People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.
— MARCUS AURELIUS
Do you ever feel like you can’t get a moment of peace? That each minute of each day is packed up with actions and thoughts that don’t allow your mind to rest, reflect and be still? If this is you – you’re not alone!
See, we are in a society where we are told that we can have it all. Never before has there been a time where we have so many options as women to reach our goals. Where we have so much support with a global community of women banding together to lift each other up to achieve our dreams. So is this not the moment to honour ourselves and take the time to discover what it is we really want from the beautiful life that we have?
The temptation here is probably, to want and thus pursue too many things (often at once). To over schedule ourselves so that we can do the things we need to do as well as do all the things we want to do. The possibilities of what we can fit into the day is exciting! But these possibilities (that for many of us, become to-do lists!) can also push out any opportunity for our bodies to rest and relax. The tighter our schedule, the less actual rest we are getting.
This means that our minds get busy – creating schedules, achieving tasks, organising routines and obligations, and creating opportunities for fun. Yet whilst a productive mind and life can be very effective in ensuring that we are organised and achieving, if we don’t organise and consider rest-time as part of our day – we are robbing ourselves of our need to shut off. Despite us often feeling like we are so busy that we are not even in control – we do have a choice in how we manage our time and where we choose to spend it.
The #Take20 Challenge
Initially, I created the #Take20 initiative to challenge myself to just sit and be for 20 minutes. The more I talked about it, the more I recognised that in not just my own but in so many other women’s lives, that we all have a need to consciously create space in order to rest, relax and focus. Living in a world of so many distractions, 20 minutes of focus can mean the difference between us feeling tired, helpless and out-of-control to us feeling intentional, focused and in control. So, pretty simply, this is how you do it:
Put aside 20 minutes. Time it. Do just one thing.
No devices. No clocks. No books.
Daily is ideal.
Create a sanctuary corner in your home. Sit with a cuppa.
Garden wander. Find a view, admire it for 20.
Gentle walking, just breathe.
Sounds simple enough, right? Sure – but for many of us productive, on-the-move types, 20 minutes of one thing can be a challenge the takes discipline! For these types, use a timer. I personally found it necessary to put a timer on so that it released me from clock watching. The habit of always glancing at a device to check how much time had passed I have discovered, creates a minor stress response in the body. The timer gives me absolute peace and surrender from the constant supervision of time passing, and the controlled feeling of how I am going to use it efficiently!
So why should we do all this? Let me give you some inspiration…
- Our true potential can be realised when we take time to be quiet. To realise our full potential, we need time and space to feel our heart and what it desires. What does our heart really want? The bravery of #take20 is in the sitting still and gently whispering ‘what do I really want?’ and then, really listening. The bravery is in the choice to schedule that time in. In an overscheduled world we can possibly forget to make time to spend a portion of it with ourselves. Just being. Have we forgotten how to do that?
- Creativity builds when we have rest and time and space. Creative thought and imagination naturally starts to blossom when our mind is not focussed on task oriented activities. This is where we create time! When our mind and body slows down, time slows down. This is the place where we can start to hear what is in our heart desire, this is where creativity comes from. Some people have it come through in the shower, or in the middle of the night. This is often because these times are when we are forced to be still!
- Taking 20 honours yourself, so that then you can honour others from a place of renewal. Setting the foundation for your day from a place of honouring your mind and body, gives it the love and respect that we desire from others. We can only recognise respect if it first comes from within. Strengthen the filter in which you see the world by showing yourself first, the positive evidence that love and respect exists in our world.
#Take20 has transformed my life in that it has allowed me time and space to think for myself – to feel the whispers of my heart. Time to ask myself ‘what do I truly want?’ out of today, this week and this year? For me, creative thoughts often pop up in this time. It is almost as if my body knows that it can wait until my daily Take20 to pop in the creative thought or bring in an answer that I have been asking myself for a while! This allocated time is my sanctuary and my time just for me. I love to think of it as building up my Vitamin Me levels. It has also been a wonderful way for me to lead by example to my immediate family. As actions speak louder than words, I look and feel calmer and more at peace within myself after the Sanctuary and Space of my Take20 for the day. It has been a truly honouring way to give myself the gift of time on a regular basis. So why not try it?
Lynda is a Massage Lecturer and Healthy Mindset Coach. She created Glentress as a sanctuary from life’s everyday busyness. It is her passion to share with others the ease that comes from creating peace in your life. She teaches women to honour themselves, their men and their relationships, going from feeling disconnected and fatigued, to creating a sense of joy, beauty and sanctuary in their life body and mind. She runs one on one sessions and group workshops addressing Sleep Stress and Satisfaction solutions. Find out more about Lynda at www.glentress.com.au or connect with her on Instagram.
Why not book a place at our Just Breathe Day Retreat and meet Lynda whilst enjoying the serenity, support, encouragement and nurturing that the retreat will be provide?