The mind literally can’t sit still. It fidgets and wants to be in the limelight like an energetic toddler. It speaks loudly. It likes make-believe and creating stories. It takes the input from your senses and eagerly states preferences and aversions, analyzes, judges, and categorizes it all. It likes things to be consistent and normal; anything new and different causes it to act out. It is happiest when it’s busy and active.
And just like a toddler, it has a tough time sitting still. Can you imagine a small child sitting in a chair and simply appreciating the scents wafting through the air, curiously taking in the colors around them, and basking in the sensations of the air on their body? Probably not. They’d complain they were bored, just as we do, consciously or unconsciously.
When the din of sensual input and chatter from the mind is loud, it is hard to find, let alone appreciate, our soulful self’s quiet voice. But it’s there, in the spaces between our thoughts, inviting us in. So if we create more spaces between our thoughts, we create more opportunities to experience our essential nature, our soulful self. How do we slow the mind?
•Use the mind’s natural pauses. Our brain waves slow from beta to alpha and below before sleeping and upon waking. Take those moments to be still and rest back in that sense of unchanging, silent stillness.
•Meditate. Whether silent or guided, meditation is a great way to slow the mind.
•Breathe and be curious. At the end of each exhale, pause and be curious about the mind’s next thought. The act of wondering will create a delay.
•Do something that absorbs and relaxes you, like walking in nature. Create an intention to be present and to allow your soulful self to speak.