Though the idea of quieting your mind seems easy in theory, putting it into practice can be difficult. We’ve formed a habit of “staying busy,” and we need to rewrite that habit in order to invite clarity into our daily lives.
Everyone's journey to clarity is different. However, these five steps will point you in the right direction.
1. Find the time
“I can’t! I’m too busy!”
At many levels, this is a self-sabotaging excuse. You can find time to sit quietly. If you can’t sit still for 20 minutes, start with five then work your way up. You won’t know the tremendous value of being still for 20 minutes until you experience it. Make it a goal to carve out this important time for yourself.
It doesn’t have to be at the same time every day, just do it. If you take public transit to work or school, instead of popping on some tunes or reading the news, stay present. Be aware of your internal thoughts and live in the moment.
You’ll surprise yourself with the realizations you stumble upon and the calm you’ve uncovered in these quiet times.
2. Eliminate Judgment
This includes the judgment you place on others and yourself.
As ingrained as it is in our society, it is easy to judge something as small as a thought or as diverse as a nationality. But judgment is a toxic, destructive thing. It limits your opportunities and relationships with others, and you end up shouldering that very palpable burden on your own.
By eliminating judgment, you automatically allow room for more opportunities: ideas, relationships, working partnerships. You also remove the potentially harmful restraints you’ve placed on those judged.
It’s important to understand that removing judgment does not mean you have to ignore faults. You can still accept those things and act accordingly without placing judgment.
3. Forgive Yourself
Guilt is another heavy burden we bear that keeps us from gaining clarity. We’ve become so accustomed to allowing our guilt to wear on us that we forget it also weighs on other very important things in our lives.
If you have guilt, act on it in a productive way: apologize; educate yourself; learn from your mistake. Start a conversation around your issue, forgive yourself, and move forward.
Understand that not all apologies will be accepted and your actions can only do so much. But do not stagnate. You have hundreds of opportunities to improve your life and others’ in different ways. It’s well worth the time and effort to put your energy towards that.
4. Stop Worrying
Randy Armstrong beautifully said, “Worry doesn’t take away tomorrow’s trouble, it takes away today’s peace.”
If you are constantly thinking of what happened in the past or what could happen in the future, you are not making the most of the moment you are in. You can always work to make your future better now. Be here.
If you are struggling with anxiety, this step might is a superficial answer to what you face. Consider reading more about how you can manage your anxiety or speak with your doctor.
5. Use the Tools at Your Disposal
If you are at a loss for how to build space for clarity, there are multiple tools: apps, channels, and music you can use.
If you don’t want to listen to a guided meditation, tune into your breath. Count each intake and outflow of breath up to 10. Focus on how it feels when you fill up your lungs and exhale. If any thoughts pop up, acknowledge them, then let them pass.
If you are able to stem the flow of thoughts and worries, you’ve found your clarity.
If not, there’s always another moment waiting.