally, I like taking walks. When I make no conscious attempt to get into the quiet zone... If I just enjoy the natural rhythm of a brisk walk…somewhere around twenty minutes into my walk I find myself in a creative space. Ideas flourish, and I see things with a sharper focus. I feel ideas, I have moments of insight, I can occasionally have epiphanies. It is almost as if my intuition “feels” these moments of clarity. Isn’t it ironic that rhythmic repetitive movement such as walking, running, dancing can calm the mind and help us stop. It can bring us to a place, a zone in our mind that brings clarity, stimulates creativity, and places us in the moment. Stopping the internal noise, quieting the mind is powerful. It doesn’t matter what your discipline is….meditation, staring, walking running, breathing…

Just do it! Prioritize your personal “Stopping” activity… Consider it like exercise, eating or sleeping. Make it daily, perfect it with practice. I use the power of stopping for re-charging, connecting with my intuitive/creative brain and taking back control of my mind. And when I am mindful, when I remember to focus on “The Secret of Stopping”, breathing, being in the moment… my life becomes proactive instead of reactive.

If you struggle with “Stopping”, with quieting and controlling the mind, it is completely normal. We all have loud noise in our heads and it is very difficult to clearly hear our intuition with all the distractions of these unruly, internal conversations. If you want to shut these loud internalizations down quickly…go away. Yes, go as far away to a quiet spot as time and money can afford you. For some it may mean a simple walk in the park, around a lake, on the beach. My preference is old forests. I’m able to feel the energy, oxygen, and majesty of old trees. The further away I go the quieter my mind becomes. All those day to day worries, important details, crises become less significant even trivial. Today, as I finish this entry my mind is quiet. It is my 60th birthday. The sun is rising over our tent deep in the Moroccan desert. The air is crisp and sweet, the light radiates intense shades of reds and pinks, and the sky scintillates a silky blue. There is no movement, and the moment is without sound. I have stopped…very powerful.

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