This past week I've been reminded time and time again how important it is for us to make space to CHILL -- to rest, recharge and do something just for the sake of wanting to do it.
Last weekend I lost my voice for the first time ever and it was such a funny, strange experience. Since I sounded like a squeak toy, I was forced to keep my mouth shut and rest as much as possible, and for someone who likes to talk, THIS was a curveball.
Although I've made big life shifts in the past few years, for most of my life I was a doer, and as a serial doer, relaxing didn't come to me naturally. I felt like I always needed to be doing something to move forward or be “productive”. These past habits creep up from time to time, so chilling out can still be a challenge.
Can any doers out there relate?
Looking back, it's no wonder I got sick! I spent the first few weeks of 2018 going at full speed amidst a move, work and general life obligations, and although I prioritized self-care during this "crazy" period (like I wrote about a few weeks ago), the quick speed caught up to me and my body needed some real time to C-H-I-L-L.
So that’s exactly what I did. For the entire weekend I shut my trap and only did things that didn’t require much energy or effort. And you know what? Aside from getting my voice back, I felt more in tune with myself than I had in over a month.
That’s the thing about doing and going all the time -- we tend to lose sight of ourselves a little bit (or a lot) when we don’t take time to check in and sit with our thoughts on a regular basis.
How often do you take time to really rest and recharge and, even more so, simply be?
This is more than the Netflix and chill we all know and some of us love (hi!). I’m talking about being with ourselves with little to no distractions -- no phones or computers, no TV or people around. Just you and your thoughts.
In a society that idolizes the hustle and being “productive”, I think this is needed more than ever. Simply being creates space where we can actually start to get to know our thoughts and internal dialogue and, in turn, open up a world of self-awareness.
Getting intentionally quiet and sitting with ourselves is - what I believe to be - the start of true transformation. After all, we can’t expect to change our thoughts about our selves or our bodies if we don’t even know what’s going on internally.
This “chilling out” can come in the form of structured meditation, but it doesn’t have to! You may find it helpful to intentionally carve out 10 or 15 minutes of quiet time first thing in the morning or at night when there’s less chance of distractions. Keeping a journal handy to write down recurring thoughts may help you get to know your thought patterns, too.
Some of my favorite places to do this are:
-in bed, as soon as I wake up in the morning
-in the bath
-walking in nature
-on my meditation cushion
So this week, I invite you to CHILL OUT. Just be with yourself for a few moments every day and start to get in touch with your internal dialogue.
Do you speak to yourself in a particular tone?
Do you say anything to yourself over and over?
Are your thoughts life-affirming or life-depleting?
There’s nothing more you need to do about your thoughts right now -- simply observe. It’s a beautiful foundation for self-awareness!